Editions published in Burns's lifetime
1 Kilmarnock Edition Printed and issued by John Wilson, Kilmarnock, on 31st July 1786. It cost 3s. 600 copies were printed. The volume was dedicated to Gavin Hamilton.
2 First Edinburgh Edition Printed by William Smellie, published by Wiliam Creech, by subscription 'for the sole benefit of the author', on 21st April 1787.
This edition, however, was re-set and reprinted more or less simultaneously, since it was over-subscribed. 3,000 copies in all were published.
After the first batch had been printed, the type had to be re-set. An error crept into a line in the 'Address to a Haggis', where by "Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware", became "Auld Scotland wants nae stinking ware". The second form of the 1787 edition has thus become known as the 'Stinking Burns'. The price to subscribers was 5 s. to other purchasers 6. As with the Kilmarnock Edition, Burns assumed all personal responsibility.
On 23rd April Burns disposed of the property of his poems of 100 guineas to Creech in a 'memorandum of Agreement' (see Creech, William). Thereafter Creech put out the:
3 Second Edinburgh Edition Published by Creech in 18th February 1793, in two volumes 'greatly enlarged with New Poems'. One of the 'New Poems' in the extra 50 pages was 'Tam o' Shanter'.
This edition was re-issued in 1794.
Burns probably cleared just over £50 from the Kilmarnock volume and about £855 from the First Edinburgh Edition together with the sale of the copyright, which resulted in his receiving only a few complimentary copies from Creech for the Second Edinburgh Edition.