Need a little dose of inspiration? As you think about beginning on a self-publishing adventure, you might be wondering what could happen on the other side of publication. The experience of having your words in print, available for all to read, will itself be exciting. But what might a true self-publishing success story look like?

There are plenty of mishaps, author mistakes, and one-hit wonders that we see every day. However, a true publishing success story—maybe where an author receives a book-to-movie adaptation—is hard to come by.

Self-publishing success stories can come in many forms. Having a runaway hit that sells millions of copies would certainly be thrilling, but the truth is that even a very modest success can be life-changing for an author. Watching the number of sold copies ticking each day upward, receiving a first fan letter, and being offered new writing opportunities all point to success.

5 Best Self-Publishing Success Stories for Inspiration

To provide a small glimpse into what your future could be like when you decide to self-publish your book, here is a sampling of stories about successful self-publishing authors.

1. Andy Weir

Andy Weir’s The Martian began as a blog, where he posted the tale of a man stranded on Mars one chapter at a time. As Brianne Alphonso explains in Electric Lit, “Since people seemed pretty into the story, Weir decided to compile the chapters and sell it on Amazon for just $0.99.” Eventually, the self-publishing success story was atop the New York Times bestseller list and then became a feature film starring Matt Damon.

2. Dr. Deane Waldman, MD, MBA

Physician, educator and author Dr. Deane Waldman self-published Our Allies Have Become Our Enemies, the first eBook in his seven-book series “Restoring Care to American Healthcare” with the help of the services of Gatekeeper Press. The result was that the eBook became an Amazon Bestseller for the first month after launch!

3. James Redfield

Although the digital age has made self-publishing a much more popular choice, it is nothing new. As  Ronald H. Balson recalls in the Huffington Post, author James Redfield self-published The Celestine Prophecy in 1992. He was selling copies out of the trunk of his car before Warner Books eventually took the book on, and it became a well-known #1 hit, making Redfield one of the pioneers of successful self-publishing authors.

4. Lindsay Buroker

When Lindsay Buroker finished the first book in her Emperor’s Edge series, she didn’t want to go hunting for an agent, and she was concerned that a traditional publisher wouldn’t like that the book didn’t neatly fit into any one genre. So she decided to go the self-publishing route, and, as writer John Matthew Fox relays in his blog, “In a year — a single year! — she published four eBooks and was able to transition away from her day job and make writing a full-time occupation.”

5. E.L. James

The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James is a well-known worldwide smash success. But not everyone is aware that the story began as online fan fiction before James did rewrites and decided to publish it as an eBook. Word-of-mouth helped make the series a sensation, and now well over 100 million copies have been sold.

Thinking of Writing the Next Best-Selling Self-Published Books?

Are you ready to try your hand at becoming like one of these self-publishing success stories? Visit Gatekeeper Press to learn about our array of editing and publishing services so that you can get quickly on your way to publication.