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Self-Publishing Hall of Fame
Featuring Famous Self-Publishers

John Kremer's Self-Publishing Hall of Fame — 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 I’m continually adding new heroes to it. June, 2011. 237-page ebook download. $20.00.

Self-Publishing Hall of Fame Listings

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Lloyd Kahn and friends started Shelter Publications in 1973 with the publication of their namesake book, Shelter. That book has sold more than 250,000 copies since that time. Their bestselling book, Stretching, has sold 3.5 million copies since 1980.

Bernard Kamoroff built his one-person publishing company, Bell Springs Publishing, by selling well over half a million copies of one title, Small Time Operator.

Benjamin Kaplan, author of How to Go to College Almost for Free, turned down several six-figure offers from major publishers before he went on to self-publish his book. By the time he sold 25,000 copies, he was featured in a major story in the Sunday New York Times business section. At the ripe old age of 23, he sold reprint rights for that book and The Scholarship Scouting Report to HarperCollins for seven figures.

Joe Karbo self-published The Lazy Man's Way to Riches, which he sold primarily via mail order and full-page ads in newspapers and magazines. He sold millions of copies of this short book before he died.

In 1981, John Katzman founded the Princeton Review by preparing 15 high school students for the SAT exam with an intensive six-week course offering a systematic approach to achieving higher test scores. The Princeton Review now helps millions of students every year to score better on standardized tests and navigate the college and graduate school admissions process through its courses, books, software, and websites.

In 2008, Minnesota inventor Tim Kehoe self-published his middle-grade story, The Unusual Mind of Vincent Shadow, with the help of illustrator Mike Wohnoutka. With regional booksellers rallying around the book, it wasn’t long before editor Nancy Conescu of Little, Brown signed up the book (along with another) through Kehoe’s agent, Sloan Harris at ICM. The book will be republished in fall 2009.

As a 19-year-old Harvard student in 1968, Kent Keith self-published a book of aphorisms as a motivational booklet for high school student governments. Under the title of Anyway, his words were often attributed to others, including Mother Teresa, Bishop Abel Muzorewa of Zimbabwe, psychiatrist Karl Menninger, Milwaukee clergyman Guy Gurath, and Cleveland high school wrestling coach Howard Ferguson. Several years ago while attending a Rotary luncheon, Kent heard another speaker quote his words, only to discover that his words had made it around the world and back again. He then wrote a longer book and sold the rights to Inner Ocean Publishing, which in turn collected $250,000 in foreign rights sales to 12 countries and $300,000 in reprint rights to Penguin. His Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments was published with a national publicity and distribution push by Penguin.

In 1918, to make it easier for him to buy used cars for his Kelley Kar Company in Los Angeles, California, Les Kelley began to circulate a list of automobiles he wished to buy and the prices he was willing to pay for them. The other dealers and banks which received his list began to trust his judgement as an accurate reflection of the current real values for the cars that they began asking for updated copies. In 1926, Kelley published the first Blue Book of Motor Car Values. The Kelley Blue Book is now the standard authoritative source for used car values.

After winning the 1999 Writer's Digest National Self-Published Book Award for his book, Dad Was a Carpenter, Kenny Kemp got an agent and sold the reprint rights to the book to Harper San Francisco for a six-figure sale.

Ken Keyes, Jr. self-published The Handbook of Higher Consciousness and many other titles, all of which sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

Sisters Ursula Inga Kindred and Mirranda Guerin-William self-published their book Sister Gumbo, which employed first-person interviews to take a frank look at life and sexuality from the female perspective. After the book became an Essence bestseller, they sold rights to that book and a follow-up book, Mister Gumbo to St. Martin's, with the help of agent Jenny Bent of Trident Media Group.

Stephen King became the first big name writer to self-publish a novel via serialized format on the Internet. He published the first installment of his novel The Plant on July 24, 2000 via his web site at He posted the second installment four weeks later on August 21st. More than a half a million people viewed the novel.

In 2006, Kaza Kingsley self-published her middle-grade fantasy Erec Rex: The Dragon’s Eye and sold 30,000 copies on her own through bookstores and other appearances. Borders selected the book as one of their Original Voices picks. The next year, she self-published a sequel, The Monsters of Otherness. Only then did she sign with an agent, Richard Curtis.

In 2008, Curtis sold an 8-book series to Simon & Schuster, which published the first two books as trade paperbacks in April, 2009. In June, 2009, they published the third book as a hardcover original.

Robert Kiyosaki sold more than a million copies of his self-published Rich Dad, Poor Dad in less than three years. He went on to have many other major bestsellers in the series. In 2006, he began Rich Publishing to publish his wife's book, Rich Woman, as well as other books including Why We Want You to Be Rich: Two Men—One Message by himself and Donald Trump. Both books went on to be bestsellers. (Longer story in John Kremer's Self-Publishing Hall of Fame.)

After graduating from college, Natasha Kogan published a 10-page booklet about her secrets of writing a great college thesis. Several years later, she revised and published her guide, Conquering Your Undergraduate Thesis. Nataly and her husband, Avi Spivak, have gone on to publish other college guides under the Students Helping Students series.

Allan Kornblum, publisher of the nonprofit Coffee House Press, began by publishing his own books. He now publishes books by other poets and literary novelists.

John Kremer, author and publisher of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books and developer of this hall of fame, is not above promoting himself, even in this hall of fame. He has helped thousands of authors and publishers to get their books on or near the bestseller lists. Indirectly, at the very least, he has inspired the sales of more than a billion books.

31-year-old Cambodian refugee Vuthy Kuon self-published his first book, Humpty Dumpty After the Fall, a sequel to the old nursery rhyme, as the first step to launching Providence Publishing, which has published seventeen books.

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 — 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 I’m continually adding new heroes to it. A great motivational and educational tool! June 2011. 237-page ebook download. $20.00.

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

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