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E-books taking off

2011-04-15 04:18:06.907203+00 by Dan Lyke 2 comments

BNET: Will Write E-Porn for $1 Million, on author Selena Kitt.

And there's another famous author, who may also be a participant here at Flutterby, Amanda Hocking, who's sold a million young adult novels as e-books (NY Times story on converting that success to a sale to a conventional publisher).

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comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2011-04-15 16:16:09.638452+00 by: Dan Lyke

They definitely wouldn't have done similar for an unestablished author. And for all of the whining that goes on about a bias against self-published authors, publishers want authors who will bring them the entire publicity package. I think it's damned nigh impossible to, for instance, get a self-help or personal finance book published unless you've self-published first.

And my experience trying to shop around a novel with a friend a bit over a decade ago is that the author's largely going to have to have found a good editor/co-writer (or developed their own editing process) to get the attention of the publisher in the first place.

I haven't read any of her books, so when I make this statement I'm distinctly not making a judgement about her prose, but the fact that Ms. Hocking could find her own niche and then bring that ready-to-publish package to St. Martin's is what differentiates her from any huge number of struggling romance writers who are happy to toss a book into a Harlequin-like line for $5-10k. Using Amazon (and Literotica and whomever else)'s means to reach the new audience means a way to build a brand outside of the publisher and then be able to go to them with a much stronger negotiating position.

Humble opinion only, but there are a lot of people who can write fairly well and do a compelling story, what makes a person who can do that a financial success is that they can also build some sort of personal brand and buzz to get a community of readers.

#Comment Re: made: 2011-04-15 15:45:47.529571+00 by: petronius

To some extent Ms. Hocking is the victim and beneficiary of her success. She has allegedly made nearly $1 million in ebooks, but the story doesn't explain how much went to Amazon or whomever distributes the books. What would she have made if she sold that many books traditionally? The victimhood comes from the non-creative (or perhaps para-creative would be a kinder word) part of the business. Editors, formatters, artists, mail-room serfs etc. are still needed by sucessful authors. I remember the old story that Drieser delivered one of his manuscripts to the publisher in a truck, but the editor returned it in a taxicab. There is also still a market, albeit a shrinking one, for paper books. It will be interesting to see if her future works do better on Kindle or in ink. this is an obvious good deal for St, Martin's, since Hocking has an established market; I wonder if they would have done the same thing for her if she were just a new, unpublished author who just walked through the door?