Book and Novel
10 Famous Self Published Authors Who Made It Big 10 Famous Self Published Authors Who Made It Big
While becoming a published author is considered a good way to make it big in the industry, these famous self published authors will change... 10 Famous Self Published Authors Who Made It Big

While becoming a published author is considered a good way to make it big in the industry, these famous self published authors will change your mind. You might also think that many best-sellers out there are published by mainstream publishers while the fact is the opposite.

Famous Self Published Authors

The self-published author meaning is a person who writes their work and decides to publish it on their own, without being under the name of any major label. The struggle of self-publishing your book might be on promotional matters and public recognition.

However, many writers could make it even though they didn’t go with a major book publisher. Usually, after a book gets huge recognition and success, publishers will pick up the work and continue the history.

Fifty Shades of Grey and its series are only a few of those self-published books that became movies. Are you surprised now? Well, the list of self-published authors below will surprise you more.

1. EL James

EL James is a big name you may just know after watching her erotic novels on the big screen. Also, no one knows that she was writing the book as a fan fiction story based on Twilight.

James later made some tweaks to the story and changed the characters before finally self-published the first part of Fifty Shades of Grey. Of course, it was a hit and still is.

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After reaping a huge success, she signed a traditional publishing contract for the rest of the series. Until today, her first book has sold over 100 million copies and become one of the fastest-selling paperbacks so far.

2. Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood is also among those who made successful self-published books in the world. One of her most striking works is The Handmaid’s Tale which is now available in a four-season series on Hulu.

margaret atwood famous self published authors who made it big

Besides the novel, Atwood also self-published Double Persephone, an award-winning anthology of poems. It is just another proof that self-publishing your book may bring huge success too.

3. Lisa Genova

Do you remember an Oscar-winning film called Still Alice? Well, that movie is an adaptation of Lisa Genova’s work with the same name. It tells a story about Alzheimer’s disease.

Before Genova took the pull to self-publish her work, she got rejected too many times by many mainstream publishers. Once she decided to go alone and gain tons of popularity, Simon & Schuster made a deal and republished Still Alice in 2009.

4. Mark Twain

Jumping back in the early 19 century, Mark Twain was done with the hassle of working for the companies. Later, he decided to cut the middleman and started making things on his own.

His early works, such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant were his popular self-published books until today.

5. Beatrix Potter

Beatrix Potter was trying to stand on her feet while being a female writer in the early 1900s. Traditional publishers would not want anything with female authors in any circumstance.

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Thus, even though her work called The Tale of Peter Rabbit got scoffed at a lot back then, Potter self-published it for 250 copies. A few moments later, the publisher that rejected Potter picked the book and made a deal. Until today, Peter Rabbit has sold over 45,000,000 copies.

6. Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki is a famous businessman and writer but he was struggling when finding a publisher for his Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Back then, many people told him to cancel the idea in the first place.

However, Kiyosaki went alone and published Rich Dad, Poor Dad by himself. Today, the book has sold over 40,000,000 copies in various languages. Besides, the title has been listed on NYT bestsellers for over 6 years.

7. Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur is a Punjabi-Canadian who has written a bestselling poem book when she was very young. You might have read her book called Milk and Honey, which she published by herself because many publishers closed the door for her. Today, she is one of the most successful authors who publish lots of poems.

rupi kaur famous self published authors who made it big

8. Edgar Allan Poe

If you are a fan of poems and thrillers, Edgar Allan Poe must be one of your favorite writers. His first work called The Lord of The Macabre was a self-published anthology of poetry. He later published several books of poems by himself before finally, a major publisher made a contract to republish his works.

9. Andy Weir

Talking about the self-published authors who made it big, Andy Weir is one of the names you cannot miss. One of his biggest hits is called The Martian who made it to the big screen and was nominated for an Oscar.

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He decided to self-publish his works because he believed that no major publishers would take her novels. So, Weir put his work on a blog where it became a hit rapidly.

Self-publishing The Martian was the right decision for Weir, considering it became a #1 Amazon bestseller soon after getting published. A few moments later, Weir signed a film right and lucrative publishing deal for his work.

10. Virginia Woolf

When it comes to self-published authors, it is not fair without including Virginia Woolf on the list. She was one of the earliest female English writers in history.

She and her husband, Leonard Woolf founded the Hogarth Press in 1917 to publish her novels and other authors at that time. The Woolfs also collaborated professionally a few times and published the works through their private publisher.


For those who wait for their chance to get published by mainstream publishers, you better consider trying to self-publish your work.

It may cost you a bit but it is also a way to show the world who you are through your work. Some black self-published authors have proven their works through this way too.

On the other hand, if you are just looking for something fun to read that is not part of the mainstream book market, the authors above have proven that self-published novels are powerful too. And this is the end section of famous self-published authors who made it big.

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