Amanda Hocking sold 450,000 e-books in January directly to her readers, for under $3 each. The 26-year old writer has never been traditionally published and according to one anonymous publisher it is unlikely that any traditional publisher could offer her a better deal than the Kindle store.
Hocking only began self publishing in March 2010 after becoming fed up traditional publishers and their refusal to publish her young adult paranormal novels.
How is this possible? Joe Konrath of A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing explains:
If you’re an indie writer, you get to sell books at a price way, way lower than what a Traditional Publisher can sell at. And yet you make more money, because your only costs are to an ebook and cover art designer (whereas the traditional publisher has to support a legacy system, plus the traditionally published author gets a 30% cut, while you get 70%).
In the meantime, readers are more inclined to buy your stories, even if you’re an unknown author, simply because your book prices are cheaper. So you get high sales, low ebook prices, but high revenue once you’ve hit sufficient scale. And the best thing is that it’s infinitely scalable: your ebooks are out there, getting sales every single day. No shelf-space, no print runs to worry about.
Ebooks are only 11% of all books sold. What happens when they hit 20%? 50%?