Sorry for the blog quietness but I’m busy getting ready for next week and catching up on my frighteningly long To Do list. Normal service shall resume on Monday – with free stuff!
Last week I wrote a blog post, What Does the Dream Look Like? Why This Self-Publisher is Still Pursuing Traditional Publication, in which I explained that, even if it means earning a fraction of the money I would self-publishing, I won’t rest until I have a traditional book deal because that’s what my dream looks like, has always looked like, will always look like.
Amanda Hocking, possibly the world’s biggest selling e-book author, has just signed a four-book deal with St. Martin’s Press reportedly for more than $2 million dollars. Seven major publishers were involved in the auction, with big names like Simon and Schuster, Random House and HarperCollins among the underbidders.
Normally when I hear of someone getting an astronomical deal, the jealousy strings in my heart tighten. Especially if there’s some story about how, up until last week, this Newly Signed Writer had never even thought of writing a shopping list, much less a book, and then she just got an idea (or, save us all, had a dream about an idea), scribbled three chapters on a napkin in a coffee shop and then accidentally dropped the napkin at the feet of a woman who happened to be a Major Literary Agent who, in the space of the second it took to put the napkin up, realized her potential and took her on, and then three days later she had a book deal, a movie option and my dream in her hands.
(Don’t you just hate those stories?)
But this is different. I think this is the first time I’ve heard of someone signing an enormous book deal and been 100% genuinely delighted for them. Hocking is a self-made success story. This is just a deserving reward for all the hard work she did by herself, the books she got out there, and the sales she won. But I also feel a bit sorry for her, because the self-publishing evangelists are already out for blood, stoning her with their “Down with Big Publishing! Death to the Big Six! You’ve gone over to the Dark Side!” rocks, presumably because they’ve forgotten in all of this self-publishing/e-book excitement that we’re only here because we want to write.
Hocking herself knows this, and has already answered some of the questions/accusations she knows is coming. I urge you to go read her post in which she breaks down why this is the way for her to move forward (more time to write, wider availability of print books, better editing, etc.). But it was when I read this bit that I realized just how far from the real reason we’re all here that the self-publishing evangelists have strayed:
“But it is crazy that we live in a time that I have to justify taking a seven-figure a publishing deal with St. Martin’s. Ten years ago, nobody would question this. Now everybody is.”
Well, I’m not, Amanda. I think you are doing exactly what you should be doing, and (for once!) I can say that I am 100%, genuinely happy for you. Congratulations.