I’m excited. I’m stoked. You might recall how ecstatic I was to hear of an author (fiction) who is making a comfortable living from e-books. Well, after I declared this to the world, the majority of comments I received was along the line of: “so what, you’ve found one.”
Now J.A. Konrath, who surprised the publishing world money by announcing that he was making a good living from e-books and that he is making his money selling inexpensive e-books ($2-$3 as I recall).
Now the writing world is excited by Amanda Hocking, who sold over 450,000 copies of her e-books in January alone, mostly priced between 99 cents and $2.99. Ms. Hocking joins the short list of authors who are millionaires. What is even more cool about this 26-year-old, is that she is a self-published author.
But Ms. Hocking made one thing very clear and, I think, feels she has a point to make. Her success is a product of very hard work. Not only is she an incredibly productive writer, she spends several hours, let me stress that, several hours a day marketing herself and her books.
The truly succesful author of the 21st Century, of the digital age, will combine great writing, excellent marketing, and will understand the need to fuse writing and business. Ms. Hocking is, we should acknowledge, a product of the millennial generation, comfortable on multiple screens, and extremely good at it.
Good luck to you, Ms. Hocking. And in response to a comment you made on your blog (not directed at me, I might add) – I am not jealous of you, I am full of admiration. You have set the bar for those of us who want to succeed as writers need to aspire to.
The only thing missing is the ‘How To’ book. I’ll be the first to buy it!
Oh, and yes I know that I put in way too many graphics (Ms. Hocking’s book covers), but they are works of art. No apologies offered.
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/ and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).