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Self-publishing is the best option for today's writers!



"Many famous books were first published by their authors; some still are. Self-publishing is an American tradition. Since the early days of the New World, the person with the printing press was often the author, publisher, printer and bookshop. Below is a just a small sampling of important books that were originally self-published."

-- Dan Poynter, a 1stBooks publisher
and author of almost 80 books,
including The Self-Publishing Manual.


  • What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles: 22 editions, five million copies and 288 weeks on the bestseller lists. Now published by Ten Speed Press.

  • In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters: over 25,000 copies sold directly to consumers in its first year. Then it was sold to Warner, which sold 10 million more.

  • Real Peace by Richard M. Nixon.

  • The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. His manuscript made the rounds of the mainstream houses, and then he decided to publish himself. He started by selling copies out of the trunk of his Honda -- over 100,000 of them. He subsequently sold out to Warner for $800,000. The number-one bestseller in 1996, it has now sold more than 5.5 million copies.

  • The One-Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson, sold over 20,000 copies locally before they sold out to Morrow. It has sold over 12 million copies since 1982 and is in 25 languages.

  • The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White, was originally self-published for his classes at Cornell University in 1918. It has become the 'bible' of style for serious writers around the world.

  • A Time to Kill by John Grisham. He sold his first work out of the trunk of his car.

  • The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer, was self-published in 1931 as a project of the First Unitarian Women's Alliance in St. Louis. Today Scribner sells more than 100,000 copies each year.

  • The Macintosh Bible by Arthur Naiman, with over 900,000 sold, has become the bestselling book on Apple products.

  • Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard, has been in print more than 45 years; 20 million copies are in print and it has been translated into 22 languages. The book started a movement and later a church.

  • Feed Me, I'm Yours by Vicky Lansky, sold 300,000 copies. She sold out to Bantam, and they sold eight million more.

  • The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans. This 87-page book took him six weeks to write. He published it and promoted it himself. It did so well he sold out to Simon & Schuster for $4.2 million. It hit the top of the bestseller list and was translated into 13 languages.

  • The Jester Has Lost His Jingle by Barbara Salzman, was turned down by eight publishers. It became a bestseller.

  • Travel Free by Ben Dominitz, who then founded Prima Publishing. Prima now has 1,500 titles, 140 employees and does $60-million worth of business a year.

  • The Self-Publishing Manual by Dan Poynter, has 132,000 copies in print after 11 revised editions since 1979. As a result of this book, he has been called "the godfather to thousands of books."

Other well-known self-publishers include: Deepak Chopra, Louise Hay, Mark Twain, Ken Keyes Jr., Gertrude Stein, Zane Grey, Upton Sinclair, Carl Sandburg, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Ezra Pound, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Stephen Crane, Mary Baker Eddy, George Bernard Shaw, Anais Nin, Thomas Paine, Virginia Woolf, e.e. cummings, William Blake, Edgar Allen Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Henry David Thoreau, Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Alexandre Dumas, W.E.B. DuBois, and Robert Ringer.




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