Welcome to disruption. 26-year old Amanda Hocking is the best-selling “indie” writer on the Kindle store, meaning she doesn’t have a publishing deal, Novelr says.And she shouldn’t. She gets to keep 70% of her book sales — and she sells around 100,000 copies per month. By comparison, it’s usually thought that it takes a few tens of thousands of copies sold in the first week to be a New York Times bestselling writer.
The comparison isn’t entirely fair, because Hocking sells her books for $3, and some $.99. But that’s the point: by lowering the prices, she can make more on volume, especially impulse buys. Meanwhile e-books cost nothing to print, you don’t have to worry about print volumes, shelf space, inventory, etc. And did we mention the writer keeps 70%?
Previously one of the best selling Kindle writers was J.A. Konrath, but it was assumed he was popular because he previously had a publishing deal and so already had notoriety. That’s not the case with Hocking, who published stories on her blog before turning to Kindle. In fact, out of the top 25 best-selling indie Kindle writers, only 6 were previously affiliated with a publishing house.
Back of the envelope maths suggests that selling 100,000 copies a month at $1 to $3 a pop and keeping 70%, Hocking can make millions per year, straight to her pocket.
Welcome to the new era, the one that scares traditional publishers to death and will make the world better for writers and readers alike. Congratulations to Amazon for making it possible. And congratulations to Ms. Hocking on her success.
How can publishers survive? We have a handy guide here →