Amanda Hocking

They say she’s the revolutionist of e-books and self-publishing. She says she’s just like any other human being, in need of money for a trip to watch a Muppet exhibition. Yes, Muppet exhibition (you know those furry large mouthed hand puppets… at least you should know who Kermit is, if you don’t; google him immediately!). Apparently she’s a huge Muppet fan and needed money to go see the Muppets’ creator’s exhibition.

What did she do? She put up her book on Amazon. She needed just $300 and she made millions!

I must admit, until yesterday, I had never heard of Amanda Hocking. Well, I might have heard about her in passing by, but nothing that caught my interest. I don’t know where I found her yesterday, but suddenly I was reading article after article about her Amazon success.

She’s a millionaire! A millionaire! From selling only e-books! On Amazon! :O *flabbergasted* Naturally it peaked my interest. How could someone become such a success? And she didn’t do a lot of promoting from what I can understand, it just spread by word of mouth (like this post).

I had to investigate and yesterday I downloaded one of her books from Amazon. And yesterday I finished said book. It was my very first zombie book (Yes, zombie book!) And I just plowed through. On valentines day, of all days, I was reading about squishy zombies getting killed. And I liked it. I liked it so much that I couldn’t stop. I read from start to finish in one sitting.  The book has to be really really good to hook me to read it cover to cover in one go. A zombie book at that!

So today I have dedicated the day to clinically pick this book apart in order to understand how I got so hooked. A complete book review will follow when I’m done dissecting. If you want to read this absolutely ama(nda)zing hoo(c)king book it’s called Hollowland and is the first one in a series. It’s about zombies, but don’t let that deter you – I don’t read zombie books myself, but I really loved this one.

If you have a kindle you can download it from Amazon right now for free, which I think is fantastic. If you’re interested in more of Amanda Hocking (which you should be by now) you can visit her website or blog.

EDIT: For those who are kindle-less go to her Smashword site and download the book from there. 🙂

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9 thoughts on “Amanda Hocking

  1. Amazon is murky water for me right now. There are so many “authors” who upload steaming piles of words and every single one of them thinks they are the next Amanda Hocking. Let’s be clear Ms. Hocking is the exception to the rule here, not the norm.

    Every single “author” who uploads steaming piles of words to Amazon probably tried to go the traditional route first, and failed. Actual literary professionals read their work and passed, and passed, and passed. Now every “author” wants to cash in on the Kindle craze and uploads steaming piles of words. They aren’t making any real money at all, just saturating the market. Soon Kindle owners will get tired of sifting through the piles and stop downloading them altogether. Failed “authors” will see that there is no money in e-books and stop uploading. By this time the traditional publishing world will be in serious trouble as the quality and quantity of submissions has gone the way of the dinosaur, due to every “author” bypassing them for e-book success. Like it or not, e-books have changed the publishing industry in all the wrong ways. Pretty soon people will wonder if we need an actual book at all, to hold and read, anymore. What about older books? What happens to Hemingway, Edgar Allen Poe, or Shakespeare?

    Don’t get me wrong, there has to be some undiscovered jewels out there, but who will be able to find them when you have so many “authors” giving themselves positive reviews and their friends are giving them positive reviews too. How will you know what is good and what isn’t?

    Sorry for the rant but this happens to be a subject near and dear to my heart. I for one will not join the e-book craze. I won’t put my name to something that isn’t the absolute best that it can be. Right now there aren’t any guidelines for e-publishing and the inmates are running the asylum.

    On a totally unrelated issue, I’m glad that you read zombies!

    1. I’m totally with you on this one, bwtaylor. There are far too many not-the-best-they-could-be books out there. I think the undiscovered jewels will be found just like Hocking, by word of mouth. If only one person reads it, and then gushes praise over it I’m sure several other persons will read it too, and then it will snowball from there. Although the chance of that one person finding that jewel diminishes every second someone uploads a book before it’s ready.
      I myself prefer a good old tree-killing creation in my hands. A reason why I haven’t uploaded any of my books yet, I want to have a go at the normal publisher routine first. I love the smell of books and holding a book in my hands makes it feel more real than just on the computer (if the computer crashes, ebooks are no more, but I could go without electricity for years and years, and still have books, real books, to read…)

      “the inmates are running the asylum” HAH! I just got a nice idea for a short story ;D

      Yeah, zombies… I’ve already started on the second book in The Hollows series, Hollowmen. The beginnin isn’t that very… I don’t know… she stitches herself up! They’ve cut open her stomach, and she’s just… “Oh, I’m not that good at sewing, but let’s give this a try, and then I’ll go and kick some zombie butt.” believable, that’s the word I was looking for, not believable. Reviewers say it gets better further on in the story though.

    2. There are a lot of quality authors on Amazon who were rejected time and time again because they are competing with people who think they can write but can’t. Since literary agents make their decisions on a whim, they pass up the proverbial diamond in the rough. Amanda Hocking is one of them. You will start to see more and more rise to the top.

      Personally, I published through Amazon and CreateSpace, and people who read my book love it and can’t wait for the next. Then again, I hired a professional graphic artist who did a BEAUTIFUL cover for me, I’ve hired a professional editor, and enlisted a load of beta readers, and poured a lot of money into promotion. I believe in my writing and put my money where my mouth is. A lot of independent authors aren’t willing to do that.

      – J. E. Sandoval

      1. You are right, it all depends on how much time and money an author is willing to put into it. If they just produce a book as an easy way to get more income, and just upload it to Amazon or any other e-book site they are going to become very disappointed.
        Lately I’ve been swimming the murky waters on Amazon – the free e-books – and must say that the price actually, in most cases, represents the worth of the book. I have yet to find a free book that hasn’t disappointed me. (And I’m not including those random free books by authors who charge for their other books… it’s a good way to hook new readers)

      2. That’s my plan. Once book 2 in my series is complete, I make e-book 1 free. I am also going to release several free short stories to hook people in. But I know what you mean. Lots of steaming piles of words right now.

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