Multi-million-selling author self-publishes after traditional publishers reject new series

An author who has sold 30 million copies of his books around the world turned to self-publishing when traditional publishers rejected his new series.

Darren Shan became a best-selling author with his horror and fantasy novels, including The Saga of Darren Shan, Cirque du Freak, and the Zom-B novels. However, when he tried to find a publisher for his new Archibald Lox series he discovered there were no takers.

In an article in the Irish Examiner, Shan says, ‘When the publishers passed on it, I decided I was going to have to do it myself. In a way, I had to go back to the start but technology has made it possible to do that.

‘There was a bit of learning, and I try to make them the same as if it was a traditional publisher, in terms of book design, cover art, and editing, so you have to spend a bit of money doing that. If someone wants the book, they can have it instantly on ebook or print on demand, and have it a couple of days later.’

He adds, ‘There are now plenty of writers out there who choose not to go the traditional publishing route and to self-publish, and have great careers. People of my generation, certainly, there is a sort of snobbery about self-published books but the world has changed and self-publishing has become something more and more writers are considering as an alternative to the traditional routes.’

The Archibald Lox books feature Archie who has a series of adventures after opening a magical portal to enter a strange universe called the Merge. Shan, whose real name is Darren O’Shaugnessy, has published five books in the series so far.

Shan says, ‘I made my own website back in 2000, from a book about how to set up a website in 24 hours. I found that contact great. Now with social media, I have another way to stay in touch with my fans. I blog every day, I do a monthly newsletter, people stay in touch with me, they write to me and I respond.’

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