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Self-publishing trailblazer Amanda Hocking shifts gears

March 30, 2011

Tags: self-publishing, Amanda Hocking, social media


Young Amanda Hocking's digitally self-published young-adult paranormal novels have sold a million copies online, making her rich at $2.99 and 99 cents a copy (some of which Amazon.com collects). So why is she about to sign a deal with St. Martin's Press?

"Hocking credits her success to aggressive self-promotion on her blog, Facebook and Twitter, word of mouth and writing in a popular genre — her books star trolls, vampires and zombies," writes Carol Memmott in Authors catch fire with self-published e-books (USA Today, 2-11).

Hocking's success has raised hopes and fantasies among aspiring novelists who haven't succeeding in being published the traditional way.

So why has she decided to allow some of her novels to be published the usual way--as printed books published by traditional publishers and sold in bookstores? In her own blog, Amanda Hocking explains why she's considering a four-book deal with St. Martin's Press, referring us also to the York Times story about the auction for that deal: Self-Publisher Signs Four-Book Deal With St. Martin’s.

In becoming a bestselling self-publisher, writes Julie Bosman, in the Times, "she became a reluctant spokeswoman for the practice of self-publishing, which allows authors to sell their books directly to readers without the help of a traditional publisher."

Explaining herself to her readers: “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.”

Hocking wants career stability, better editing, and for her readers to be able to find her books in bookstores, which they can't when they're only available through Kindle.

"She didn't sell out," blogs Chazz Writes on The Amanda Hocking Effect. "Trad publishing bought in."

Here's Nathan Bransford doing the math on the effect on publishing of Amanda Hocking and the 99-Cent Kindle Millionaires. At the very least it is all very, very interesting and, I assume, unnerving to many.