If you have tried getting your book published by a traditional publisher, you must have faced rejections. Let’s be straightforward and admit that we all have faced rejections by traditional publishers because even the pioneers like JK Rowling was not spared. It is not that Traditional Publishers are naive or something but the number of submissions they receive is just too much and then there’s always the pressure of publishing the already published authors. We all crave for traditional publishing because it is still gold but do you know there are authors who have taken an alternative road and made it big?
Self-publishing is often looked upon as not so good method of publishing books, traditional publishers, and literary agents keep speaking against self-publishing because it might end up taking their jobs away. A lot of these elites say “self-published books are not worth it; they are neither designed nor edited properly”; well, we all can list a few traditionally published books which were equally not good.
Self-published has evolved and today it offers plenty of opportunities for both new and veteran authors but have you ever thought, why self-publishing became so popular or who made it so popular?
We bring to you a smartly curated list of self-published authors, who became popular by selling millions of copies and made the alternative self-publishing a mainstream thing:
Popular Self-Published Books and their Authors
Ashwin Sanghi: The Rozabal Lines: The story of Ashwin Sanghi writing and self-publishing his book will move you to tears. When Ashwin Sanghi completed writing The Rozabal Lines, he sent it to over 100 publishers for publishing consideration but nothing was coming through. Ashwin Sanghi decided to self-publish his book but gave up on his dreams. When he published the book, over 40 distributors were contacted for distribution but only one of them replied and agreed to distribute the Rozabal Line, which was written under the pen name Shawn Haigins.
Ashwin Sanghi went to a bookstore and found his self-published book lying in a corner with a huge layer of dust settled over it; Ashwin couldn’t hold himself from cleaning the book and placing it on the “Bestselling Rack” only to see the book actually make it to the bestselling list in a few weeks.
Savi Sharma: “This Author Sold over 1,00,000 Copies of her book while you were not looking” and, “Savi Sharma thinks marketing is the most important part of book publishing” are some of the titles of the most popular articles about Savi Sharma.
This publishing phenomenon burst into the Indian Literary Scene while nobody was paying attention, her journey as a successful author has a lot of lessons to learn from. Well, Savi Sharma attributes her success to her marketing manager, Ashish Bagrecha, who not only kept her motivated but also assisted her with book marketing.
Savi Sharma sold 1,00,000 copies of her first book Everyone Has a Story within 100 days of its release. After the grand success of her first book, she signed a book publishing deal with Amazon’s global publishing wing. Savi Sharma’s second book “This is Not Your Story” also took a very impressive start and sold 1,00,000 copies in no time.
In less than 2 years, Savi Sharma has made into the prestigious list of top 25 most popular Indian authors on social media and it’s just the beginning.
Amish Tripathi: The author of Immortals of Meluha was perhaps rejected by more than 20 publishers and a few marketers. Amish today is a university in himself, he lectures on Grades Don’t Matter makes it easier for newbies to master the book publishing and marketing paradigms.
Amish Tripathi needs no introduction; he sells more than a 5 million books in India; movie rights of his books are bought for more than 100 crores and he alone can change the course of the project in India. Amish Tripathi has arrived and he has arrived in style. The skeptical marketing ideas he tried while trying to publish his first book says a lot about how much passion he has for his dreams.
John Grisham: This one author had to sell his car to buy back the 5000 copies that were printed in the first print run. Later, John Grisham sold more than 19 million copies of his varied books and also got a few of them made into Hollywood Movies.
A Time to Kill was rejected by numerous publishers until a small publisher decided to publish if John Grisham agreed to buy back the first print run–it was more like a vanity publishing deal–and the rest is history. A Time to Kill continues to sell even today while a lot of his books were a runaway bestseller.
E L James: Well, the most popular joke about one of her books is “Women are too classy to watch Porn hence they will read the fuck out of it”. Yes, You guessed it right, E L James self-published 50 Shades of Grey and changed the way world looks at Erotica books.
The author saw unimaginable success with her first book and then there was a list of publishers trying to lure her with impressive offers. EL James went on to write two more sequels of the book; today the first two books of the series have already been made into feature films.
All these tales of success of self-published authors when traditional publishers have failed them must inspire us to give our dreams a shot. All these stories of struggle and never giving up should motivate us to make our work the most important thing in life and never give up.
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