At Publish Central, we are the go-to team when it comes to self-publishing. With almost 20 years of experience in the self-publishing space, it’s safe to say we know what goes into creating a successful self-published book.
This article discusses three common qualities successful self-publishing authors have and gives 10 examples of successful self-published books.
Publish Central exists to help authors share their words with readers. If you need help self-publishing your book, check out our packages, or our services. Alternatively, you can just contact us today.
The Rising Trend of Self-Publishing
The digital revolution has fundamentally altered the landscape of publishing. In the past, traditional publishing houses were the gatekeepers of the literary world. But today, anyone with a compelling idea and a computer can become an author. Particularly in the non-fiction genre, self-publishing has given rise to numerous success stories, providing us with some truly exceptional reads.
According to Words Rated, there has been a 264% increase in self-published books in the past five years. The self-publishing trend has been driven by the desire for creative control, higher royalty rates, and the possibility of success without the approval of a traditional publisher. As we’ve witnessed, many self-published authors have not just achieved success; they’ve rocked the publishing world with their phenomenal impact.
10 Successful Self-Published Books
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
This book was originally self-published in 1997 before becoming a New York Times best seller. It’s a personal finance classic that contrasts the mindset of a wealthy father (Rich Dad) with that of a poor one. Kiyosaki has since built a business empire around these teachings. It’s reported to have sold over 32 million copies worldwide.
The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter
This beloved classic had a humble beginning. Potter originally wrote and illustrated the story as a letter to the ill child of a former governess. Encouraged by friends and family, she decided to self-publish it in 1901 after several publishers turned it down.
The first run was 250 copies, which quickly sold out. Soon after, Frederick Warne & Co, who had previously rejected the book, saw its potential and agreed to publish it. Warne’s publication of The Tale of Peter Rabbit became an instant success, and they went on to publish the subsequent 22 tales of Beatrix Potter.
Building a Winning Career by William Cowan
Leveraging three decades of hard-earned experience, Cowan imparts indispensable wisdom for those ready to climb even higher on their career ladder. With a clear vision of his book’s aesthetic and impact, William worked closely with us at Publish Central. Together, we meticulously crafted the cover and interior designs, carried out meticulous editing, and facilitated online distribution. His journey represents the beauty of the collaborative process that embodies the heart and soul of Publish Central.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Still Alice is a novel by Lisa Genova that provides a profound insight into the life of a Harvard professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. Genova, a neuroscientist, initially self-published the book in 2007 after multiple rejections from traditional publishers.
The novel eventually caught the attention of a literary agent at the International Boston Book Festival and was re-published by Simon & Schuster in 2009. Its authentic and empathetic portrayal of Alzheimer’s resonated with readers, turning it into a New York Times bestseller and a major motion picture. Still Alice showcases the power and potential of self-publishing in reaching a global audience.
The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer
Rombauer’s publishing journey is a classic tale of self-publishing success. After the passing of her husband in the late 1920s, she compiled the cookbook as a means to cope with her loss and as a practical resource for other homemakers like her. Faced with rejections from publishers who believed the market was oversaturated with cookbooks, she decided to self-publish the first edition in 1931.
The book was very well-received, leading to a deal with a major publisher, Bobbs-Merrill Company, for the second edition. The subsequent editions of The Joy of Cooking expanded and updated the recipes and tips, making it one of the most beloved and bestselling cookbooks in America. This exemplifies the potential success that can come from self-publishing.
The Martian by Andy Weir
The Martian is a riveting science-fiction novel penned by Andy Weir. Weir initially self-published the novel in 2011, releasing it in serialised form on his website for free. When his readers requested a Kindle version, he published it on Amazon at the lowest possible price. The e-book version quickly soared in popularity, reaching the top of Amazon’s bestseller list. This success caught the attention of major publishers, leading to a print deal with Crown Publishing in 2014. The novel was also adapted into a highly successful Hollywood movie, making The Martian one of the most renowned examples of self-publishing success.
Choose Yourself! by James Altucher
Altucher encourages readers to invest in themselves and choose their own path, rather than waiting for the perfect opportunity. Since its release, it has sold more than half a million copies and was originally self-published before being picked up by CreateSpace Publishing.
Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Christopher Paolini was only 15 when he wrote this novel. His parents, who owned a small publishing company, decided to publish the book in 2002.
Their hard work paid off when the novel caught the attention of Carl Hiaasen’s stepson. Hiaasen, a noted author himself, brought the book to the attention of his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf Books, a division of Random House. The company subsequently bought the rights and republished Eragon in 2003.
The book’s success led to a series of three more novels, making it a bestselling series. Eragon was even adapted into a film, demonstrating the immense potential that self-published books can have.
A Naked Singularity by Sergio De La Pava
De La Pava originally self-published A Naked Singularity in 2008 after multiple rejections from traditional publishers. Despite its unconventional publication route, the novel managed to gain significant attention.
Its success eventually attracted the attention of the University of Chicago Press, which republished the novel in 2012. A Naked Singularity went on to win the PEN/Bingham Prize for best debut novel by an American author in 2013, proving that even a self-published book can earn prestigious accolades and achieve substantial success.
Someone Has To Be The Most Expensive, Why Not Make It You? by Andrew Griffiths
Andrew Griffiths’ book discusses how businesses aren’t charging enough for what they offer and inspires them to make a change. This is a great read and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies, placing Andrew Griffiths as a leader in the self-publishing and non-fiction space in Australia. He’s also a good friend here at Publish Central!
What Makes a Self-Published Book Successful?
Self-publishing might have made it easier for authors to put their work out there, but what distinguishes a successful self-published book from the rest? The answer lies in a combination of factors that all successful self-published authors have in common.
The cornerstone of any successful book, whether traditionally published or self-published, is high-quality content. A great idea, articulated well, can resonate with readers and spread
through word of mouth. Successful self-published authors invest time and effort into refining their ideas, researching thoroughly, and writing compellingly.
If you have a great idea in mind, and you want to write a book but are struggling with where to start, there are one-on-one coaching author services to help you through the entire process.
Professional Editing and Design
While content is king, presentation matters too. Successful self-published authors understand the importance of professional editing and design. They seek out skilled editors to hone their prose and experienced designers to create eye-catching covers.
Effective Marketing Strategy
Last but not least, even the best books can be overlooked if they aren’t marketed well. An effective marketing strategy is the final key piece of the puzzle in the world of successful self-publishing.
Spotlight on Andrew Griffiths: A Self-Publishing Success
Among the many success stories in the realm of self-publishing, one name stands out: Andrew Griffiths. His journey is not just about the triumph of a self-published author; it’s a testament to the power of insightful knowledge, compelling storytelling, and smart marketing. Today, we’re shining the spotlight on Andrew Griffiths’ Someone Has To Be The Most Expensive, Why Not Make It You?
Someone Has To Be The Most Expensive, Why Not Make It You?: A Closer Look
In Someone Has To Be The Most Expensive, Why Not Make It You?, Griffiths challenges the common business mindset of competing on price. He argues that instead of being the cheapest, businesses should strive to be the best and then charge accordingly. This book is a step-by-step guide for business owners who want to escape the price wars and build a brand that commands a premium. The book is filled with practical tips, real-life examples, and Griffiths’ signature straight-talking advice.
Andrew Griffiths: The Man Behind the Words
Andrew Griffiths is no ordinary business author. His experience spans across multiple industries, and his insights are derived from years of real-world business experiences. Starting his entrepreneurial journey at a young age, Griffiths has a knack for transforming complex business principles into simple, actionable strategies. His writing style is engaging, his ideas are innovative, and his passion for helping businesses grow is palpable. This combination has made him one of Australia’s leading business authors, with his books selling widely both domestically and internationally.
Your Book Could be the Next Self-Publishing Success Story
If you’re inspired by the success stories of self-published authors and are eager to embark on your own publishing journey, we at Publish Central are here to help.
Our team consists of seasoned professionals who’ve worked with major publishers in Australia. We provide a comprehensive suite of services tailored to the unique needs of self-publishing authors, from editing and design to printing and distribution.
Work one-on-one with successful self-published author Andrew Griffiths, who offers a number of author coaching packages, from helping people write their first book to helping already published authors.
Contact us today to embark on your self-publishing journey.