The British Literati awoke to the news this morning that Amanda Hocking http://amandahocking.blogspot.com/ - indie Queen of fantasy and all things e-book had signed a four book deal worth $2 million.
The 26 year-old has already made over $1 million from the sales of her nine ebooks, seven of which are in the Top 100 Paid on Amazon.
Fellow self-published authors around the world have already crowned the reluctant indie-icon as their guru, but what will they make of this?
For as long as everyone can remember, self-publishing or vanity press, was considered as a route for writers who never quite made it. If you had to pay to publish a book, it was no good, right? W-rong!
The birth of Amazon's Kindle, Sony's Nook, and many other e-reader devices, changed the face of publishing irrevocably and Hocking was one of the BIG success stories.
Suddenly, writers had the power to publish what they wanted. No commission to agents, no spending years submitting to publishers and papering your study walls with rejection slips; the balance of power tipped very heavily in favour of the scribes.
No longer were the best seller charts dominated by the big names. For the past 2-3 years, indie authors have been creeping up stealth-like on the Pattersons' and Kings'; silent assassins. (you only have to look at Sugar & Spice for proof of that!)
Hocking has never professed her allegiance to the indie crowd. She has always been proud of her success, but never once committed her future to remaining independent. She talks about that in this article. http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/books/118624429.html?page=1&c=y
So what will her fellow indies think now? What does her deal mean for the all-but-deceased future of DTP (Dead Tree Publishing)?
Just two days ago, it was being written off in a live chat by two top indie authors: http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/2011/03/ebooks-and-self-publishing-dialog.html
Only yesterday, the sound of indie authors shredding up traditional submissions and jamming up the air-waves calling their agents to dispense of their services could be heard across the globe, to be drowned out only by the clink of large Publishing House shackles hitting the floor as millions of long-imprisoned ink-slingers shrugged off their chains and sang together in a wondrous chorus of 'Sisters (and brothers) are doing it for themselves'...
Well, Amanda, you've really gone and done it now...
Twitter, Facebook and Kindleboards all but crashed today with desperate indies clambering to find out what happened. Where was their Goddess now? Who did they have to hail as the leading light in everything independent? Would their agents' believe that they had consumed too much wine last night and were just tired after battering their keyboards all day?
Had indie publishing just been delivered the sucker-punch that DTP's had been sat waiting for?
Amanda (quite rightly) makes no apologies for accepting the deal. She simply justifies it by explaining that she just "wants to write" and I am with her there. As all indie authors know, we are not just writers. Our time is spent blogging, emailing, writing guest posts and generally selling our brand and our books, we actually get very little time to write. So no apologies/excuses necessary Ms. Hocking.
But where are we now?
Has Amanda sold out or has she just saved millions of wanna-be Jones', Lockes' or Konraths' from believing that they can churn out any old story, stick it on Kindle and become an over-night millionaire?
Time will tell. We are writers, if you cut us open, words spill out, not blood.
Amanda is laughing all the way to the bank of Trylle and you can bet the bottom of that pile of dollars, that her blood approves.