Born just outside of Toronto, in the small city of Oshawa, Ontario, Jonas Saul (a pseudonym) loved to read Stephen King, Dean Koontz and John Saul (let’s take a wild guess on what influenced his choice of nom de plume).
Jonas also liked to write.
He was only 10-years-old when he wrote his first short story. He eventually entered and won Writer’s Digest Short Story awards with his early work.
In 2000, Jonas wrote his very first novel. Now he’s an international bestselling author, with 18 titles on Amazon. Going through his library of work on Amazon, however, shows that the earliest book has a publication date of 2011. He says he wrote his second novel in 2003. His account of what transpired in all the years in between then and now shouldn’t come as a surprise to those of you who’ve read many of the author success stories in Wordpreneur Peeps.
How Jonas Got Started Self-Publishing
In the early years, trying to break in as a novelist, Jonas says that he “sent hundreds of query letters to New York but couldn’t get anywhere with it.” While he struggled in that area, Northern Ontario’s Cottage Country Magazine hired him to write a short story in 2004, and he proceeded to do that for them for a few years while he continued trying to break in with his books.
In 2010, he’d had enough. “I was tired of trying to be validated by the Big Six publishers,” he says, “and decided to upload my titles to Amazon. I quit my job and began to write full time.”
In the few short years since he decided to go indie, he’s pumped out one bestselling title after another. His most popular and most highly-reviewed is his Sarah Roberts Thriller series — its eighth installment, The Rogue, is scheduled to be released in a couple of weeks and is now available for preorder. His Mafia Trilogy series has also done well, and so have his standalone books and short stories.
Brenda Grate, another Amazon bestselling author, also happens to be Mrs. Jonas Saul. Following his big career move in 2010, “[b]y April 2011, my wife quit her job and we’ve never looked back.”
And just in case it isn’t yet quite clear to us by now: “Amazon has been very good to me.”
Self-Publishing Observations and Tips
- “The publishing industry is constantly changing but one thing will remain constant: readers will always be looking for good books.”
- “I know all writers hear the same thing over and over, but I couldn’t stress this enough — write a good book, have it professionally edited and then release it. Do not release a single word for public consumption without it having gone through the professional editing stage. So many indies have not been edited professionally and lost readers. There’s really no point in uploading unless you’re edited, and no one can edit themselves.“