FutureBook’s Philip Jones had the chance to talk with self-publishing star Amanda Hocking, whose move to a $2 million traditional publishing deal with St. Martin’s Press caused some controversy in self-publishing circles last year. In the interview, she confirms that Amazon actually made a higher monetary bid to publish her books, but she was concerned that the company would not be able to convince other bookstores to carry the printed versions.

Hocking discusses the reasons for her switch—mainly that she wanted to be able to devote more time to writing rather than to all the fiddly little things that had to be done to get that writing into a salable condition. She also notes that the support and advice she has gotten from her editor at St. Martin’s Press has enabled her to take chances as a writer that she would have been hesitant about before.

But the transition will not come without compromises: in particular around how you establish a new price-point for the e-books previously marketed at self-publishing prices. Hocking says that her publisher is obliged to "consult" with her over the e-book pricing, but concedes that you cannot sell an e-book at a dollar when the print book costs ten. "I knew the e-book prices would have to be a little higher if I wanted the books to be in stores, which was kind of the goal, so I understand why they have to do it, and I understand why some readers don’t get it. They are on the lower end of e-book prices."

Hocking doesn’t say she will “never” go back to self-publishing, but she says that the print publisher would have to mess up pretty badly to drive her to that extreme.


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