Could This Be The Death of The Editor?
If you’re a professional writer, this story will either make you want to cheer or kill yourself. The connection between the cloth pig and the young lady is intriguing, because it started a career.
28 year-old Amanda Hocking writes vampires novels and paranormal romances, and is obsessed with the Muppets. She lives in Austin, Minnesota, and wanted to see a live Muppet show that was being brought to Chicago, so to finance her trip she uploaded her unsold books online. Muppets. She’s 28. Let’s move on.
On April 15 2010 she made a book that had taken her less than a week to write available to Kindle readers on Amazon’s website. Following tips she found from the blog of JA Konrath, an internet self-publishing pioneer, she also uploaded to Smashwords to gain access to the Nook, Sony eReader and iBook markets. It wasn’t that difficult. A couple of hours of formatting, and it was done.
I think you know what’s coming, don’t you?
‘Switched’, the first in the ‘Trylle’ trilogy, which is about trolls, made her a millionaire with breathtaking speed. It became so big that she could no longer cope with solo publishing and went to traditional houses, St Martin’s Press in the US and Pan Macmillan in the UK, who are championing the book as an example that publishing is not dead.
Now, whatever you think of Ms Hocking’s writing, there’s no denying she’s a determined young woman who deserves success for her energies, so long as she keeps her head about all this. But the story tells you something about the upside-down state of publishing right now. The good thing is that this area is being driven by the writers. The bad thing is that the publishers in question are content to ride on technology’s coat-tails and pick up the cash as it falls into their laps.
But most of all, because Ms Hocking self-published, there was no editing process involved at all.
Does this mean that the future of publishing is going to be Bottom Up? (Bottom-up processing is a type of information processing based on incoming data from the environment to form a perception.) And could you also apply this type of approach to the writing of literary novels? Is Ms Hocking the future of publishing, or one of a handful of early-adopter writers who weren’t put off by the snobbery surrounding online novels?
And what of the fact that in all the reporting frenzy about this story, everyone is focussing on the Muppet connection, and nobody AT ALL has mentioned the contents of the book?
Trend or aberration? What do you think? All comments will be read with interest.