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From Self-Pub Success to New York

November 6, 2012


As an author who views my writing career as a business, I always need to know what’s going on in publishing. I certainly wasn’t one to jump right into the fray when digital self-publishing came along and Amazon changed the royalty terms from 35% to 70% (btw, no one can achieve this 70% rate from Amazon, it breaks down to more a 65% average when you take in the delivery fees they charge per book and the countries where you can only make 35%). But when my circumstances changed–as in no more NY contract–self-publishing for me seemed the right thing to do.

And at one time, New York publishers wouldn’t have touched a self-published book with a ten-foot pole. Not so now. Now they’re shelling out some pretty significant money to buy enormously self-published books.  So what I’ve done is compile a list of previously self-published books that now have a new home with New York. It’s interesting to note the genre of these books. Not a historical, suspense or paranormal in the bunch….

SLAMMED and POINT OF RETREAT by Colleen Hoover – Simon & Schuster – Atria Books
BEAUTIFUL DISASTER  by Jamie McGuire – Simon & Schuster – Atria Books
BARED TO YOU by Sylvia Day – Penguin Group
TAKING CHANCES by Molly McAdams – HarperCollins
DOWN TO YOU by M. Leighton – Penguin Group (Berkley)
EASY by Tammara Webber – Penguin Group
ON DUBLIN STREET by Samantha YOUNG – Penguin Group
CRASH and CLASH by Nicole Williams – HarperCollins
LOVE UNSCRIPTED by Tina Reber – Simon & Schuster – Atria Books
THE VINCENT BROTHERS and THE VINCENT BOYS by Abbi Glines – Simon & Schuster – Simon Pulse
ANYTHING HE WANTS by Sara Fawkes – St. Martin’s Press (serial)
THOUGHTLESS & EFFORTLESS by S.C. Stephens – Simon & Schuster – Gallery Books

Authors who said NO to NY. (Such a tiny list)

Ruth Cardello (writes contemporary Harlequin Present type books) turned down a 7 figure 3 book deal to continue to self-publish.


Did you purchase any of the above books when they were still self-published?

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  1. I didn’t read them before or after.

  2. I have purchased and enjoyed many self-published books; however, the ones I read are not on the list you gave. This only means that I did not come across these particular titles in my daily internet-surfing. With an effective brand and judicious web-publicity, I believe a self-published author can do well.

  3. I have to wonder too why no historicals!!!

  4. I’ve heard about all of these books (haven’t read them all). Some I already knew have been re-released traditionally and others new to me. I can’t say I’m surprised since most of these books I’ve heard buzz about them prior to them being traditionally published. If it means reaching new readership – people who do not read digital, are not a member of an online reading community, or find their books via library or in-store browsing will have a chance to discover these books. That is great.

    I see a lot of New Adult and Fifty Shades erotic style in this mix. I have noticed a lot of authors writing in other genres do well too.

    I read both traditionally published and self-published books and enjoy them all.

  5. I do read self published, but none of these (not really in the genre I love). Interesting to know that they started out as self pub though.

  6. I do read self published books, however, I haven’t read any of those on the list. I find it interesting that there are no historical, or paranormal on the list.

  7. You missed On The Island, which I was intrigued to see on the “what we’re reading” table at my local indie bookstore.

  8. I read self published but haven’t read these. Why no historicals on the list.

  9. I’ve read a few of those and have seen a lot of them on Amazon. I didn’t know that Down to You got picked up. I’ve been eyeing that one for a few weeks now.

  10. I have read some of those. You can add The Sea of Tranquility to that list which got picked up by Simon and Schuster too.

  11. I read about half of those before they got picked up. The others, I’d heard of, but wasn’t interested in. Out of the ones I’ve read, Easy and On Dublin Street were both fantastic. I follow lots of book blogs, so I tend to hear about the books that are getting lots of buzz, but once they get released by a major publisher, the price goes up and then there is no way I would buy them.

  12. I read Beautiful Diaster months ago, on a recommendation from several others as a good alpha male book. FYI: I don’t believe the book truly had an alpha male, just a false projection of one. I wasn’t impressed really.

    Of course Easy and On Dublin Street are on my Kindle on the much neglected TBR list.

  13. Haven’t read any listed above, and I do read self-published books as well as published. I do have On Dublin Street on my kindle, and have read a couple of chapters but can’t get into it so have put it aside. Unlike others, it has not caught my interest. So maybe I will read it sometime in the future when I ran out of other books to read.

  14. I’ve been thinking about getting On Dublin Street.

  15. No. I’ve heard of a couple of the authors and have read an historical written by Sylvia Day. But other than that, that’s it. The rest don’t look like books I’d be interested in in any format.

  16. I’m happy that more and more writers are getting the opportunity to publish with the Big 6 because it means greater exposure for their books —

    I think for publishers, picking up indie writers is a win-win for them — with books already out, they see how big the market is for such stories.

    But I’m also happy to see that some writers are sticking to their guns and staying indie —

  17. I read On Dublin Street after seeing a great review here. It is always interesting to see how publishing changes all the time.

  18. I happened to pick up Slammed while it was self-pubbed (I don’t recall how I even found out about it) and I loved it. Not my usual genre but I fell in love with it and then went on to buy the 2nd in the series and am awaiting the 3rd. I’m all for reading a self-pubbed book. I could care less how it’s published as long as it as a well written, engaging story.

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