Indie Publishing Success Stories and How You Can Achieve Success

Hello Fellow Authors!

I recently came back from a wonderful conference in Hyannis, MA. The Cape Cod Writer’s Center organized a fabulous conference all about indie publishing and how easy it can be to get your name out there and get recognized. As a speaker at the conference, I reminded the participants about some now famous authors who started out self-publishing their own e-books. They created a brand for themselves by using social media marketing and focusing on their local and regional areas.

Take a look at some of these indie publishing success stories:

Vince Flynn, best-selling author of political thriller novels, such as Term Limits, Transfer of Power, and Separation of Power. His manuscript was rejected 60 times, so he self-published Term Limits. He had a great story, skilled writing, and an effective marketing plan. Next thing you know, Pocket Books (an imprint of Simon & Schuster) offered him a very sweet publishing deal. But they never would have picked him up if he hadn’t already demonstrated success by publishing on his own.

Darcy Chan was an unknown writer, and after keeping her manuscript on her hard drive for years, discovered the possibilities of e-books. She called it her “e-book experiment.” She uploaded The Mill River Recluse to Amazon’s Kindle Store, set up a website and a Facebook author page, and opened up a Twitter account. She kept the price of the e-book very low, and started looking around for places to advertise that were affordable but highly targeted toward readers of e-books, such as websites and blogs of people who review e-books. She sold 100 books, saved the profits, and rolled it into getting a paid review by Kirkus Reviews. The review was extremely positive. She used it to its fullest extent and the review went viral. Next thing you know, Ballantine Books was very interested in her. She signed a deal with them to write two more books in a series.

There’s more to her story and others, so I encourage you all to Google them to see their personal success stories.

Amanda Hocking is the author of the Trylle Trilogy. This young girl has been writing literary fiction since she was 17. At age 26, she was unable to find a publisher, so she self-published an e-book. With the right marketing mix and a really good story that targeted young adults so precisely, she sold 1.5 million copies on her own. St. Martin’s Press noticed and signed her to a deal reportedly worth over $2 million in 2011, and it is now optioned for two films.

The infamous EL James and the 50 Shades Trilogy. It was first released as an e-book and print-on-demand paperback in May 2011 through a virtual publisher in Australia. Mother’s reading groups were formed all over the world, but one particular group was based out of NY. A friend of this group happened to be an editor for one of the big publishing houses. The book became the subject of a bidding war and Vintage books, the imprint of Random House, won the bid.

Fifteen e-books with self-publishing origins are in Amazon’s Kindle top 100 overall for 2012. Check out these articles for information about best selling self-published e-books:

Smashwords Top-10 Best Selling Self-Published E-books

The Bestselling Self-Published Kindle Books of 2012

Self-Published Title Hits No. 1 on Ebook Best-Seller List for First Time

Self-Published Bestsellers

Self-Publishing Success Stories: The Anatomy of a Kindle Bestseller

If you think literary agencies and traditional publishers do not take a serious look at these, think again! I encourage all of my authors to get as much exposure for their book as they can. One of the biggest boosts to help brand an author and his/her book is to obtain as many professional reviews and book awards as possible. Then try and post it to every social media site you can, all with direct links to the book on Amazon or If sales increase as a result, and the book gets higher up on Amazon’s list, traditional publishers and literary agents will take notice.

This is how all of the self-published authors who went on to sign big book deals with traditional publishers made it. Of course, you have to have great content that sells to a particular niche reader. Once an author can hone in on his or her readership, that is the first key to success. To learn more about how to achieve success with indie publishing, contact SDP Publishing.

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) offers optimal publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copyediting, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

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