Business Insider has a story about a 26-year-old writer who self-publishes on Amazon’s store and makes “millions”. Amanda Hocking is reportedly the best-selling independent author on Amazon (we mentioned her briefly in January and a commenter brought her up earlier this month). She reportedly sells 100,000 e-books per month at prices of $.99 to $2.99, and keeps 70% of the take.
Previously one of the best selling Kindle writers was J.A. Konrath, but it was assumed he was popular because he previously had a publishing deal and so already had notoriety. That’s not the case with Hocking, who published stories on her blog before turning to Kindle. In fact, out of the top 25 best-selling indie Kindle writers, only 6 were previously affiliated with a publishing house.
That’s certainly a blow to the conventional wisdom that self-e-publishing can only work for people who’ve already built their reps the old-fashioned way. (Though critics will still point out that relatively few self-publishing authors are hitting that level of success with their books.)
In January, Tonya Plank interviewed Hocking on the Huffington Post. Hocking explained she came to the decision to self-publish after hearing about Joe Konrath.
Everything I’d heard about self-publishing is that it was impossible to make a living, reach readers, or produce a quality product. But last year, I heard about how some other authors like Joe Konrath and Karen McQuestion are doing well with ebooks. So I thought that I had nothing to lose. I’d written about 12 books when I decided to self-publish, and I thought it would be better than them sitting on my computer. Worst case scenario, nobody would read them, and that’s what was happening anyway.
She says that the most frustrating thing about independent publishing is the lack of a good professional editor such as publishing houses provide.
Maybe I should get around to writing my own great American novel…