First-time author E.L. James was offered $5 million dollars last month for the movie rights to her self-published novel, Fifty Shades of Grey. This self published trilogy has taken off in print and in e-book form.
The novel's success may also have something to do with our collective love of the underdog. The publishing history of Fifty Shades of Grey is a rags-to-riches story. But in America we have had so many self made, self publishers, Mark Twain among them.
Self-publishing success stories are an American tradition, one in which the revolutionary/genius/outsider triumphs. From Stephen Day in 1640 who used the first printing press to publish editions of the Bay Psalm Book to Ben Franklin’s self-published paperbound pamphlet Poor Richard's Almanac. And in 1776, Thomas Paine self published "Common Sense," that sold over 500,000 copies and helped start the American Revolution.
Self-published authors are the literary equivalent of self-made men and women. Self-publishing serves as an alternative to the sluggish world of mainstream publishing.
These "author-services companies" don't offer publishing deals, advances, or publicity agents because there's no inventory and no investment. It's all done via the internet, which allows publishers to print copies of books per request.
Self-publishing offers anyone with a manuscript the opportunity to publish. Interested in self-publishing? Contact The Country Press.
Excerpts from The Atlantic