The book was published on 25 April 1719. Before the end of the year, this first volume had run through four editions.
By the end of the 19th century, no book in the history of Western literature had more editions, spin-offs and translations (even into languages such as Inuktitut, Coptic and Maltese) than Robinson Crusoe, with more than 700 such alternative versions, including children's versions with mainly pictures and no text.
The term "Robinsonade" was coined to describe the genre of stories similar to Robinson Crusoe.
Defoe went on to write a lesser-known sequel, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719). It was intended to be the last part of his stories, according to the original title page of its first edition, but a third part, Serious Reflections During the Life & Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, With His Vision of the Angelic World (1720), was added later; it is a mostly forgotten series of moral essays with Crusoe's name attached to give interest.