A little inspiration from The Writer’s Almanac:
It was on this day in 1936 that the novel Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was first published. When she handed the manuscript over to editors, it was in terrible shape, with more than 1,000 pages of faded and dog-eared paper, poorly typed and with penciled changes. But they loved the story. They asked Mitchell to change the original title, “Tomorrow Is Another Day,” because at the time there were already 13 books in print with the word “tomorrow” in the title. They also asked her to change the main character’s name from Pansy to Scarlett.
Mitchell later said, “I just couldn’t believe that a Northern publisher would accept a novel about the War Between the States from the Southern point of view.” But Gone with the Wind broke all publication records. It sold 50,000 copies sold in one day, a million copies in six months, and 2 million by the end of the year. The sales of the book were even more impressive because it was in the middle of the Great Depression. The hardcover of the novel cost $3 a copy, which was fairly expensive at the time. Its sales injected millions of dollars into the publishing industry. The year it came out, employees at the Macmillan publishing company received Christmas bonuses for the first time in nearly a decade.
I’m ashamed to admit that I have yet to read Gone with the Wind, though I will one day. Who can resist a book that’s not only won the Pulitzer but that’s also had the NYTs crowing praise like, “This is beyond a doubt one of the most remarkable first novels produced by an American writer. It is also one of the best.”
Write on, all.