Big Week for Indie Writers

John Locke

John Locke

In the past week we have learned two significant things concerning the world of publishing; John Locke became the first Indie writer to sell a million ebooks on Amazon, and author J.K. Rowling is set to release her Harry Potter series as ebooks – from her own website!

First to John Locke and a million ebooks. Only eight authors in total have sold a million ebooks on Amazon, and John Locke is the first Indie author to do so. Soon after reaching this milestone, Locke released an ebook titled “How I sold a million eBooks in 5 Months,” for $4.99 on Amazon. (An amazing marketing opportunity, which he acknowledges in the book)

Well, I had to satisfy my curiosity, so I plunked down the $4.99 and purchased the ebook version. (Marketing strategy at work!) About 3 hours later, I had read the entire book. By reading the book, I felt I got to know John Locke a bit. John and I have never met, nor have we ever exchanged any email or gotten connected through social media. Through this book alone, I got a feeling for John’s determination and discovered him to be a very gifted strategist when it comes to selling things.

John describes his plan in detail in this book, and how the plan evolved that allowed him to become the first Indie author to reach this level of success. The main takeaway from this books was that his achievement was not an accident! It was a well thought-out plan, and John executed it with a degree of confidence that allowed him the success he envisioned.

I won’t go into details about the plan. If you are interested, my advice is to buy the book and hear about it from the man who thought it up, experimented with it and then made it successful. However, one of my favorite portions of the book is where John tells about what didn’t work  – and the things he tried prior to putting this plan into place.

I enjoyed this book, which in and of itself is a great marketing tool, and which John acknowledges within the pages. $4.99 will get you the story of how he sold a million ebooks, or $9.99 will get you a paperback copy.

Keep in mind that the title is NOT “How YOU can sell a million ebooks in 5 months.” To do that, you would have to approach the plan with the same determination and marketing savvy as John did. However, I think there is a lot of very useful information in the book, and all self-published authors would do well to put this in their knowledge bank and start collecting interest on it…

In other news relevant to Indie publishing, JK Rowling announced this week that she will be launching a new website called “Pottermore” and will be selling ebook versions of the Harry Potter series, along with other works, directly from her own website.  It is thought that the print publishers may have a small marketing role to play, and that retailers are in talks with the author to assure their e-book formats are covered. Details still yet to come.

JK Rowling

JK Rowling

Now this is really big news. The Harry Potter series has never been available in ebook form, so who knows how many readers new to the series will get involved with the ebook versions? And of course, with a fan base the size of Rowling’s, the possibilities are virtually endless. Just image the traffic that can be generated to a site where the Harry Potter books, much less the world of Potter and Hogwarts will be made available along with new works and other value-added materials?

Apparently, the ebook series will be available in various ebooks formats where customers can purchase and download directly from the site.

I say Kudos to JK Rowling. She has played the game with traditional publishing and has come out a big winner. Now she can leverage that success and see where a super-indie publishing can take this idea. I’m rooting for her, and waiting to see how the story plays out.

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