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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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David Saltzman’s parents self-published his book, The Jester Has Lost His Jingle. It made the bestseller lists.

Victor Salupo, self-published The BS Syndrome, a nonfiction work on BS. Salupo was interviewed by Oprah, Phil Donahue, Tom Snyder, Joan Rivers, and over 1000 radio shows. As a result, he sold over 50,000 copies.

Carl R. Sams II self-published his children's book Stranger in the Woods to great acclaim. They won the 2000 Benjamin Franklin Award for children's picture book, the 2001 Children's Crown Gallery Classic Award, finalist for the 2001 Book Sense Book of the Year, 2001 International Reading Association, and the 2002 Early Childhood News Director's Choice and Judges Awards. Their video Stranger in the Woods: The Movie has won many awards as well, including the 2002 Videographer Award for humor, children's, voice-over talent, and original music; the 2002 Award of Excellence from the Film Advisory Board of Hollywood; the 2002 Kids First! Endorsement, the 2002 Dove Family Seal of Approval, the 2002 Telly Award Finalist (children's and nature categories), and finalist for the 2002 Wildscreen Panda Awards. The book made the New York Times bestseler list for 12 weeks.

“We are just a bit excited about being nominated for Book of the Year! You know it all started when Denise and Cari took your Book Marketing Blast-Off workshop. Since then we won the Ben Franklin Award for Children's Picture Books. We spent 10 weeks plus on the BookSense bestseller list and for two weeks at Christmas we were #4 putting us ahead of the two of the four Harry Potter Books. We have spent 12 weeks on the NY Times bestseller list and have gone as high as #2. We have won the International Reading Association Young Readers Award for fiction. What we are most proud of is that we have raised over $50,000 for wishes for kids and for protecting special places with the Nature Conservancy since the book was released. Thank you setting us off in the right direction.” — Carl R. Sams II

In 2000, Penny Sansevieri published her first novel The Cliffhanger via iUniverse.com. By sending out a few postcards to the right people, she got her book at the top of Amazon.com.

In 1980, John Saxon self-published his Algebra 1 textbook for high school students. Working from his dining room table alongside a sixteen-year-old student, he built his company into the largest family-owned publisher of math, phonics, spelling, and early childhood development programs. The company has 250 employees and annual sales of $75 million.

Since 1971, Susan Polis Schutz and her illustrator husband Stephen have sold 1.5 billion greeting cards and 20 million gift/trade books via their company Blue Mountain Arts.

Diane Schwarzbein sold 6,000 copies of her self-published The Schwarzbein Principle weight loss book before selling a copy to literary agent Barbara Neighbors Deal. Deal, having lost 97 pounds in 10 months, sold a three-book package to Health Communications: the original book plus vegetarian and non-vegetarian cookbooks to help people stay on the diet.

Ronnie Sellers launched his company, Ronnie Sellers Productions, by self-publishing the first edition of The Official Cat Codependents Calendar in 1991. Since then, he has built up a company that currently publishes fifty or more calendars every year.

Canadian poet Robert Service self-published his first book of verse, Songs of a Sourdough, as a private print run for his family and friends. The book, however, began to sell right away. Even the pressmen at the printers were laughing and reciting his verse.

Irish-born British playwright and author George Bernard Shaw started out as a jobbing printer who self-published some of his own work. He went on to write many famous plays, including Pygmalion and Saint Joan. In 1925, he won the Nobel Prize for literature.

English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, author of “Ode to the West Wind,” “To a Skylark,” “Adonais,” and Prometheus Unbound, paid for the publication of his first book.

Recent college graduate Adam Shepard wrote about his experience of starting out with $25 and becoming a success in one year. He sold 10,000 copies of his self-published edition of Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream. He has since sold the rights to HarperCollins for a nice sum of money.

When he couldn’t get any offers on his second novel, Dave Shields self-published The Race in 2004. He sold about 15,000 copies in a year and a half, won the 2005 Ben Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Fiction, and is pursuing a possible film version.

Jason Shiga originally self-published his illustrated book, Meanwhile, in a tabbed format suitable for his story of multiple narratives. His agent, Dan Lazar of Writers House, soon sold the book to Charles Kochman, executive editor at Abrams Book, for release as an Amulet book for spring 2010.

Mary Shoman's self-published book, The Single Woman's Guide to the Available Men of Washington, earned a New York Times Book Review, was featured on MTV and CNN, was picked up in 300 newspapers nationwide (via an AP news story), and was featured on dozens local and regional media outlets.

Susan Shumaker and Than Saffel sold so many copies of their self-published guide Vegetarian Walt Disney World that they could no longer handle production. So they sold the second edition to Globe Pequot. That edition featured a foreward by Paul McCartney.

Cherry Simmonds originally self-published her memoir Nobody in Particular, combined with a radio series produced by Radio New Zealand. With the help of an agent, she sold reprint rights to Bantam in the U.S.

In the 1990s, Maggy Simony self-published a 3-volume series of travel bibliographies, Traveler's Reading Guide: Ready-Made Reading Lists for the Armchair Traveler. Her success in self-publishing these bibliographies led to her books being picked up by Facts on File, where she edited two one-volume updates.

California Literacy's Teacher of the Year for 2004 Alan Sitomer self-published Hip-Hop Poetry and the Classics, his award-winning poetry and writing course work-book, under the Milk Mug Publishing banner.

He also self-published the novel The Hoopster in 2002. In early 2004, editor Wendy Lefkon of Hyperion bought the rights to The Hoopster as part of a three-book deal.

In 1995, Jeff Smith formed Cartoon Books to publish his first Bone comic book. Since then, the Bone fantasy adventure series has been collected into eight volumes, which have sold more than 400,000 copies and earned the Eisner and Harvey awards.

In 2003, the founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, Jeffrey Smith self-published his exposé of the genetically modified crops industry. His book, Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating, helped to stall the introduction of additional genetically engineered crops into the American food chain.

“My consulting meeting with John Kremer was one of the most important factors contributing to the success of my self-published international bestseller, Seeds of Deception. At his advice, I found the ideal distributor, started my institute, made important changes in the book, and confidently set up the marketing plan that has sustained me for years. I recommend to everyone who asks me about writing or publishing a book to speak with John.” — Jeffrey Smith, author and publisher of Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating

In 2004, former star running back Robert Smith of the Minnesota Vikings self-published his biography, The Rest of the Iceberg: An Insider's View on the World of Sport and Celebrity. Not able to find a traditional publisher, he self-published through Ink Water Books, a print-on-demand company. Smith turned down a $20 million contract to continue playing when he retired from professional football in 2001.

Robert Smyth started Yellow Moon Press in 1978 by publishing a book of his poetry. Since then he has published 53 titles on the art of oral tradition and spoken word as it relates to storytelling, poetry, and music. He has published Robert Bly, Ruth Stone, Coleman Barks, Rafe Martin, Gioia Timpanelli and other storytellers.

After Camika Spencer got her self-published novel, When All Hell Breaks Loose, on the Blackboard bestseller list, Villard contacted her and bought the rights.

Jason A. Spencer-Edwards self-published his young adult novel Jiggy and then convinced the New York City Department of Education to approve his books for reading lists. New York schools bought more than 50,000 copies of his books in two years.

Michael Stadther self-published A Treasure Trove: A Fairy tale about Real Treasure for Parents and Children of All Ages and sold hundreds of thousands of copies before selling movie rights to Cruise/Wagner and Paramount.

Heartland cook Jyl Steinback published her early cookbooks on her own. She has since gone on to become one of Perigee's bestselling cookbook authors with books such as Cook Once, Eat for a Week.

Australian author Tony Stephens has sold almost 40,000 copies of his self-published book in Australia alone. He is now working to open the U.S. market for his books.

H. Leighton Steward, Morrison Bethea, Samuel Andrews, and Luis Balart originally self-published and sold 165,000 copies of Sugar Busters! Cut Sugar to Cut Fat in 18 months. The book went on to become a national bestseller when published by Ballantine.

Gregory Stock originally self-published his The Book of Questions. The book later became a #1 bestseller as a Workman edition, selling more than a million copies.

Former cocaine dealer and federal prisoner for seven years Vickie Stringer self-published Let That Be the Reason. She began by hawking her book in beauty parlors and barbershops and to street book vendors. Soon she formed Triple Crown Publications to publish their titles as well. In 16 months, she published 14 additional titles and sold more than 300,000 copies.

In 1918, William Strunk Jr. self-published The Elements of Style for his college classes at Cornell University. The book was later revised by his student E.B. White and published by a regular publisher. The book continues to sell many thousands of copies every year as a standard reference source for writers. It has millions of copies in print.


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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Email: JohnKremer@bookmarket.com

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