How This Indie Author Landed a Big Time Publisher

Tom Corley boats - crop

Being a self-published author is not a choice for most authors. Rather, it’s a fallback option for authors who are ignored or rejected by the publishing establishment – literary agents and traditional publishers.

It costs money to self-publish I found out. I spent close to $20,000 to self-publish my books. I spent another $50,000 for PR companies, publicists, book promotions, book giveaways, travel (speaking engagements), website revamping/tweaking, and many other costs, too painful to recount.

I’ve been a self-published author since 2008. My first book, Rich Habits. went on to become an Amazon bestseller in the U.S., Canada, the UK, Australia and India. Two subsequent books also went on to become bestsellers. One of them, Rich Kids, even won an award from Writer’s Digest, a well-respected trade publication for writers.

But, none of my success came easy. I encountered many obstacles, yet, despite all the obstacles, I persevered. I learned that success in the author business requires daily dedication. In defense of publishing establishment, they  know most self-published authors won’t do the things they need to do in order to succeed. Those few who are committed to becoming successful authors, do three things every day for many many years.

The Three Daily Habits of Successful Authors

  1. Write Every Day – I write between one to five hours every day.
  2. Read Every Day – I read no less than one hour every day. Some days two to three hours.
  3. Promote Every Day – I promote myself and my work no less than two hours a day. Oftentimes three or more hours.

Writing every day hones your craft. You get better every time you write. I started a blog in 2009 and I write every day. Practicing your craft every day is the only way to improve and perfect your writing skills.

Reading every day equips you with new information that you can use in your writing. Reading also generates ideas you can use in your writing.

Promoting involves pitching the media relentlessly in order to get them to interview you or to notice you. I relentlessly tweet the media and influencers every day. I tweet-pitch them so much that some block me from tweeting them. I’ve been blocked by some of the best in the media industry. I’ve also been blocked by some literary agents and publishers. I now consider it a badge of honor to be blocked. It means I pushed too hard. I’d rather push too hard than not hard enough.

In my opinion, promotion is the most important part of the author business. Specifically, media promotion. One article or one interview with the right media outlet can result in thousands upon thousands in book sales. I know. It’s happened to me many times.

The first time it happened was with Yahoo Finance in 2013. At the time, I had very few book sales. Yahoo reached out to me in response to one of my tweets. The tweet included a link to one of my blog posts. That blog post caught the eye of Farnoosh Torabi, at the time the host of Yahoo’s award-winning show Financially Fit.

A few months after my tweet to Farnoosh, I had a five person Yahoo TV crew in my office for a series of interviews. When the interviews were released a month later, one got the attention of Dave Ramsey, the number three radio host in the U.S. at the time. Dave interviewed me for thirty minutes on his live radio show. I sold nearly 10,000 books in a three week period thanks to Yahoo and Dave. A month after my interview with Dave, Bob Dumas, a producer for CBS, reached out to interview me. That CBS interview ran in seven CBS affiliates across the U.S. and in parts of Canada. I sold a few thousand books thanks to that interview.

On a good week, I’m in the media five or more times. To date, my books, research and content has been published by the media in 27 countries.

One of those countries was China. Someone at China South Media, the sixth largest publisher in the world, read one of my published media articles, researched my body of work and liked what they found. In 2017 I signed a publishing agreement with China South for two of my books. That contract included a significant advance.

There are 500 million people in the middle-class in China. The way I see it, that’s 500 million people who can afford to buy my books. I did it. It took eight years, but I did it. Never quit on your dreams.


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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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