A Story of Self-Publishing Success: Virginia Woolf

by John L. Hodge
Virginia Woolf, considered to be one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century, had a terrifying fear of rejections. This was solved when she and her husband, Leonard, purchased a printing press and set it up in their living room, calling themselves Hogarth Press. Its first publication was Two Stories, containing one story by Virginia and one by Leonard, published in 1917. The first printing was 134 copies of a 31-page pamphlet, hand bound by Virginia with bright red thread. All of Virginia’s works, except for two, were initially published in England by Hogarth Press. The other two,The Voyage Out and Night and Day, were published by Gerald Duckworth and Company Ltd, owned by her half-brother. Hogarth Press itself grew to become famous. It published, among many other well-known writers and works, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and the first English translation of Sigmund Freud’s Collected Works.