Archive for June 17th, 2011


Storyteller

on June 17, 2011 in Misc 4 Comments »

Okay, so all you writers out there will want to read the piece in the New York Times today about Amanda Hocking.

If you know anything about publishing then you know who I’m talking about:  Hocking is the über-wonder 26-year-old who turned herself into a hugely successful self-published e-book writer.  Her genre is paranormal, and her seven (so far) e-books have together racked up an estimated $2 million.  (Here I pause to stagger.)

Read all about it here…

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/magazine/amanda-hocking-storyseller.html?_r=1&hp

To top this off, Hocking became so successful so quickly all on her lonesome that of course publishers fell over themselves courting her.  Thus she now has a $2 million contract for four books at St. Martin’s Press.  And we ain’t even talking about money from movie options.

I really like the title of the article:  “Storyteller.”  Just “Storyteller” and not Artist, Novelist, Great Writer.  No pretenses or silly posturing on Hocking’s part (to her credit) because what she does is simply tell stories that are “literature as candy, a mash-up of creativity and commerce.”  She points out that “my books are about people” and not about profound ideas.

Her e-books are selling at the rate of 9,000 a day.

And here I’ll think myself lucky if I sell a couple hundred copies of The Compass Master all on my lonesome.

Like so many of us, Hocking tried the traditional publishing route and got nowhere, and only then did she turn to self-publishing in the form of e-books.  But from everything I’ve read about her, and that includes facts not covered in this particular article, she has always maintained high professional standards for herself and a practical, non-romantic, hard-headed attitude toward publishing.  She has also become a whiz at online networking and promoting her books.

The NY Times article makes a great point about her.   It  says that Hocking became  the first literary phenomenon for her generation by first reaching  readers through the Internet and only after establishing herself there did she break into the traditional book industry.

Welcome to the brave new world of Internet for Writers.