Do you know who Amanda Hocking is? If you're an independent author and you don't, you should. If you've come to this blog and you've never heard the name before, tell me - I'm curious to know.
Amanda is a phenomenon of the indie publishing world. She is a young Minnesota native who was working at a less than satisfying day job dreaming saving pennies to buy even the simplest of pleasures (A $14 replacement of pink earphones that her dog chewed up). She lived with a roommate (presumably because she could not afford her own place) and dreamed of one day being able to make a living writing books for a living.
Her first book went on sale in April 2010. In November, she had some very nice sales (over 20,000) which is substantial, but considering she had multiple books and they were priced at $0.99 to $2.99 she still had to keep her day job.
Then December came.
It was a good month for every indie author I talked to, but Amanda...she hit the all out of the park. She sold more than 109,000 copies in a single month and her copies sold to date was quickly approaching 200,000.
Since then she's gone quiet about her numbers, I think she is afraid of looking too boastful, but in December she was "ranked" well. But throughout January she has had MULTIPLE books on the top 100 and today I just looked to find this:
#2 - Switched, $0.99
#4 - Ascend, $2.99
#8 - Torn, $2.99
Three books in the top 10? That's just crazy talk. Which is amazing to begin with but I also know her other books:
My Blood Approves
Are also in the top 100...that's 7 books!
I have no idea how many books sell at #2 - though I would love Amanda to come here and tell us just so we know. But if she sold 109,000 in December I'm guessing she sold around 300,000 in January. That means she's probably over the 1/2 million mark by now.
Recently I read that there are only 4 authors that have sold more than 1 million ebooks they are: James Paterson, Stig Larson, Nora Roberts (also writing as JD Robb), and I'm sorry to say I forgot the fourth. I venture to say Amanda will hit this level in less than six-months and no one in mainstream publishing knows (or maybe they know and are just not saying anything.
So the big question is...why are there no NYT article on this girl? Why is not every blog in publishing discussing her right now?
Amanda, I' so happy for your success. You are inspiration to everyone who has a dream of "making it big" in publishing. Even if the mainstream is not recognizing your accomplishments, rest assured there are many "in the know" who do.
2/3/2011 UPDATE: For those that don't read comments Amanda has now past 500,000 ebooks and she was recently interviewed by USA Today. I'm anxious to read the article. Go Amanda!
2/4/2011 UPDATE: An NBC News affiliate did a report on Amanda!
2/09/2011 UPDATE: The USA Today article went live
2/10/2011UPDATE: Amanda becomes the first author to make the USA Today Bestseller's List. This should propell her sales even farther.
From the 2/6/2011 Best Seller's List
#24 - Ascend
#31 - Torn
#81 - My Blood Approves
#133 - Fate
#146 - Flutter