Five authors who found success with self-publishing

Any writer will tell you that the world of publishing is one fraught with the potential for rejection. From self-help books, to novels, to biographies, to collections of poems, the reality is that getting your work out into the wide world can be difficult.

These days, however, the rise of the internet has made publishing your own work easy, and did you know that if you went down the self-publishing route, you would be in good company? These five authors have all done the same thing:

1. Laurence Sterne

Sterne’s nine volume opus ‘The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman’ was published at the beginning of the 18th Century. It tells, in an obscure fashion, the story of the eponymous hero’s life through diversionary anecdotes. Sterne published the first two of these volumes himself in 1759. It remains a classic to this day.

2. Virginia Woolf

Arguably one of the greatest and most respected British writers, Woolf was working in the beginning of the 20th Century. Along with her husband, she founded her own publishing house – Hogarth Press – and many of her novels and essays were published through it.

3. E.E. Cummings

An iconic American poet, Cummings self-published his collection of poems in 1935. He called the collection ‘No Thanks’, in ironic reference to the many publishing houses who had, up until then, rejected his collection.

4. Lisa Genova

Author of the best-selling novel ‘Still Alice’, Genova self-published her book about a woman living with early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2007. Genova’s novel has since been translated into 25 languages and transformed into a film, which was released in 2014.

5. E.L. James

One of the great success stories of this new era of self-publishing, James’s notorious ‘Fifty Shades…’ trilogy started out as a self-published piece of fan fiction in 2011. Since then, it has gone on to be one of the world’s best-selling novels. The trilogy is in the process of being adapted for film.

It is not easy to become a worldwide phenomenon through self-publishing. If you want to try to emulate the success of these authors, it’s helpful to get the lowdown about the intricacies of self-publishing. If you want to find out more, why not download our ‘How to Self Publish an eBook’ course?

Categories: Writing

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