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Below is one of ten reports about successful self-publishing methods that will run in the next issue of SPM.

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Indie Authors: Ten Top Newsmakers of 2013
by Danny O. Snow

[New York – 31 Dec 2013] As loyal readers of SPM already know, 2013 was unquestionably a watershed year for indie readers and writers. Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMNZ) announcement on December 3 that fully 25% of its top 100 e-Books originated from Kindle Direct Publishing (a favorite outlet among self-publishing writers) left little doubt that self-published books are here to stay – and enjoying growing popularity from readers who prefer more edgy, eclectic reading material than the usual fare from old school publishers.

Looking at 2013 in retrospect, IR has compiled an equally eclectic list of indie authors who achieved widespread media recognition this year.

For context, consider that nearly 400,000 new books were published by their authors in 2012 – in the US alone – as reported by Publishers Weekly (9 Oct 2013). This boom in self-publishing has created unprecedented new opportunities and challenges for today’s readers and writers alike. For authors, competition for getting discovered has never been tougher; for readers, separating the proverbial wheat from the chaff has become equally daunting – giving rise to IR and other outlets that specialize in helping today’s readers discover the best new voices before the teeming millions.

IR hopes that the following list (in alphabetical order) of indie writers who beat the odds in 2013 will at once hearten lovers of books that don’t fit the cookie-cutter mold of “commercial” publishing, while inspiring as-yet undiscovered writers with real-life examples of self-published books struck by lightning over the past year.

  • British novelist Mark Bastable, author of Icebox and Mischief, both conventionally published by Headline in 2000 and 2002, went against the grain and self-published his newest work, The Penny Falls in 2013 as an e-Book. It enjoyed prominent coverage by “The Telegraph” of London, and other US-UK-EU publications.
  • Amy Cross, self-published author of The Girl Who Never Came Back was among the successful indie writers cited by Amazon in its list of Top 100 e-Books of 2013.
  • Popular “Fan Fiction” writer Barbara Freethy worked with Big Bang Press to bankroll her latest book using “crowdfunding” from Crowdsourcing, already popular among musicians, is rapidly gaining traction with indie authors. A new crowdfunding site specifically designed for writers,, is now helping self-publishers to secure funding for publication of books.
  • Self-published media darling Hugh Howey of “Wool” fame sold more than half a million copies of his latest e-Book before he sold print (only) rights to Simon & Schuster. He retains e-rights as a self-publisher.
  • Forbes touted “How Mike Michalowicz Went from Unknown, Self-Published Author to Mainstream Publishing Success” in its 4 June 2013 issue.
  • Sergio De La Pava self-published A Naked Singularity and won the $25,000 PEN / Robert W. Bingham Prize for his sprawling novel about a public defender. It garnered media coverage from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Slate and many other news outlets.
  • Paul Pilkington, self-published author of The One You Love as an e-Book “said that sales ‘just took off’ in July 2011, and he went on to sell more than 150,000 copies of two self-published novels after making the first book available for free as a taster. He hit the top of the Amazon Kindle chart first in the US, and two weeks later in the UK, and literary agents soon began circling,” said The Guardian. In the spring of 2013 he signed with Hodder & Stoughton to publish his series in paperback in the UK and around the world in 2014.
  • The self-published author of The Kissing Booth, 19-year-old physics student Beth Reeks, was named as one of Time Magazine’s 16 most influential teenagers in the world – alongside Justin Bieber and Barack Obama’s daughter Malia – on the strength of her romantic fiction.
  • A.G. Riddle (self-published author of The Atlantis Gene) topped Amazon’s list of indie bestsellers for December 10, 2013, as reported by
  • Rachel Thompson self-published two humorous chick-lit Kindle bestsellers (Walk in the Snark and Mancode: Exposed) before penning a more serious, literary crossover work titled Broken Pieces about sex abuse survival, published in 2013. Thanks in part to Thompson’s 200,000+ followers on Twitter, it reached #1 in Amazon’s e-Book category for Women’s Studies and Gender Studies within two weeks of release. In December of 2013, it also hit #1 on Amazon’s Women’s Poetry list.

Of course, the success stories above demonstrate the exception rather than the rule in today’s ever-evolving book world. But they are proof positive that undiscovered writers now have a better chance than ever of getting noticed... with HARD WORK and LUCK! Stay tuned to SPM for more success stories and news you can use, month after month.

The report above will run in the next issue of SPM, with many more hands-on, low-hype articles by leading experts to help you succeed in self-publishing.

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