Storyteller

on June 17, 2011 in Misc

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.

4 Responses to “Storyteller”

  1. ann says:

    This is a cool story. Hocking is a self-made woman. As far as reaching readers, you’ve already got your blog. Now you need to get on Facebook and Twitter. I’m still trying to think of something you could do which would publicly promote The Compass Master without requiring jail time. lol.

    ps. Admit it. You have a crush on Daniel Craig. I love the pictures you post of him.

  2. Helena says:

    Ann –Oh, but jail time could get me free publicity!
    And just becaue I wanna be first in line to see Cowboys and Aliens doesn’t mean I have a crush on Daniel Craig. Or Harrison Ford.

  3. Ciara Knight says:

    I find many interesting stories in the world of self-publishing. I think the man is Locke. He just hit Kindles million dollar sales list. The first self-published author ever to receive the honor. He is int he elite with Nora Robers and James Paterson now. :)

  4. Helena says:

    Ciara — I’ll look him up. Wouldn’t it be great for you and I to have sales like that? More likely it’ll be you with your great track record.