Amanda Hocking fever is sweeping the nation! How does one purple-haired 26-year-old author rake in hundreds of thousands of dollars without ever being published? Easy. She cuts the middleman and publishes on her own straight to Amazon's Kindle store. That and she writes about vampires. Sexy, sexy vampires.
Hocking, a Minnesotan who likes "Red Bull, Jim Henson, Batman, Jane Austen, [and] Star Wars legos, " sells around 100,000 copies of her nine different books, like Flutter, Hollowland, and the My Fate Approves trilogy, every month.
And since she makes 70 pennies on every dollar sold through Amazon, even though her eBooks are only $.99 to $2.99, she still makes a fortune--more than she ever would as a traditionally published author.
She's now appeared in The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, and USA Today, and will be in next month's Elle. Recently Terri Tatchell, the writer of the brilliant sci-fi flick District 9, bought an option to turn one of her books into a film.
And that's all in less than a year. Her first book was published in April 2010.
Many have foretasted Hocking's success as a sign of the book apocalypse. But in reality, it's more of a sign of the book publishers' apocalypse.
Hocking is taking her wares directly to the people and doing it more cheaply and easily than her competition. It's like the farm-to-table movement in food transfered to literature. Actually it's better than that, because it actually saves people money, not makes them go broke.
Will she win any literary prizes? Who knows? I haven't read her stuff. But who cares? She's making BANK.
So why'm I writing words about Amanda Hocking's success and not about Crystofer Cardimont, the pale, sexy and mysterious alt-weekly writer who seems to never leave the office during the day, stalks the Central District at night, and only orders his steak rare, is beyond me.