I Like Amanda Hocking
She just seems so darn sensible, that’s why. For example, when she talks about why, even after she made a name for herself self-publishing electronically, she took a $2 million advance from St. Martin’s Press for an upcoming book series, over on her blog. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but what it boils down to is that she wants to make it easier to for readers to find her work and for her to focus on what she really likes doing, which is writing (as opposed to everything else).
And of course that’s very sensible. It also touches on much of what I addressed, rather more satirically, a year ago in “Why In Fact Publishing Will Not Go Away Anytime Soon,” — that publishers exists in no small part because they do the rest of the stuff involved in getting one’s work to readers, letting writers write. Which is something I’m for, personally. I mean, I think about all the stuff I want to write but may never get to, just because life is too damn short; if I have to throw in managing every step of the book production process, that’ll just mean even less stuff I get to write. Like Ms. Hocking, I like some of the stuff — I’m pretty engaged in marketing and PR — but other things that are necessary? Meh. I’m happy to let someone else do them.
There is one plaintive note Ms. Hocking put into the entry, in talking to her readers (and other interested folks) about her deal:
…it is crazy that we live in a time that I have to justify taking a seven-figure a publishing deal with St. Martin’s. Ten years ago, nobody would question this. Now everybody is.
I don’t question it; it makes sense to me. Ms. Hocking wants to focus on writing. Hopefully, this deal will let her do that. Good for her, and good luck to her on that.