Mark Coker writes in Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

Smashwords author Sarah Burleton, who spent over 12 weeks on the New York Times ebook bestseller list in 2011 with her ebook, Why Me?, told me she did no marketing for her book. The book took off at Amazon and Barnes & Noble thanks to reader word of mouth.

As far as I understand she used the following process:

  1. Write a book.
  2. Edit it with the help of a professional editor.
  3. Give away parts of the book for free (e. g. the first chapter).
  4. If the work is better than the majority of competing books (which it can be because many writers don't work with editors), readers will notice and buy it.
  5. Some percentage of buyers will convince other people to buy the book.

What are other self-published authors who

  • successfully promoted their fiction books through writing and
  • did not employ non-literary resources (like an existing big mailing list, an agent, contacts to publishers, large social network, being a public figure, help from celebrities, expertise in advertising etc.)


  • Research "permanent free" and read kboards. Elle Casey is an example. Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


Well, there's always Savi Sharma, whose inspirational romance Everyone Has A Story made her India's youngest self-published successful female author. And all it took was a little (electronic) word of mouth.

In her own words:

I never thought about how I will get my book published or how it will reach my readers. What I believed in were two things: my story and technology. I knew if I could tell a good story, technology would help me to reach my audience. I simply believed in the power of social media and internet. Once the novel was completed, I got the copies printed with great quality and listed the book exclusively on Amazon. I started marketing some content of the book on social media and the response was overwhelming. It just went viral and my book became amazon bestseller selling more than 5000 copies in a month. I became India's youngest self-published successful female author.

In an article in The Economic Times, she discusses her 10 smart ways to make sure that your book is a bestseller.

One good way to find more success stories about authors is subscribe to the Amazon Kindle (or similar) newsletter. It regularly features articles about the methods used by self-published authors who have attained big sales.

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