Okay, if you haven’t heard of Amanda Hocking yet, hurry up and Google her and get caught up! Twenty-six years old, never traditionally published, 900,000+ digital copies of her books sold online…and growing exponentially.
Although she’s been selling in astounding numbers for some months now, her story hit the news wires big time on Wednesday. Somehow I missed it, but two different people told me about it…one of them with the idea that this is how I shall make my fortune…and quickly.
Don’t get me wrong. Although I clutch tightly to my dream of becoming a successful, traditionally published author, I am open to less traditional routes. Certainly more so now than before.
However, in no way do I imagine that I’m going to be able to produce a bestselling work in a matter of weeks, throw it up on Amazon, and rake in the cash. Especially not just because some 26-year-old kid did it. Why not? Because I haven’t yet done all the work of a bestselling author. My novel is currently in rewrites, and there’s just no skipping steps when it comes to this kind of thing…not if I want to put out a quality piece of work.
Yet “quick and easy money” is exactly what a lot of people are thinking right now. “Screw the gatekeepers of publishing, I’ll go directly to the people!” I think Amanda herself addresses the issue most eloquently and thoroughly in her latest post on her blog, but let me give you the bottom line.
Amanda Hocking has written 19 novels. She may be “only” 26 years old, but she’s completed more books than most novelists ever will in their lifetime. This is not an overnight success. This is the fruit of many, many years of labor, not to mention countless hours of marketing and promotion.
Who’s to say whether I — or anyone — could duplicate her success? But her story in no way convinces me that she’s somehow come across a magic feather, and that if I simply starting selling my stuff online for dirt cheap, that I, too, would enjoy the same overwhelming response.
What her story does do is inspire me to work harder.
So I just wanted to give her a thumbs-up…not just for her well-deserved success, but for all the hard work she’s put in. She may be young, but she strikes me as the epitome of professionalism. And it is because of that, more than anything else, that makes me want to buy her books…that and the fact that she’s a huge fan of just about every movie I ever loved as a teenager. 🙂