Amanda Hocking

Look at this superstar!

I am so agog at what Amanda Hocking has done with her career!  This is one impressive woman.

She self-publishes not one but nine books over the course of a year.  She initially sells these 300+ word novels at 99 cents and then raises the price of later books to only $2.99.  She rakes in almost $2 million dollars doing it.  Not bad for a 26-year-old.

I have no idea how she works.  She may be plugging away at her computer 8-10 hours in addition to doing the day job and dishes for all I know.  I have no doubt that however she puts in the time, she does put in some serious time on these books.  I don’t care who you are, you don’t just spank out 300 pages in an afternoon.  But then to self-publish and handle all of the editing, formatting and cover art coordination yourself, well, that’s just a hell of a lot of work!

“People have bad things to say about publishers, but I think they still have services, and I want to see what they are. And if they end up not being any good, I don’t have to keep using them. But I do think they have something to offer.”

Ha!  With someone else handling the editing, formatting, publishing and cover art, this lady is really going to explode (in a very good way)!

Publishers, weary of hearing about their disposability in an age when writers can self-publish their work on the Internet and sell it on Amazon.com, said they were vindicated by the news.

A whole lot of authors are going the self-publishing route these days but what few people don’t understand is that a publisher does a lot of work on the back end of a project and frees a writer to focus on just writing.  Hocking gets that.

“I want to be a writer,” she said. “I do not want to spend 40 hours a week handling e-mails, formatting covers, finding editors, etc. Right now, being me is a full-time corporation.”

I’d say this woman’s sizable income was hard earned and well-deserved.

 

What do I take away from all of this?

I’ll tell you.

1. Riding Market Trends: Ebooks are a growing part of the book market.  Ebook sales have more than doubled since 2010 and that’s much more than can be said for hardcover & paperback sales.  I’m glad I got started with an epublisher in 2008 because it poised me to ride a very impressive wave in consumer spending (not that I’ve had even a fraction of Hocking’s success).

2. Maximizing Price Points: Self-publishing can serve to propel your books into the hands of many more readers.  Without the overhead a publisher has (editors, cover artists, etc.), you can afford to sell your books at 99 cents each and still see a return on all the time you put into the book and, let’s face it, people are much more willing to buy a 99 cent book by an unknown author than they are a $6 book.

3. Building A Following. You get them hooked on the 99 cent books and they don’t mind paying the $2.99 on later books.  Happy readers spread the word and other people jump on your bandwagon.  They become happy readers too.  Happy readers keep buying books, no matter what the price.

All very important take-aways for any writer.

So…

After I finish the projects I have contracted with my publisher, I’m going to go back to the drawing board and find a way to offer readers 99 cent books that may just earn me a few followers too.


Congratulations, Amanda!

You worked your ass off and now you’re going to be able to live the dream we all dream.

Good for you!

 

Reference:

Amanda Hocking Sells Book Series to St. Martin’s Press – NYTimes.com.

Read Amanda’s books at Amazon by clicking here.