Top Ten Books that were Originally Self Published

I love lists.


From ‘to do’ lists to the best films of the 80s. So, I decided it was time to do my own.

Please keep in mind that ‘top this or that’ lists are opinion based. You don’t have to agree with them. It makes me laugh and laugh when I read comments from irate people who disagree and take it personally. Feel free to do that below. I don’t mind.

I am writing this post because I believe in self-publishing. I believe in traditional publishing, too. But there are plenty of those lists. So … here is my top ten list of originally self published books.

10. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

This book is a work of fiction, however has traditional Eastern spiritual ideas that have attracted so many readers worldwide. It’s a New York Times Bestseller and has been published by Random House. The writing is wooden, and it’s the only reason it’s my number ten.

Celestine Prophecy

9. Tamerlane and Other Poems, Edgar Allen Poe

This is Poe’s first ever work and was first published in 1827. While there are 12 copies left in existence, and it is believed to be America’s rarest first edition book, millions of people were glad that Poe eventually continued his writing career. I’m one of them.


8. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Funny how you won’t often hear that this book was originally self-published. Crown Publishing picked it up in 2012 and since then it has made the New York Times Best Seller list.


7. Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch

Walsch went on to write nine other books in this series. This spiritual book can be enjoyed by those from any religion, including your everyday atheist. It’s a memoir on how the author came to find God.


6. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

First published in 1884, even Australians know the name of this classic piece of American literature.

the adventuref of huck

5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

One of the most famous Christmas stories of all time was a self-published novella by Charles Dickens. Who doesn’t know the name Ebenezer Scrooge?

Charles Dickens

4. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr.

If you’re a writer, you’ve read this book. And if you haven’t, you should.


3. The Tales of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

Those who have seen the movie will know that this book was written for Noel Moore –the child of Potter’s Governess. It sold 45 million copies.


2. Heal your Body by Louise Hay

This book changed my life. So, of course, it had to be high on the list. Louise Hay has gone on to write many self-help books over the years, and runs the publishing company, Hay House.

Lou hay heal

1. A Time to Kill by John Grisham

This book is one of the reasons I started writing, so of course, it had to be my number one.

A Time to Kill was rejected multiple times and was only picked up by Doubleday after the success of his other novels: The Pelican Brief and The firm, AND after John had printed a measly 5000 copies.


There you have it!

Please feel free to add to the list in the comments.

What self-published books stand out for you?



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One thought on “Top Ten Books that were Originally Self Published

  1. bah
    Now, I’m going to have to check on some of these.

    What self-published books stand out for me besides my own? 😛
    Actually, I will have a list up tomorrow (kind of), so you’ll just have to check out my post.

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