Friday, March 25, 2011

Amanda Hocking: What Does Her Success Mean?

Amanda Hocking: What Does Her Success Mean for Publishing?

by Jacqueline Seewald

The New York Times has broken the story that Amanda Hocking, a self-published paranormal YA author age 26, has signed a major deal with St. Martin’s Press. Hocking who self-published her e-books and sold them for 99 cents, has become a bestselling author. Bidding for her new work rose beyond $2 for worldwide English rights in a four book deal.

Some people have used this information to declare this as proof that e-publishing will destroy traditional publishing. However, Amanda Hocking herself disagrees with this analysis. In an intelligently written essay on her own blog,
Hocking says it’s harder to become a bestselling writer through
self-publishing than with traditional publishers. That is something I would agree
with. If the writing and presentation are amateurish, readers will simply not
buy the book no matter how little it may cost.

My YA novel STACY’S SONG certainly hasn’t been selling like Hocking’s books
as either a print or e-book despite good reviews; however, I still don’t believe that self-publishing is the answer for most writers. Hocking points out in her essay that she needed to get the help of editors and other professionals in publishing her work.
She couldn’t do it all by herself if she was going to create a good product. And now
Hocking has signed with a traditional publisher.

What is your interpretation of Amanda Hocking’s success? What do you see as the
future for e-publishing? For self-publishing?