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Three Famous Authors Who Self-Published (and How They Did It)

Many people assume that an author can’t be successful without the support of a traditional publishing house. However, that's no longer true. Here are three authors who achieved fame and fortune through self-publishing.

E.L. James

British author E.L. James began her writing career by publishing stories online. A small Australian publisher, The Writer’s Coffee Shop, eventually picked up James’ erotic Fifty Shades trilogy and offered the novels via e-book and print on demand. Vintage Books acquired the rights to James’ work, and the rest is history. To date, James has sold over 70 million books worldwide and a film adaptation of her famous novel, Fifty Shades of Grey, is slated to hit theaters on February 13, 2015.

Lisa Genova

In 2007, neuroscientist Lisa Genova penned a novel about a professor who struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. Lisa had no luck with traditional publishers, so she decided to self-publish with iUniverse. The novel, Still Alice, received rave reviews, and Genova landed a lucrative deal with Simon & Schuster. Still Alice eventually debuted at number five on The New York Times Best Seller List.

G.P. Taylor

Graham Peter Taylor, or G.P. Taylor, was a parish priest when he penned his first novel, Shadowmancer. Taylor spent thousands of dollars to self-publish his work, but the investment paid off as he quickly sold several thousand copies of the novel. Following Shadowmancer’s success, Taylor landed a deal with a major publishing house for six additional novels.

No luck getting your novel published? Perhaps self-publishing is for you. Who knows, you could be the next big success story!

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William Pirraglia