Every writer wants to be published some day. The way they achieve that dream could be a little unorthodox, or in a different way than they originally expected to do – someone who develops an interest in writing plays and fiction may end up as a journalist, or maybe they’ll be a ghostwriter who tells the life story of other people. If you’re an aspiring author, you may be thinking about the self-publishing route to fame and glory. Who are some famous authors you idolize?
Have you seen the movies IT or The Dark Tower? These stories are just two of the many tales that have sprung from the mind of Stephen King that have been adapted to the screen. But as famous as those novels are, they weren’t self-published by King. Instead, an earlier work of his was. That book is called People, Places and Things, published in 1960 by the company that King himself owned, called Triad and Gaslight Books. He wasn’t alone when he wrote People, Places and Things, though. He wrote it as a teenager with his friend Chris Chelsey. Of the 18 stories that appeared in that collection, only one copy of the ten that were ever made still exists, and it still belongs to King.
Edgar Allan Poe
Yes, one of the originators of spooky fiction self-published. Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most respected and revered authors who called Baltimore home for a time. He turned out a 40-page poetry collection in 1827 called Tamerlane and Other Poems, but chose to initially remain anonymous. In fact, the byline on the cover only mentioned it was “by a Bostonian.” However, the book only generated 50 copies, and it went largely unnoticed.
Hailing from Canada, Margaret Atwood is a poet who is best known for the novel The Handmaid’s Tale, which has also been adapted into a TV series showered with critical praise. But it was in 1961 where she gained some notice for her self-published work: a book of poems called Double Persephone that won the E.J. Pratt Medal.
Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? Clearly, not her readers. An English writer, she has been called one of the most important female authors in the history of writing. She and her husband Leonard Woolf founded the Hogarth Press in 1917, which she used as a self-publishing platform for her essays, short fiction, and novels.
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