In 1986 author Michael Prescott sold his first horror novel. He self-published his psychological/suspense novel, Riptide, in 2010. He is now a New York Times bestselling author.
Some self-published authors begin like Michael Prescott, who wrote well-received novels with moderate sales published through traditional print outlets for 30 years. Prescott decided to self-publish the thriller "Riptide" after several print publishers turned him down. Success came almost immediately; Prescott earned $300,000 in 2011 by selling 800,000 self-published e-books. Prescott is also in the fortunate category of authors who have a backlog of previously published work that can now be introduced to their new online audience. "It's a gold rush out there," said Prescott (source: USAToday.com)
Before fiction writer J.A. Konrath gained success as a self-published author, he had received close to 500 rejections for 9 previously unpublished novels.
J.A. Konrath, author of the popular "Jack Daniels" mystery series is another author in the category of writers who have turned from traditional outlets to independent e-publishing. Konrath has sold over half a million e-books. "Traditional book publishers are just serving drinks on the Titanic," he said.
Romance author Barbara Freethy has now authored 34 novels and counting.
Romance author Barbara Freethy has turned 17 of her out-of-print books into gold by self-publishing them as e-books, selling 1.3 million copies so far. Although she is an established print author, she has turned to self-publishing with her "Secret Wish" series. "There have been more changes in the last two years than in the previous 18 years I have been in publishing," she said. "It's a paradigm shift." (Source)
Crime author Kerry Wilkinson is one of Britain's most successful self-published authors. He is also one of the top-selling authors on the Amazon Kindle chart, selling over 250,000 copies of his ebooks. In 2012 Pan Books offered him a six-figure deal to publish his Jessica Daniel novels.
Then there are writers like Kerry Wilkinson. His self-published detective novel "Locked In" outsold any other novel on Amazon.co.uk during the last three months of 2011. It was his first book. Wilkinson said he decided to become a writer when he turned 30 and needed to "do something with my Life." He wrote "Locked In" and never considered publishing it all until he saw the "Publish with us" button on Amazon's website.
Crime writer John Locke is the first author to sell a million self-published e-books at Amazon.com. He self-published Callie's Last Dance in 2012.
Former door-to-door insurance salesperson turned crime novelist John Locke was one of the first independent authors to sell over one million e-books through Amazon Kindle's Direct Publishing program. Locke takes a strictly entrepreneurial approach, writing quickly and promoting his books through social media. It has been reported that a John Locke e-book is downloaded every seven seconds, every day.
Bestselling British author E.L. James has sold over 65 million copies of his books. His trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, is the "fastest selling paperback of all time."
Large sales and recognition in the realm of self-published e-books can also serve to boost an independent author into the ranks of traditional publishing. E.L. James' hugely popular "Fifty Shades of Gray" began as fan fiction related to the "Twilight" movie series, and is now the bestselling book in Britain's history and the first e-book to sell over one million copies on Amazon's Kindle. James now publishes with Random House.
After gaining success as the writer and self-publisher of Wool, American author Hugh Howey sold the film rights to his successful e-book to 20th Century Fox.
Another independent writer who has made the best of both worlds is Hugh Howey. His "Wool" series of novels began as a novelette released with the Amazon Kindle Direct publishing system. Reader response was so positive and immediate that in less than two years it has grown into a seven book series with more installments forthcoming, and the series is being considered for film adaption by director Ridley Scott. "Most of my months are six-figure months," said Howey. (Source: CNN.com)
Howey is set to straddle the e-book and print book industries, having just signed a deal with Simon and Schuster, giving them retail distribution rights to the "Wool" series while Howey retains the right to self-distribute online. Although unconfirmed, the deal reportedly amounts to seven figures.
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