Friday, March 25, 2011

The Write Stuff

Horrible title. Sorry.

On to the news: I can't help but feel inspired by what has happened to self-publishing author Amanda Hocking. In short, she has been self-publishing amazing fiction for some time, making a living off of it and paving the way for others like her. And now, she's attracted the attention of a legacy publishing house.

Seems the internet isn't entirely sure about what to make of her decision to go with the publishing house. I have one word for her: awesome.

The choice is hers to make and, seriously, who wouldn't refuse a huge contract from a publishing house (besides this guy)? Her goal was to be a writer with job stability and with the extra services of a publishing house, I'm sure she'll be able to focus a little more on her marketing and, most importantly, her writing. She says she'll keep self-publishing and I really hope she does. She's helped create a community of writers and readers that are part of the next generation in publishing; she's a crossover model of the standard epublisher. One part indie author, one part legacy author.

I don't look at her case as a detriment to the indie author's crusade. I think her getting a contract at a legacy publisher indicates the transformation that the publishing industry will be undergoing in the years to come. Once upon a time (not so long ago), self-publishers were treated like lepers by publishing houses. Ms. Hocking's aligning with the legacy publisher suggests that the model is changing drastically; look at publishing industry news of the last year or so and I think you'll see a trend.

An indie author can keep self-publishing to her heart's content, adapting with technology and finding new ways to reach customers. That same author has a growing opportunity to be accepted by a legacy publishing house. Arguments can be made for both methods of publishing. In the end, it's a choice, probably not an easy one, and I think it's something every indie author needs to take into consideration. Writing, at its core, is a risk. Anyone who publishes (whether it's fiction, art, or music) is taking a risk, legacy publisher or not. Writers take risks with each word they throw into the universe. It's a matter of taking the right risk and having a plan.

A special note to Ms. Hocking: Good luck with your risk. 

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