Local author sells over 100,000 copies of self-published novel

Amber T. Troupe, Production Editor

Originally from Lamont, Adam Rendon graduated from Arvin High School in 2009 and soon after graduating, published his first book.

In its first two months, “The Vallie” sold just over 100,000 copies on Amazon.com. With a self-publishing company, a majority of things are taken care of by that company and publicity is something that isn’t offered. So Rendon had to go out and get his own publicist and had to learn a hard lesson when the publicist took advantage of him. That’s something he charged to be being eager and naive as a new author.

As for content, Rendon said, “Generally I talked about everything that was going on in society at the time, looking from the outside perspective that high school is a lot harder than what people think. People like to read gossip, whether it’s celebrity or local. I decided, you know what, I’m going to let them read the truth.”

Rendon began writing his book because he was going through a lot of things and didn’t really want to talk about any of it, so he began keeping a personal journal.

One of his friends got the journal, read it and really liked it. Once he got the feedback from his friend, Rendon decided to continue on with the book.

Rendon stated, “In the book I talked about the other person’s perspective, how they perceived me and I decided I want to let them hear my side of the story because they never got the opportunity. It let me clear out a lot of my skeletons in the closet.”

Being self-published, Rendon talked how he had to do a lot of research about it and once he was sure that was the way he wanted to go, he invested a total of about $1,100. He came up with a majority of it on his own and then he later started fundraising.

Rendon’s book officially published and released on June 11. Prices start at $9 through the publishing company, $10 through E-books and $11 on Amazon.com. With the self-publishing deal, Rendon gets to decide on the percentage from the royalties, which was a better deal to him than what a big publishing company offered him.

“It was an offer that I could live the rest of my life off of and when they offer so much money for something they want then there’s value in that item,” Rendon expressed. “I don’t want to consider myself a sellout because there were things they wanted to change that I didn’t because I felt it made the book more valuable.”

Now able to really enjoy the spoils of his labor, he was invited to the University of Southern California’s Festival of Books sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. He was able to speak along with noted authors like J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, and R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps series. Rendon was also invited to the 2011 Music Television Movie Awards.

Rendon recalls his friends and families reactions once the book was published.

Rendon explained, “Once I actually got copies of it, I signed them and gave them out and within six to eight hours I got calls from friends and family crying and saying that they didn’t know a lot of this was going on, such as the sexual abuse and being openly gay. A lot of people wanted me not to put the book out, and I lost a lot of friends because of it.”

However, Rendon has yet to let any of this stop him on his road to success. He bought his own company, which he wants to use for allowing others to join the company.

Rendon is currently still employed at a local pawnshop, where he has been an employee for the last year and a half.

He has goals to move because he feels he can’t stay in Bakersfield because it’s too conservative.

He has more books in mind and wants to be a motivational speaker at high schools, letting teens know they’re not the only ones going through things in high school.