If you haven’t heard of Amanda Hocking, you should click on over to her blog and read everything she’s got there. Start at the beginning, way back in 2009 when Amanda was a no-name writer trying to get an agent.
Then keep on moving forward, month-by-month, and watch her evolve from a woman who decided to put her books up on the Kindle to raise a little money to a woman who made, by her own admission, somewhere between 1.5 and two million dollars in about a year.
This, by the way, is why she’s the hero of the indie published writer. Because secretly (well, probably not so secretly) we all want to make a million dollars, and have agents and publishers begging to even talk to us, even though they wouldn’t even LOOK at our books before we put them on the Kindle and sold the kind of numbers that would make Stephen King envious.
It’s not unlike the nerdy guy in high school who wants to go back to his reunion 10 years later and tell the cute cheerleader that he’s all rich and stuff now and she totally should have taken her shot with him when she had the chance.
The thing of it is, though, Amanda ISN’T like that. At least in cyberspace (does anyone even use that word any more?) Amanda is just as kind and sweet and friendly as she was back in 2009.
She may be kinder and sweeter.
She offers up advice on how she got to the point where she sold over a million books. She’s honest and forthright. And she blogs about stuff she loves, like the movie “Inception.”
But then… she made the news. Why? Because she made a traditional publishing deal for two million dollars.
And some people got angry about this. How could this indie author, who was so dang nice, and already making all this money, choose to get a traditional publishing deal?
She’s supposed to be one of us!
Allow me to slightly misquote the cult favorite flick “The Way of the Gun:”
“Two million dollars is not money. It's a motive with a universal adaptor on it.”
Hocking has a longer, more elaborate answer than that, but really, that should be all you need. If someone comes to you and offers you two million dollars to do something you love, be it writing, or laying bricks, you take the two million.
And this is central to why I think Hocking is awesome. She tried to explain it anyway.
For the record, people are wondering what Hocking is doing, and I think it’s pretty simple: She wants people to read her stuff. So she made a deal to get her books into bookstores.
That should do it.
She’s done well up to this point, and I wish her continued success, whether it’s in print, or on the Internet, or if she starts inscribing clay tablets and selling them on street corners.
May we all remember to be as kind and hardworking as she has been. And may we all be so lucky, too.