Real Self-Publishing Success Stories That Will Inspire You

Real Self Publishing Success Stories

Are there any self-publishing success stories?

Finding a publisher is not an easy task these days, even if you think you have written a potential bestseller.

After writing, editing, and rewriting, it is frustrating to receive so many negative responses if you try to take the traditional publishing route.

Some writers give up on the idea of ever finding a way to publish a book. But there are success stories of authors who never gave up on their dream.

The reality of publishing

All writers have bills to pay and can’t wait around forever for their lucky day.

The publishing world is changing to online publishing, so the idea of self-publishing might start to sound like a good idea.

It could seem to be a bit daunting to publish your own book as an independent author because of the doubts.

Doubt is what sets many writers back.

Sometimes they convince themselves that if a traditional publisher doesn’t want their book, it will be a failure.

But this is not true today due to self-publishing.

There are plenty of opportunities for new authors.

If you can write well and know your target market, self-publishing offers you a viable route to publishing.

All you need is the motivation to get started.

Here are some inspiring self-publishing success stories of writers who made it big as Indie authors.


Amanda Hocking

amanda hocking

After writing more than seventeen novels, Amanda, who is from Minnesota, didn’t find any success with publishing houses.

So she decided to self-publish her novels as ebooks with Kindle Direct Publishing and achieved tremendous success.

Could you imagine writing seventeen novels and not one being accepted? The success of this story is that she went on to sell over a million copies.

After her success on Amazon Kindle, St Martin’s Press bought the rights to her first three novels for a staggering two million dollars.

It’s one of those stories that makes you feel motivated and inspires you to never give up on your dream.


Michael J. Sullivan

Michael J Sullivan

He is another author who gave it his all. But none of the big publishing houses showed an interest.

After writing for more than ten years with no success, Sullivan gave up on writing.

He took ten years off and then one day decided to start writing again. But still, no one wanted to publish his book until his wife started a publishing agency.

He then decided to self-publish his book “Riyira Revelation” through his wife’s agency and gained the success he had always strived to find.

After his success, the publishing houses flooded him with offers.

It shows you that even if you take some time off, you can come back stronger than ever.


E.L. James

E L James

Even though the books written by James caused some controversy, you have to admit that she is one of the huge self-publishing success stories.

In 2011 E.L. James published her first book without dreaming of overnight success.

But she believed that there was an audience for her genre of literature. She self-published her first ebook title on the Kindle Store and promoted it on her blog and social media.

The rest is history.

Today, her Fifty Shades of Grey series is known worldwide and has caused such hype that it is astonishing to think she was initially self-published.

Not everyone is trying to gain this amount of success. But she really is the poster child of self-publishing success.

She has now sold more than 100 million copies of her books, which is nothing short of miraculous.


Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki

The book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki is one of those books your parents hand down to you, with good reason.

The lessons displayed in this book are of such value that it is still popular today.

In 1997 he decided that he no longer wanted to be an employee and self-published this book.

He sold over 26 million copies of just this one book, so that is definitely a success.

This book focuses on some great financial advice we don’t necessarily get in business courses today.

He talks about graduates having to be employed while those with business minds seem to be the ones who are successful.

If you haven’t read this book yet, it is worth doing so.


Marcel Proust


Proust wrote a novel that people say became the most rejected book of the twentieth century.

It is probably not the kind of reputation you want as a writer.

After receiving many rejections, Proust didn’t give up on his ability to be one of the best writers of all time.

He paid a publishing house to publish Swann’s Way and went on to sell millions of copies.

His original book, which was rejected so many times, was rewritten in a comic manner.

In 1913 he found a publisher for his most rejected book and then had great success.


Wayne Dryer

Wayne Dryer

It is so strange to think that anyone would reject a book by Wayne Dryer, but he was not always as famous as he is now.

Originally, Dryer published his first self-help book. The book only ran for 4,500 prints, which wasn’t enough to find any degree of success.

Following that print, he traveled the world, trying to promote this book.

After doing that for a year, the book became one of the best-selling books of all time.

He sold more than 35 million copies of “Your Erroneous View,” and it was on the New York Times Bestseller list for sixty-four weeks.

Most writers would be happy to have their books on that list for just one week.

Today, Wayne Dryer is one of the most well-known motivational writers and speakers.


Jamie McGuire

Jamie McGuire

Like many new authors, she tired of so many rejection letters from agents and publishers.

In the end, she self-published her first book, Beautiful Disaster, with Smashwords. In the first few months, it sold over 30,000 copies.

The book was so popular that it made it into the New York Times bestseller list.

It certainly attracted attention. An imprint of Simon & Schuster, Atria, bought the rights to Beautiful Disaster.

A little later, it bought the rights to her second book, Walking Disaster.

However, she became tired of the traditional route.

She self-published her next book, Beautiful Redemption.

She says that she prefers self-publishing because “I am the captain of my own ship.”



When you look at these self-publishing success stories, it is easy to see that there is hope for those authors who haven’t published yet.

Don’t think that there is only one option to become a published author.

Many publishing options are available for authors now that authors didn’t have in the past.

You can easily self-publish in an ebook or print-on-demand paperback.

You can promote your book without leaving your living room.

With all these opportunities, many new authors are opting to self-publish after rejection by agents and publishers.

Even if your confidence is a little bit down because of rejections, pick yourself up and publish for yourself and your future.


Related reading: The Biggest Drawback Of Self-Publishing For New Authors

3 thoughts on “Real Self-Publishing Success Stories That Will Inspire You”

  1. As a self publisher myself I find it is all about ratings and reviews to get those books sold. I have two on Amazon, ‘Vampire Island and the Battle for Malikperse’ and ‘Midnight A Vampire Island Saga’ so far with no sales, no ratings, no reviews, even a bad review would be nice, at least that way I could see where I am going wrong with my work.

  2. I personally believe it’s all very well putting many words together, life is not that straightforward to just because she or he carries a weapon to harm someone a place to hide a flurry of thoughts that it is worth reading, unless you have something to write about coming from your heart mind & soul forget about it, life’s to precious to waste valuable time with meaningless pursuits, that is why my book when published may not rent in heavy volume sails, may not incorporate many full stops but mentioning that the letter V is found in the open book of life the forked tongue of the biblical snake the cloven hoof of the goat the corners of a hexagon the chemistry symbol of our bodies & what bees industrially make, I have something to say in my book ANTICHRIST RESERECTION. Yours faithfully, CAA

  3. It’s always good to hear these stories. Sometimes, they feel like urban legends – tall tales passed from author to author. I think you might be able to add Celestine Prophecy to the list. The author – as the rumor goes – sold it originally out of the trunk of his car.

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