The great news is that she is just like you and me. On her blogsite, she tells a familiar tale -- she always loved to write. But when she started to write in earnest, she was repeatedly turned away by editors and agents. So she published herself on Amazon.
Today, not only has her world turned upside down, she’s also up-ended the entire publishing industry. In less than six months. No small feat for a writer the mainstream industry shunned.
Today, February 27th, Britain’s The Observer newspaper named Amanda Hocking “the world's bestselling ebook author, selling more than 450,000 titles last month alone.”
Yes, sit down for a moment and take that in. Nearly half a millon books IN ONE MONTH.
How did a 26-year-old in Minnesota single-handedly set major publishing houses shivering in their book-covers -- without even trying?
She published her first book, My Blood Approves, to the Kindle Store in April 2010, not even a year ago, according to her blog. A week later, she made the sequel available too. Here is what happened next:
- In April 2010, she sold 45 ebooks in two weeks by word of mouth.
- In May 2010, she sold 624 ebooks and made $362.
- In June 2010, she sold 4,258 ebooks and made $3,180.
- In July 2010, she sold 3,532 books and made $6,527.
In August, a publishing house in Hungary asked to buy foreign rights. She approached five agents and got one. Here’s the real shocker, which in a nutshell summarizes how the old world has yet to catch up to the new world of bookselling: Of the five agents, only three even asked for a manuscript -- even though she had people asking to buy her foreign rights. Of the three agents that did ask for a manuscript, two never contacted her again (as of her account in August 2010). She signed with Steven Axelrod at The Axelrod Agency, Inc.
But these are not the reasons why I love Amanda Hocking. Clearly her writing is a hit with the public. Obviously her unprecedented success as a solo publishing phenom frightens traditional publishing houses. But I love her because she’s been honest and open with us, her public.
She made her sales record public, and her profits. She truly is an ebook pioneer, and outlining the details of her trajectory only serves to help educate the rest of us about what is possible. For this reason alone, she deserves a lifetime of success in the storytelling profession. I’m betting she’ll have it. -Caleb
You can find Amanda Hocking and her books at AmandaHocking.blogspot.com.