Self-publishing reaches a new milestone this week. The number one title on the 4/28 NYT Combined Print & E-Book Fiction Best Seller list is a self-published novel, The Bet, by Rachel Van Dyken (read excerpts on the author’s blog).
This is the first time since the NYT began publishing separate ebook best seller lists in February of 2011 that a self-pubbed title has topped the combined list (Wait For You by J. Lynn and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover both hit #1 on the ebook only list, but didn’t break through on the combined list, where they appeared at #2. Both authors subsequently signed with traditional publishers. Fifty Shades of Grey did not appear on the NYT lists until after it was picked up by Random House).
A total of three self-published titles are on the current combined list of fifteen, two of them in the top ten, an evolving shift from the first lists, which had none.
Idaho author Van Dyken has published several historical romances with Astraea Press. She tells Forbes in an interview that Astraea was uncomfortable with The Bet because it falls into the “New Adult/Contemp” category and it “only does sweet romance,” so she decided to self-publish through Amazon’s CreateSpace.
While many of the author’s previous e-books are available via OverDrive, this one is not. It is also published in mass market paperback (ISBN: 978-1483918778), but it is not currently listed on wholesaler databases.