Earlier this year, stories started to circulate about self published author Amanda Hocking and the amazing success she had with her books. Word on the street was she self published and had sold more than one million books and generated more than $2 million in sales. While some used her to validate the power of self publishing in this changing environment, the more recent news shows how self publishing and traditional publishing are working together to provide more opportunities for authors and more choice for readers.
On Thursday she announced that she had sold a four-book series to St. Martin’s Press, ending a frenzied weeklong auction that involved nearly every major publisher in the business, including Random House, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins.
According to the New York Times, Hocking sold a four book deal to the highest bidder. Amazing? Not so much. At last year’s San Francisco Writers Conference, I started to hear agents talk about how they are now watching self published titles for potential authors to represent and now Hocking’s announcement. It truly is the best time to be an author because Hocking’s success mimics what we have seen in the film and music industries. Content creators invest their time and money to build a following and eventually a larger company takes notice and signs them. It’s what we have been saying for three years. First film. Then music. Now publishing.