The Offworld Guide to Self-Publishing - Part 1 - Well-known Self-Published Successes

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

The Offworld Author's Guide to Self Publishing is now serialised in various articles.

We will be tackling all the things you'll need to take care of in your Self-Publishing journey including Ghostwriting, Editing, Proofreading, Book Funding, Book Design, Book Production, Book Rights, Book Reviews, Book Publishing, Book Publicity, Book Promotion and Social Media, Literary Agent Pitch, Promo Videos, Audiobooks, Translation, Author Websites, Search Engine Optimisation, Screenplay Adaptation, Film Makers, Film Producers and Original Music.

All of these elements are key to giving you everything you need to make your book a success.

Don't want to wait for the next thrilling instalment?

You can get your FREE Author's Guide here.

Have a look at our video as well....

Successes of Self Publishing

You may have heard of a few.

Fifty Shades of Grey

EL James

Perhaps the best known self-publishing success story, EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey series began as Twilight fan fiction. She published it on fan sites and eventually decided to turn it into an original erotic trilogy. She self-published the first book, and it took off. The rest of the story you surely already know.

The Celestine Prophecy

James Redfield

Redfield managed to sell 100,000 copies of The Celestine Prophecy out of the trunk of his car before it was finally published by Warner Books. Since then, the book was adapted into a film, expanded with three sequels, and spent 165 weeks on the NYT Bestsellers list.

Wool Trilogy

Hugh Howey

Howey’s Wool Trilogy began with a short story he self-published through Amazon. He decided to expand on the series and eventually sold it to Simon and Schuster for half a million dollars. He also sold the film rights to the series.

Still Alice

Lisa Genova

Genova self-published Still Alice through iUniverse. In 2009 it was reissued by Simon and Schuster. Since then it has been translated into twenty languages, been on the New York Times Bestsellers list for over forty weeks, and been made into an Academy Award winning film starring Julianne Moore.

Riyria Chronicles

Michael J. Sullivan

When Sullivan wrote the Riyria fantasy series, he found an agent but couldn’t find a publisher. So he decided to self-publish through a company his wife started. His sales were so good that traditional publishers took note, and he sold his next novel for six figures.

The Wealthy Barber

David Chilton

In 1989 Chilton published his financial planning advice book, The Wealthy Barber, out of his basement. It went on to become one of Canada’s all time bestselling books, spawning a sequel in 2008.

Ten Tiny Breaths

K.A. Tucker

Another Canadian success story, Tucker self-published a YA fantasy series, which gave her enough of a following that she was able to sell her adult novel, Ten Tiny Breaths, to Atria Books in 2013.


H.M. Ward

Ward self-published her first book, Damaged, as an eBook on Amazon and it went on to become a #1 Bestseller in the New Adult category. She has continued writing the series and has sold over 4 million copies, all without signing on with a traditional publisher.

My Blood Approves Series

Amanda Hocking

Hocking was one of the first self-published YA authors to make over two million dollars simply with eBook sales. Though already very successful, Hocking signed a 2 million dollar deal with St.Martin’s in 2011.

Self Publishing by Self Publishers

Here are what some best-selling Self-Publishers say about what they'e done and some sage words they are:

“Be confident in your work, but be careful not to put a book out into the world until you are sure that it is your very best work and professional in all respects (writing, editing, cover design, format- ting, etc.). As with anything, you get only one chance to make a first impression, and every reader deserves a quality product.”

Darcie Chan

“Anyone who says it’s easy to self-publish a book is either lying or doing a shitty job.”

Nan McCarthy

“Whatever you may have heard, self-publishing is not a short cut to anything. Except maybe insanity. Self-publishing, like every other kind of publishing, is hard work. You don’t wake up one morning good at it. You have to work for that.”

Zoe Winters

“At heart, self-publishing is kind of like a bake sale. The end product does not need to resemble the one that comes from a commercial bakery, but it must taste good. No-one wants the lumpy under baked oatmeal cookies with spinach and alfalfa flavoured chips.”

D. C. Williams

“You are a start-up … The next great business is you.”

Hugh Howey

“The free charts on Amazon are constantly trawled by people with voracious reading appetites. Getting read is an obvious way to sell more copies via word of mouth.”

Ben Galley

“The best self promotion is your next book. And the book after that and after that …”

Bella Andre

“Writing a book makes you an expert in the field. At the very least, when you hand someone a book you wrote, it’s more impressive than handing a business card.” James Altucher

“The good news about self-publishing is you get to do everything

yourself. The bad news about self publishing is you get to do everything yourself.”

Lori Lesko

“For a long time now, self-publishing has been dismissed as an act of vanity – mainly by frightened executives in publishing houses, who hold up terrible examples of self-published works and say ‘See? This is why we exist.’”

Hugh Howey

“Authors today need a publisher as much as they need a tapeworm in their guts.” Rayne Hall

“Some books and authors are best sellers, but most aren’t. It may be easier to self-publish than it is to traditionally publish, but in all honesty, it’s harder to be a best seller self-publishing than it is with a house.”

Amanda Hocking

“I’m outselling a bunch of famous, name-brand authors. I couldn’t touch their sales in print.”

Joe Konrath

“Traditional publishers aim to publish hundreds of thousands of copies of a few books, self-publishing companies make money by publishing 100 copies of hundreds of thousands of books.”

David Carnoy

And that's it for this brief taster to our series.

Get stuck into Part 2 and read about "The Learning Curve"

Take care, big hugs and adios.

Episode 2

The Learning Curve



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