Though it took technology to spread it to the masses, self-publishing has a long in 1797 Austen tried to self publishand distinguished history, as this anecdote from Alison Baverstock’s book The Naked Author: A Guide To Self Publishing, illustrates:
“In 1797, a manuscript was submitted to a London publisher by the proud father of an unknown author. First Impressions, a three-volume novel. was offered for private publication; the writer’s family would pay… to mitigate the publisher’s financial risk. The publishing house turned it down.
Revised and renamed, it was finally published fourteen years later to good reviews… [and is] today… a cornerstone of English literature.”
She is talking, of course, of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
Here are some more famous authors who chose to self-publish at some point in their writing life — and not always at the beginning of their careers:
See full article @ Famous Self-Publishers | How To Self Publish and Sell Your Books.