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Self-Publishing Hall of Fame
Featuring Famous Self-Publishers

John Kremer's Self-Publishing Hall of Fame ó This book features the stories of hundreds of famous self-publishers who have gone on to great success. It also features tips from many of the hall of famers on how to do what they did. I publish this book as an ebook because Iím continually adding new heroes to it. June, 2011. 237-page ebook download. $20.00.

Self-Publishing Hall of Fame Listings

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New Harbinger's president, Patrick Fanning, conceived of founding the company over a box lunch with publisher Matthew McKay. The first book they published, The Relaxation & Stress Reduction Workbook, was one they co-authored. It has now sold over 450,000 copies. New Harbinger grew slowly, with McKay and Fanning writing many titles themselves.

In 1951, Howard Fast couldn't find a publisher for his novel Spartacus because he was a member of the Communist Party and therefore blacklisted at that time. So he published the book himself. It became a bestseller and went on to be made into an incredible movie. In 1956, Fast broke with the Communist Party after revelations of Stalin-era atrocities.

Father and son team Jim and Charles Fay, along with Foster Cline, formed the Love and Logic Institute to self-publish an entire line of self-help parenting books, including Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood, Grandparenting with Love and Logic, Oh Great! What Do I Do Now?, Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers: Love and Logic Parenting for Early Childhood, Hormones & Wheels, Developing Character in Teens, Parenting Teens with Love and Logic, Trouble-Free Teens, and more.

In 1953, Lawrence Ferlinghetti founded City Lights Bookstore. Soon thereafter, he self-published Pictures of the Gone World, his classic book of poems, as the first of many books published by City Lights Books, including such books as Allan Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems. About 30 years later, he became the first living writer to have a San Francisco street named after him.

Nature and environmental photographer John Fielder founded Westcliffe Publishers, which has published 31 of his exhibit format books and guide books, including John Fielder's Best of Colorado and Colorado 1870 - 2000 (Colorado's bestselling book ever).

Canadian lawyers Barry Fish and Les Kotzer sold more than 15,000 copies of their self-published book on wills and estates, The Family Fight: Planning to Avoid It, within the first nine months of publication. Most of those orders were generated via mail order from publicity in publications like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

Books by writing groups do sell. For example, Wednesday Writers: Ten Years of Writing Women's Lives, edited by Elizabeth Fishel and Terri Hinte, hit #7 on the San Francisco Chronicle's bestseller list, right behind Laura Hillenbrand's Seabiscuit.

Bill Fisher began his publishing career by self-publishing performance car manuals in 1947. Later, in 1963, he and his wife Helen founded HP (horse power) Books, which they sold to Knight-Ridder in 1979. Eight years later, they founded another company, Fisher Books.

British poet and translator Edward FitzGerald paid to have the first copies of his translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam published in 1859. The book has sold millions of copies since its first publication. He self-published his first book Euphranor, a Platonic dialogue, in 1851. He self-published a second book, Polonius, a collection of proverbs, in 1852.

Besides selling 7,000 copies of her novels, Renee Daniel Flagler also founded the Self-Publishing Symposium and the Divas of Literature Tour.

E. Randall Floyd founded Harbor House in 1998 to self-publish his Civil War novel Deep in the Heart, which has since sold 100,000 copies. The company now publishes five to ten titles per year. In 2003, Harbor House was named one of the 15 small publisher standouts by Publishers Weekly.

In hopes of getting another bestseller like those from the Delaney sisters, Warner Books paid 98-year-old Jessie Lee Brown Foveaux more than $1 million for the rights to her self-published reminiscences, Any Given Day. The book had been only a modest self-published success.

Les and Sue Fox self-published The Beanie Baby Handbook in 1997. By July of 1998, they had gone back to press eight more times for an in-print total of 3 million copies while the book established itself in the #2 spot on the New York Times bestseller list (under advice, how-to, and miscellaneous). Later in 1998, they published the Beanie Baby Cookbook.

At the age of 26, Ben Franklin, using the pen name of Richard Saunders, self-published his Poor Richard's Almanack in 1732 and continued to produce the almanac for another 26 years. Many of his famous sayings came from the Almanack. Because of the success of his printing and publishing business, Franklin was able to retire at the age of 42. He became one of the world's greatest scientists and inventors (inventing bifocals, the Franklin stove, and the lightning rod). He ended his life as a statesman and one of the key founders of the United States of America as a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Criswell Freemen has compiled and self-published more than 70 books of quotations, including such titles as The Book of Stock Car Wisdom, The Fisherman's Book of Wisdom, The Wisdom of Women's Golf as well as Friends Are Forever, Fathers Are Forever, Mothers Are Forever, etc. He published his first three quote books in 1994: The Book of Country Music Wisdom, Wisdom Made in America, and The Book of Southern Wisdom. Since then, he has sold more than 6 million copies of these gift books.

In 2002, former journalist Mister Mann Frisby sold over 10,000 copies of his self-published urban thriller Blinking Red Light in Philadelphia alone. Then with the help of Los Bravos Management in the fall of 2003, he sold reprint rights to Riverhead for that book as well as a second novel.

In 1985, Ron Fry began Career Press by publishing several career directories that he edited. He went on to publish his classic 101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions and his How to Study program (a series of six books that have sold more than 2 million copies).

Sonia Pressman Fuentes was born in Berlin, Germany, of Polish parents, with whom she came to the U.S. in 1934 to escape the Holocaust. In March 2000, she was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame because of her work for women's rights. She was a founder of NOW and other nationwide women's rights organizations as well as the first woman attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After she retired as an attorney with the federal government, she wrote a memoir, written with a light touch, called Eat FirstóYou Don't Know What They'll Give You: The Adventures of an Immigrant Family and Their Feminist Daughter. The book became an Xlibris bestseller, received rave reviews, and has been used as a textbook at Cornell University and American University.

Louisiana chef John Folse spent $200,000 to self-publish his 800-page Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cooking. So far he has sold over 35,000 copies at $50 a copy for gross sales of $1,750,000.

Visit for more detailed listings of selected honorees. Or read the book above for the most detailed and complete listings.

John Kremer's Self-Publishing Hall of Fame ó This book features the stories of hundreds of self-publishers who have gone on to great success. It also features tips from many of the hall of famers on how to do what they did. I publish this book as an ebook because Iím continually adding new heroes to it. A great motivational and educational tool! June 2011. 256-page ebook download. $20.00.

Inspired? Then do it. But first read 1001 Ways to Market Your Books.

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