10 Successful Self-Published Books to Take Inspiration From

Publishing books is a very tedious process. After the writer completes a manuscript, it will go through proofreading. The creation of illustrations and book covers come next. After the book becomes print ready, the press receives it for printing. Indeed, you need to take a number of steps before successfully publishing a book.

Traditionally publishing a book is already a long and arduous process. How much more if you opt to self-publish your manuscript? Don’t worry, though. Self-publishing has its own merits. Here are some of the successful self-published books to take inspiration from.


Eragon (Christopher Paolini)


At the age of 15, Christopher Paolini began writing his first book entitled Eragon. His parents saw his final manuscript and decided to have it self-published through their own home-based publishing company in 2001. It was the first out of four books in The Inheritance Cycle series. Eragon bagged the third-best-selling children’s hardback book of 2003 as well as the second-best-selling paperback of 2005 awards. It also grabbed a spot in the New York Times Children’s Books Best Seller list for a total of 121 weeks.


Unlawful Deeds (David S. Brody)

Unlawful Dees

Unlawful Deeds may have only sold 3,000 copies since its publication. However, it is one of the successful print-on-demand books nowadays. Written by attorney-turned-fiction writer David S. Brody, self-publishing company iUniverse helped in getting Unlawful Deeds out in the market in December 1999.


The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)

The Celestine Prophecy

With repeated rejections as the reason, James Redfield decided to self-publish his book entitled The Celestine Prophecy. He initially had 100,000 copies printed. Redfield then sold them straight out from his car trunk. Fortunately, Warner Books took note of The Celestine Prophecy, which eventually lead to its commercial publication. This book is now raking in profits for selling more than 20 million copies.


The Tale of Peter Rabbit (Beatrix Potter)

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Authored by Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Peter Rabbit is one of the most well-loved children’s books of all time. Receiving no luck after pitching the manuscript to at least six publishers, Potters decided to self-publish. She printed only 250 copies initially. A year after the initial publication, F. Warne & Co picked up the book. After getting The Tale of Peter Rabbit traditionally published, the book immediately sold 20,000 copies.


Fifty Shades Trilogy (E.L. James)

Fifty Shades Trilogy

The Fifty Shades of Grey book is one of the unconventional self-published books nowadays. Originally, James published the book online, specifically on FanFiction.net and on her own website, as a fanfiction story of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. However, to publish Fifty Shades of Grey without plagiarism issues, it was imperative to cut out and edit all Twilight references from the manuscript. Eventually, the book became popular as a mainstream title.


Riyria Revelation (Michael J. Sullivan)

The Riyria Revelations Series

Michael J. Sullivan is one of the unlucky authors whose works got rejected by commercial publishers for 10 years. However, The Riyria Revelation became the lucky star that served as the silver lining to Sullivan’s writing career. The Riyria Revelation is a series of six volumes. After publication, The Riyria Revelation has successfully sold more than 90,000 copies.


Legally Blonde (Amanda Brown)

Legally Blonde

Amanda Brown authored her first book entitled Legally Blonde while taking inspiration from her experiences during her stay at Stanford Law School. The novel gave birth to the iconic character Elle Wood. Brown self-published Legally Blonde as a print-on-demand book at first before it got traditionally published.

The Martian (Andy Weir)

The Martian

After failing to get prior books published, Andy Weir decided to publish The Martian on his own. Of course, he didn’t go the traditional route of paying a self-publishing company. Instead, he opted to put his manuscript live on his own website. He posted one chapter at a time. Due to insistent demand from fans, Weir published a Kindle version of The Martian and priced it at $0.99. It was then that Crown Publishing took note of his book and offered to buy it at $100,000.


Remembrance of Times Past (Marcel Proust)

Remembrance of Things Past

Marcel Proust originally submitted the first volume of his novel entitled Remembrance of Times Past to several publishers. This volume, entitled Swann’s Way, was rejected several times though. After repeated rejections, Proust decided to pay for the cost of publication himself.


The Joy of Cooking (Irma S. Rombauer)

Joy of Cooking

Penned by Irma S. Rombauer, The Joy of Cooking contains culinary recipes that are easy for average cooks to follow. Rombauer had the book printed by A.C. Clayton with an initial 3,000 copies. Five years later, Bobbs-Merrill Company commercially published the book. From there, the book has enjoyed popularity with American cooks and homemakers. Currently, the book has already sold more than 18 million copies.

If you want to be one of the authors that enjoyed success through self-publishing, consider taking advantage of online self-publishing options available to you. Legaia Books Online can provide you the best experience in online self-publishing. Give us a call today at 1 (844) 692-2665 to know what we have to offer.

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