A list of some of the top grossing, self-published books, from the good folks at Para Publishing
1. Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard has been in print more than 45 years, 20 million copies are in print and it has been translated into 22 languages. The book started a movement and later a church.
2. The One-Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson sold more than 20,000 copies locally before they sold out to William Morrow. It has now sold more than 12-million copies since 1982 and is in 25 languages.
3. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. (and his student E. B. White) as originally self-published for his classes at Cornell University in 1918. Now selling some 300,000 copies each year, more than 10 million have been sold so far.
4. In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters. More than 25,000 copies were sold directly to consumers in its first year. Then it was sold to Warner and the publisher sold 10 million more.
5. Feed Me, I’m Yours by Vicky Lansky was rejected by 49 publishers so she self-published and sold 300,000 copies. She sold out to Bantam and they sold 8 million more. Since then, she has written 23 more books.
6. What Color is Your Parachute by Episcopal clergymen Richard Nelson Bolles – 22 editions, 6 million copies, 11 languages and 288 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
7. The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. His manuscript made the rounds of the mainstream houses and then he decided to publish himself. He started by selling copies out of the trunk of his Honda—over 100,000 of them. He subsequently sold out to Warner Books for $800,000. The number-one bestseller in 1996, it spent 165 weeks on The New York Times Bestseller list. More than 5.5 million copies have been sold.
8. Life’s Little Instruction Book was initially self-published by H. Jackson Brown. Then it was purchased by Rutledge Hill Press. It made the top of the New York Times Bestseller List in hardcover and soft at the same time. More than 5 million copies were sold.
9. Fifty Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth spent seven months on the New York Times bestseller list and sold 4.5 million copies in its original and premium editions.
10. The Beanie Baby Handbook by Lee and Sue Fox sold three million copies in two years and made #2 on the New York Time Bestseller list.