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Re: REQUEST: Self-published best-sellers? (Ed Tufte)



Heard Tufte deliver the Dwiggins lecture in Boston 2 years ago, and the way
he tells it he decided to self-publish the first book in the series (The
Visual Display of Quantitative Information) after taking it to his usual
academic publisher and being convinced by them that they would not do the
material justice!  He did raise the money for that book by mortgaging his
house, but proceeded to sell over a million dollars worth in fairly short
order. A good portion of that has apparently been put into the production
of the subsequent titles which are still published by Tufte's own company,
Graphics Press, which is still run out of his house. Apparently he still
doesn't trust his publisher! He doesn't publish anything but the three
books and professes no interest in doing so.

Tufte's books are really a phenomenal example of what can be done with self
publishing, as well as being remarkably well made books.

> If I remember correctly, The New York Times Magazine reported that Edward
>Tufte took out a second mortage to self-publish Envisioning Information,
>which is the best book of its kind I've seen.  Wonder if his school would
>accept it as a professional publication?   Shutter to think?
>
>At 06:13 PM 5/20/99 EDT, you wrote:
>>Edward Tufte's wonderful books on the design of information were
>>self-published, I believe because he wanted to maintain complete control of
>>the design and quality of the editions. They include The Visual Display of
>>Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, and Visual Explanations,
>>and are, I believe, considered classics.
>>
>>Liz Horton
>>
>>


Alan P. Hayes
Meaning and Form: Writing, Editing and Document Design


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