Meet Self-Published Australian Author Matt Rogers: How a university dropout became a best-seller in under two years
Matt Rogers’ self-publishing success story is nearly as thrilling as the action-packed, white-knuckle thrill rides he has been publishing on Amazon for the past four years.
A voracious reader since early childhood, Matt started writing stories when he was just six-years-old. His love for the written word carried him through his teen years, which is when he wrote his first novel — a teen action adventure book — at just 16-years-old.
Upon finishing high school, Matt enrolled into law in 2016 at Monash University in his hometown of Melbourne. He lasted just one semester. “It just wasn’t for me,” he admits.
Deciding to take a gap year, the then-19-year-old Matt churned out his first novel Isolated, an action thriller starring a Jack-Reacher style former US special forces operative, named Jason King. He turned to Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) in August of that same year. KDP is Amazon’s self-publishing service which enables authors to self-publish in both print and digital formats. Authors that publish through KDP retain their copyright and can get to market fast, distribute globally and earn royalties of up to 70%.
“I put my heart and soul into the story,” explains Matt. “I wanted to see if anyone wanted to read what I was writing.”
Publishing the book for just 99 cents as a “deliberate tactic to attract readers”, Matt’s debut novel went gangbusters, encouraging him to write more.
“I started writing like crazy,” he says. “Treating it exactly like a full-time job.”
The second book was published mere months later and this time Matt upped his pricing. It soon became apparent that Matt had found his calling. In fact, in the four short years since his first release, Matt has sold over 500,000 copies and is now pulling an income any successful lawyer would be thrilled to be earning.
“A huge percentage of this (income) would go to the publisher if I wasn’t publishing on Amazon,” states Matt. Indeed, the end to end ownership that self-publishing provides is what appeals most to this young bestseller.
“I am the publishing house,” he says. “The control I have over my own work is second to none, as well as the unsurpassed global reach that Amazon has to such a variety of readers.”
As an entrepreneur at heart, Matt gets to have a say in everything; from cover design, blurbs and product presentation.
Finally, for wannabe authors with similar self-publishing aspirations, Matt enthuses without hesitation:
"Give it a shot! There's no harm, because there's no barrier to entry. The costs of self-publishing are minimal and the upsides are tremendous -- you have the opportunity to catch readers' attention, find out what they think of your work through reviews, then sell straight to them. If they love your work then you're providing people with escapism, which is even more satisfying in tough times like these."
Matt is one of thousands of Australian writers who are self-publishing via Kindle Direct Publishing. To find a new book to dive into visit Amazon.com.au. If you are interested in self-publishing please visit https://kdp.amazon.com