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Mark Twain’s Secret Book

by Joe Vitale on November 20, 2012

In 1891 members of The Authors Club of New York came up with a terrific idea to raise funds for a permanent home for their meetings. I love their idea and want to share it with you. You could adapt it for many uses today. Plus there’s a lesson in prosperity here for you.

Let me explain…

The Authors Club of New York formed in 1882. Among its members were Mark Twain, Teddy Roosevelt, Andrew Carnegie, William Dean Howells, Henry Van Dyke, Frank Stockton, and more than a hundred others. They met socially to entertain each other and support younger, not yet successful writers.

In 1891 they conceived the idea of publishing a limited edition, one of a kind book. Over one hundred members would each write an original article, poem or story.

They would all be compiled into a hand bound leather book. Each author would sign their contribution in each book. They also agreed that all contributions would be exclusive, and never appear elsewhere, making the book very collectible.

To make it even more valuable, there would only be 251 copies of the book. No one would get paid, including the printer. Everyone donated their expertise for the larger cause.

Rare book signed by Twain etc

Rare book signed by Twain etc

That’s exactly what they did, too. They titled the collection “Liber Scriptorum” (Latin for “book of writings”). Printer Theodore Low De Vinne bound 221 copies of the book (unbound but signed contributions were sold separately) in morocco-gilt leather and offered them for $100 each, about $2,500 each in today’s dollars.

As you might guess, copies of this rare book are scarce today. Still, I located two of them. One was unbound and selling for $25,000. The other was bound, numbered 147, in perfect condition, all contributions signed by their authors, and selling for a lower five figure price.

Truly limited edition

Truly limited edition

I wanted it.

I’m a fan of Mark Twain. And Teddy Roosevelt. And Andrew Carnegie. I’m an author. Ive been in writers’ groups. I’ve published books where others contributed articles. I felt this book calling me.

But five figures for a book?

Each author signed their article in the book

Each author signed their article in the book

This was pushing the limits of my wealth set point.

The most expensive book I own is a triple signed first edition of A Magician Among the Spirits by Harry Houdini. It stretched my money mindset to get it at the time. But I did. And I’m glad I did. I love that book.

But five figures for a book?

I cleaned and prayed and meditated on the Liber Scriptorum book for a week. It wouldn’t get out of my mind.

I asked the seller to send me more photos. He did. It made me want the book even more.

But I still didn’t buy it.

Then I received a check for the exact amount of the book. That’s usually my sign to make the purchase. After all, there’s the money for it.

But I still didn’t buy it.

My mind kept delivering limiting beliefs to me. Every time it did, I erased them.

But I still didn’t buy the book.

I went on a radio show and talked about my bestselling free e-book, Attract Money Now. After it, I remembered a key step from the book, called prosperous purchasing. In short, if you have the money, and you have the desire, buy it. Else you’re reinforcing lack and limitation.

Click on image to read book free

Click on image to read book free

But I still didn’t buy it!

I had to let yet another day go by.

Then I remembered Dr. Hew Len, my coauthor for the book Zero Limits, saying if you clean for three days and the desire is still there, then go for it.

So I did.

I now own that amazing book.

And I love it.

Lesson: Even prosperity authors have growth work to do.

Question: What are you resisting investing in right now, but only because of fear?

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Ao Akua,


PS — Also keep in mind that what Mark Twain and the others did in 1891, you can do today. It’s the secret behind numerous books, including my own The E-Code, and of course the legendary “Chicken Soup” series of books. You gather contributions from authors and collect them into “your” own book. Think about it.

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Member BBB 2003 - 2013

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Mark Twain’s Secret Book | Tips For Self Improvement
November 25, 2012 at 11:07 pm

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Carlos Jose November 20, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Se que este sitio es en ingles. Pero queria hacer un comentario. Yo no se ingles.
Me ha encantado el articulo. Me ha llamado mucho la atencion. Me encantaria poder ponerme en contacto con Joe Vitale. He escuchado dos de sus audio libros… y es lo mejor que he tenido jamas en mis manos. Un fuerte abrazo.


Aj farzad November 20, 2012 at 5:30 pm

How awesome this is. I have read The attractor factor and love the reminders here as well as the reminder by Dr. Len. I can’t wait to share this post with my fans on Facebook Thank you for all these awesome articles.


Anthony Murphy November 21, 2012 at 1:59 am

Joe- mahalo for sharing! :-)

Might I humbly suggest- you make this your next product? It is public domain. You can add commentary relevant to today, turn it into an audio program, or an e class. If in book would initially be limited edition- with each chapter’s commentary signed by the author who contributed it.

Of course- in keeping with the club’s original intent-/a not yet successful author.should be included in the effort (hint hint)



Jimbo Berkey November 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Congratulations Joe,
I find myself filled with happiness just thinking about how much you will be enjoying that rare treat. Thanks for sharing.


Joe Vitale November 22, 2012 at 9:39 am

Thank you. Just holding the book conjures up time travel and I’m sitting with Twain and others. :)


John Bond November 22, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Jimbo, I love the feeling of enjoying the happiness that someone else is feeling and Joe it’s refreshing to learn that even you work from a beginner’s mind. Enjoy your time travel.


Steve November 22, 2012 at 7:46 pm

….the part I love most about your choice to buy the book is how you kept releasing layers of your limiting beliefs…. until eventually… you felt completely congruent… as if every cell in your body were aligned with the purchase…

Thanks for the insight :)


Barry Bechta November 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

Thanks Joe,
Your willingness to share your journey so transparently is always inspiring . . . once again you have opened the Universe’s learning abilities even further with your contribution to the collective (un)consciousness . . . just what I needed to remember today.
Love and Blessings, Barry


gemma November 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm

OK Suzanne has dealt with it now thanks. I just think you’re crazy for not putting me in all your movies. Don’t you know I’m gonna be a big star???


Yvonne April 17, 2013 at 4:15 am

I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days.


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