The Martian, by Andy Weir

From an online serial novel to an award-winning film, Andy Weir’s tale of an astronaut stranded on Mars is a true self-publishing success story. With the combination of compelling story-telling, science, and an excellent sense of humor, The Martian sold 35,000 e-book copies over Amazon before being sold to the Crown Publishing Group for over US$ 100,000. In addition, Weir has received the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer for The Martian.

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova

A neuroscientist and author, Lisa Genova self-published Still Alice, the story of a college professor with early Alzheimer’s Disease, with iUniverse in 2007. The book was picked up by Simon & Schuster in 2009, and then published by Pocket Books. Still Alice stayed over 40 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and was eventually made into a popular film of the same name.

The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield

Once a therapist working with abused youth, James Redfield self-published The Celestine Prophecy in 1993. The book follows a narrator journeying to find nine spiritual insights to decode an ancient Peruvian manuscript. Before being picked up by Warner Books, Redfield sold the first 100,000 copies of his book out of the trunk of his car. By May 2005, the book had sold over 20 million copies worldwide and enjoyed a 165-week stay on the New York Times Best Seller list.

The Hacker Series, Meredith Wild

Meredith Wild’s success as self-published author began with Hardwired, the first novel of her Hacker series. Modelled on erotic thriller 50 Shades of Grey, the series follows the exploits of Erica Hathaway, a rising internet entrepreneur, and her business partner Blake Landon. The five-book series was picked up by Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, and came with an advance of US$ 6.25 million. Since then, 500,000 print and digital copies of the Hacker series have been sold, in addition to 1.4 million copies of various books Meredith Wild has sold herself.

Damaged, by H.M Ward

H.M. Ward, a major name in the romance genre, caught her first break with her self-published book Damaged. First published as a New Adult e-book in 2011, Damaged became a #1 best-seller within the genre. Since continuing the series, Ward has sold over 4 million copies while still remaining a self-published author.