The shift from printed books to e-readers has not only changed the publishing industry, it has also made it much easier for indie writers to gain exposure and make money. Take 26 year old Amanda Hocking – she is the best-selling “indie” writer on the Kindle store, selling around 100,000 copies of her work per month, and pocketing 70% of the earnings. Since there are no printing costs, or concerns about shelf space, inventory, etc. Hocking can offer her books to readers for an extremely low price, which results in more impulse purchases and an increase in sales volume.
Previously one of the best selling Kindle writers was J.A. Konrath, but it was assumed he was popular because he previously had a publishing deal and so already had notoriety. That’s not the case with Hocking, who published stories on her blog before turning to Kindle. In fact, out of the top 25 best-selling indie Kindle writers, only 6 were previously affiliated with a publishing house.
Back of the envelope math suggests that selling 100,000 copies a month at $1 to $3 a pop and keeping 70%, Hocking can make millions per year, straight to her pocket.
Does this signal the end of big publishing deals? Probably.