Deciding to become an author and write for a living has always been a difficult task. Despite people thinking that the time of great writers has passed and that the classics will forever be the best think humans are capable of, modern authors are proving everyone wrong. It is not the same to pick up a book by a young, aspiring writer, and a book that changed the history of the world due to its importance and the views of the famous author. The difficulty of this line of work are perhaps best known to those who are struggling to have their work published. In the modern day and age, all sorts of books find publishing houses so it can be quite discouraging when one is repeatedly refused.
The alternative would be to self-publish your book to get your career off the ground and to simply have books on the shelves and bookstores. It is the harder path to take and a less certain one, but many who have done it managed to turn things around as soon as their second book was there. Sometimes, you have to do your own heavy lifting and invest in self-publishing to gain traction and recognition. Be it 10, 100, or 500 copies, you will at least be trying your best until somebody picks your book up.
As an author who is thinking about self-publishing, there are also certain things you need to know. You have to make certain connections and find the best people to help you print the books and get them to the stores. You will need a good editor and the right marketing skills. However, the most important thing you need to be equipped with is the knowledge and the experience of those who came before you. Reading the works of now popular authors who have gone through similar struggles will help you realize that anyone can do it, provided their writing is good and that they never give up. In this article we talk about the best books every self-published author needs to read.
1. MindStir Media
If it does not sound like a book, that is because it is not a book. Still, this is the absolute best place to start for any author who requires self-publishing. MindStir Media is actually a self-publishing company that offers amazing packages including mentorships from bestselling authors, custom book designs, professional edits, all sorts of assisted work, distribution, printing, marketing, and PR. They also offer royalties up to the full 100%. Best of all, they have a ton of their books available for you to browse from written by authors who were just like you once, in need of professional help and looking for their place in the world of writing. Any book you pick there can help you become better and make you realize that what you need is the right type of help. Make sure to check it out by visiting mindstirmedia.com.
2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit
The famous, original Peter Rabbit was written by Beatrix Potter who had to self-publish it as she could not find any publisher interested in her books about bunnies. She published 500 copies of the first iteration in black and white, and the rest is history. You have heard about it, haven’t you? This is all the proof you need that self-publishing has worked for decades and it still works today.
3. The Martian
Yes, that Martian, the one that has a Hollywood blockbuster starring Matt Damon based on it. The Martian was originally an internet blog where enthusiasts and space geeks came to talk about living on Mars. Andy Weir published the book himself in 2011 and soon it started to get more and more people interested in it. In 2014, the book found its publisher, Crown Publishing. Before long, he had a wide audience and now everybody knows it because of the iconic 2015 movie.
4. Fifty Shades of Grey
The famous book and movie series has had quite a story since its conception on paper, at the end of a pencil held by E. L. James. Not everyone realized it at the time of its global dominance, but her series started as Twilight fan fiction that James wrote under the pen name of Snowqueens Icedragon. Some of the quotes and dialogues are so similar in nature that they can fit perfectly in either franchise, evident by fan sites and quizzes that have you guessing who said them and where. The first book was self-published as an eBook and print on demand in 2011. In March of next year, Vintage Books picked up the publishing rights.
Although not on the same level as some other fantasy books like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings, Eragon is an entertaining read and a genre classic. The author, Christopher Paolini, was only 15 when he started writing it. His parents decided to self-published it several years later following a rewrite. A promotion tour ensued and the book was discovered and republished by Alfred A. Knopf. Years later, when he was teaching middle school English, his students would approach him asking about the book never realizing it was his. He also had no idea how viral it was becoming. It is safe to say his teen years imagination and the will of his parents to publish the book changed his life for the better.
Five More to Consider
If we were to mention all of them, this article would span a dozen pages. Once you are done with the above-mentioned five, read the following five too:
- Legally Blonde – Amanda Brown
- The Celestine Prophecy – James Renfield
- The Joy of Cooking – Irma Rombauer
- Theft of Swords – Michael J. Sullivan
- Whiskey Sour – J. A. Konrath
Books Everyone Should Read
You should not only ready books by your fellow colleagues, the self-published authors of the past and present. There are also some iconic titles you should read and have in your library for educational purposes and to improve your own writing. Role models are important and studying the greats can only help you become better. Make sure to read these:
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
- 1984 – George Orwell
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling
- The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
- The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald