In a guest post on The Daily Beast, Grisham (pictured, via) recounts the events surrounding his first novel, A Time to Kill. His publisher printed 5,000 first edition copies of that book and Grisham bought 1,000 copies to use fir giveaways, $5 sales to friends and even as a doorstop.

Considering that a first edition of A Time to Kill is now worth $4,000, Grisham once owned $6 million of his own books.

Here’s more from the post: “My idea was, I’d buy a thousand books, have a big book party at the local library, and all my friends would come. I’d sell all these books and it’d be easy. I could buy the books at wholesale, sell them at retail, and make a few bucks … Then I took all the books down to the local library and we had a big book party. When the party was over, I still owned 882 copies of A Time to Kill. I had this invoice that was due to pay for them wholesale, so I started giving books away.”

Read the rest of the story on GalleyCat.

Personally, I am sure he remembers that it was great to sell even a few, at the time, because I had a slightly similar experience.  Back in 1992, we were offered a joint residency on Long Island, by the William Steeple Davis Trust.  It was a golden opportunity, but finance was going to be a problem.

By coincidence, one of my books had just been published.  I did the same thing as Grisham, and bought 1,000 copies at wholesale price. Then, at talks, lectures, and presentations all about New England, I sold them at retail price. And, as John Grisham hoped to do, I made a few bucks.  It kept the bills paid at a rather critical time.