Winners: On the List and Off

E-books have made it easier for self-published authors to reach readers in a way that wasn’t possible even five years ago, and some of them are making quite a splash. For the first time ever, the USA Today Top 150 best sellers list included a self-published author, Amanda Hocking.

If you haven’t heard her name yet, you’re in the minority. This prolific 26-year-old from Minnesota uploaded a few of her completed novels to Amazon, Smashwords and B&N last March. Since then, she’s sold more than half a million copies. Do you see where she is on this list? #16. Yeah, sandwiched between Suzanne Collins and Jeff Kinney!

And that’s not her only title on the list. She has another book at #24 and one at #31. Pretty amazing for someone who hit the market less than a year ago!

You can read her interview at the USA Today website. So tell me, if you have an e-reader, have you read any self-published titles? How did they stack up against traditionally published books? And does Amanda Hocking’s success make you want to start uploading your book to Amazon?

Well, I’m about to make three people happy with some old-fashioned hard cover books 🙂

The winner of Mockingjay is:

The winner of Catching Fire is:

The winner of Beautiful Darkness is:

Congratulations to all of you! Email me at solvangsherrie at gmail dot com with your snail mail address and I’ll get your books to you next week.

Have a great weekend!

16 thoughts on “Winners: On the List and Off

  1. I think it's awesome Amanda found so much success. I think it was a combination of things. The short seductive titles. The intriguing covers. And that she put up a few books all at once. Readers like to be invested in a series. I haven't read them yet so I can't comment on the writing. I wish her the best! It doesn't make me want to jump right now. With the right title and book, I will never say never.

  2. OMG!!! All my blogging friends won! *does happy dance*

    I'll admit I only buy traditional books for my iPod. But that's because they're so many I want to read (and barely have time for), that I don't have time to track down self-published books that might actually be good. That's probably why I'll never go that route. 😉

  3. I am jumping up and down now!

    Oh and my friend just sent me an ereader gift from this self-pubbed author (it was 99 cents) named HP MAllory cammed Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble– and let me tell how pleasantly surprised i was–nice writing and sucked me right in!

  4. OH I was so close! Drats. 😛

    Anyway, I just posted about this to the Writer Unboxed group on FB, so I'm going to copy & paste:

    1) I just caught wind of all this in the past couple days, and I do find it very interesting. If you read Amanda's blog, she has a great attitude about the industry as a whole. To paraphrase, she said something like, “A lot of people want to make it sound like I'm trying to give publishing the finger by doing it myself, but that was never my intention. I'd like to think I'm not giving anyone the finger, but rather just cheering for my unexpected success.”

    2) I have put up a web serial as an ebook at Amazon, and it sells better than I expected, but like Ray [Rhamey] said, not well enough to write home about. (Or really, not well enough to make me want to go that route instead of looking for an agent — at least not yet.) I think part of why people like Amanda are successful is that they are writing in genres whose audiences ARE the e-readers, and she's writing series, and she's putting out lots of new titles quickly. So not everyone is going to find that same level of success. That said, it's still an evolving area of the business, and it is smart to stay informed, I think. I'm always a believer that it's better to have more options than not enough.

  5. Yay for the winners!

    It's interesting. When you look at the price points of the books…$26.95, $17.99, $2.99, $13.99, $27.

    One of these things is not like the other…one of these things doesn't belong…

    I'm in no way criticizing e-publishing, only making an observation. For a voracious teen reader, the ability to buy an entire series for the cost of one traditionally published book has to be a huge selling point.

  6. Karen, that's a great point that for teen readers the pricing is definitely an allure. And like Kristan said, Amanda is writing in a popular genre.

    I'm not advocating for one way or the other, but I think it's cool that this technology has allowed writers to reach readers in new ways. Plus, her books wouldn't sell that many copies if there was something besides price appealing to the readers!

  7. We're surely in an interesting time for book publishing. I've bought hardcovers at their hefty price and been disappointed some times, so I guess the risk is less with a low-priced ebook. In a way, we'll probably buy by reading samples and getting recs–not so different at all.
    Congrats to the winners and thanks for these contests, Sherrie!

  8. It's like the Karen McQuestion story. She had unpublished manuscripts stacked up on her shelves and then start publishing them herself on Kindle. Moral of the story? To me, it is write, write, write, and the rest will follow.

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