Any writer can tell you that finishing a novel is only half the battle. Getting a publisher to take a chance on you and publish your work is often even tougher than writing the book in the first place. But lucky for writers, the publishing industry is in the middle of a huge shift. E-books are becoming just as popular, if not more, than physical books, meaning it is a lot easier to get your work out there for people to read.
Amazon has a self-publishing program, as does Kobo, and there are websites that allow writers to publish their own stories, free of charge (Smashwords, for example). So, what is stopping every aspiring novelist from posting their work online, and skipping the traditional publisher, altogether?
There used to be a stigma against self publishing and literary agents still tend to advise against it, but that is quickly becoming a thing of the past, thanks to the success of a handful of best selling self-published authors. There are writers who have become millionaires just by publishing their own e-books. The traditional publishers have become the ones that have to fight for writers, instead of the other way around. The writer has already accomplished the hardest part – building a fan base. Here is our list of 10 of the biggest authors that started out self-published.
10. David Chilton – The Wealthy Barber
Published in 1989, out of his own basement, David Chilton’s book of financial planning advice, The Wealthy Barber, remains one of Canada’s best selling books of all time. Chilton was pursuing a B.A in Economics when he wrote the book, which was aimed specifically at people with little investment experience. The narrative style of the book made it relatable and easy to follow, making it the go-to advice book for Canadians at the time. In 2008, Chilton wrote a sequel, The Wealthy Barber Returns, and he is now one of the dragons on CBC’s Dragon’s Den.