How We Hit the NY Times Bestseller List (Why I Believe in Self-Publishing)


I started self-publishing in 2012. Wait, scratch that. I started writing fiction in 2012. Less than two years later, I was in a boxed set of romance novels that hit #21 on the New York Times bestseller list.

boxed set thing

That’s why I believe in self-publishing.

…They say that you should always be reaching out with one hand to pull yourself up, and reaching back with the other to help the next person along. There is nothing that has helped me more in my self-publishing journey than the communities I have joined.

When I was asked to join the boxed set of new adult romance novels with Julia Kent, Emme Rollins, Helena Newbury, and Anna Antonia, I was thrilled beyond belief. I created the front cover for the boxed set and did my best to promote it, and watched in awe as it rose to #5 on the Amazon store. Then we hit the USA Today Bestseller list. Then we hit the NY Times Bestseller list. Then I fainted.

Luck? Sure. But I also spent the last two years dedicating a ton of time and effort to help the communities that play such a big part in my development as a writer…Whenever something was given to me, I tried to find a way to give back.

I fully believe that whatever you give will come back to you if you give it freely. So when people ask me for tips on how to make it big as an author, my best advice is this: stop thinking about making it big, and focus on getting better. Help somebody else make it big. Help somebody else get better. Help somebody else whenever you have the chance, and when you finally get a shot at making it big, you’ll find a world of people at your side who want to help you succeed.

Why do I believe in self-publishing? I believe in self-publishing because I want to work with other writers, not against them. Traditional publishing is a world of cutthroat competition, of secrecy and elitism, where rejection is the rule and success for one means failure for another. The only way to win that game is not to play. Rather than focus our energy on getting into the secret club of traditional publishing, let’s focus on making our books better so that readers fall in love with our writing.

Forget the gatekeepers, and forget crashing the gate. The party is outside now, and everyone’s invited.

And if you share (with your heart)
Yeah, you give (with your heart)
What you share with the world is what it keeps of you

Noah and the Whale

[The full text of my article Why I Believe in Self-Publishing can be found at]


3 thoughts on “How We Hit the NY Times Bestseller List (Why I Believe in Self-Publishing)

  1. Congratulations!! I agree with you on the self-publishing aspect that we, as writers, can work together. I’m glad to see self-publishing has changed over the years, particularly with POD. It offers the opportunity for more, varied voices to be heard.

  2. Pingback: Authors as entrepreneurs: Sisters are doing it for themselves* | LAUREN KELLS

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