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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Best Selling eWriters by Khurshid Alam

Best Selling eWriters by Khurshid Alam

I would first like to narrate a story here to make my point clear. I knew a man who was very educated, well informed, and used to write many things. Whenever he would meet people whom he found the appropriate ones he could share his literary zest talked about his plans. He used to say he wanted to get his manuscripts published. He contacted many publishers, and submitted to a dozens of them as well. But his manuscripts were never selected. A couple of years back when e-publishing came into existence I suggested him to opt for this. But he would always say so many things negative about it. Last year he died.

See his manuscripts were never selected by the traditional publishers and he never selected e-publishing as an option. His manuscripts will now belong to nowhere.

Was he right not to choose the option that he could? I think no! Because he could have published a good number of collections and if he believed his writings had power readers would have loved him to read, whatever formats his books were available in. This does not mean that I’m pursuing anyone to shun traditional publishing, my point is to adopt the current situations fast, and be the gainer than the loser.

Now we have a good number of writers who opted digital publishing and are selling huge. They are best sellers! Some even are offering their books at a very low cost yet are earning good money. Many have gained popularity and have broken the blockades of not getting recognized on time. Many traditional publishers are showing interest in publishing them.

Michael Prescott, Barbara Freethy, Darcie Chan, Kerry Wilkinson, Katie Stephens, John Locke and Amanda Hocking are some of the writers who gained popularity after getting e-published.

Michael Prescott (51) has had already got 20 books published to his credits, and received success as well before he took to self-publishing, yet his thriller Riptide got rejected by 25 traditional publishers. He opted self-publishing. His Riptide in digital format hit a success and entered the top 150 on USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books in 2009 and was declared as the New York Times bestselling author. In total his e-books have been sold over 8,000,000 copies.

Barbara Freethy has a more exciting story about her e-publishing journey. Of all her novels, 17 were out-of-print. She self-published her books including the OOP versions of her novels. Nine of all entered the top 150 USA TODAY's Best-Selling Books. She sold over 1.3 million copies of all her e-books.

Darcie Chan (37), a lawyer by profession, started writing a fiction The Mill River Recluse in 2002 and submitted to more than dozens of publishers and hundreds of literary agents. All rejected her stating the fiction lacked selling substances. Some years later, Darcie self-published the fiction and it started selling. Soon her fiction recorded huge sales and was subsequently listed in the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal e-book best-seller lists. Till date she has sold over 5-million digital titles.

Kerry Wilkinson is a young sports journalist who started writing novels just a year back. Typically he sold a total of over 250,000 copies of all his three novels Locked In, Vigilante and Woman in Black in a short span of six months. He was listed in the Amazon best-sellers list in 2011. His success attracted the attention of traditional publishers and now he has entered into a contract with none other than Pan MacMillan for a six-book deal, three of his already published books in the digital format and three new books. Kerry mostly writes suspense thrillers which are famous as the Jessica Daniel series thrillers.

John Locke, a crime fiction writer, has a similar story to tell. Earlier in his career he published books predominantly in the electronic formats with Amazon (Kindle Direct Publishing). In a few years he became a reckoning self-published writer by becoming the first ever to have sold over 1 million copies of all his novels in the Amazon bestselling writers list. His success landed him offers from Simon & Schuster for print publishing.

After having written eight novels, Amanda Hocking started submitting her works to traditional publishers to only find rejections without a stop. Tired of her hard work and exhausted of rejections, she tried self-publishing with Amazon as an option. Soon her sales grew. She sold more than 225, 000 copies of all her nine novels by February 2011, of which Switched emerged as bestselling fiction with 60,000 copies sold. Hocking is one of the bestselling authors in digital publishing now.

Khurshid Alam,
Editor-in-Chief, CLRI, June 2012.

Forthcoming Topics
Pros & Cons of Digital Publishing
India’s Stand in Digital Publishing

1 comment:

  1. Khurshid,
    To digitise or to print is the latest option before the authors.
    I congratulate Khurshid on his insight for e-book publishing.That this format is likely to climb the ladder of stupendous success is a foregone conclusion.
    With Khurshid's permission, I would suggest that a website be opened only for e-book writers and each e-book writer be registered so that the e-publishers can read their works and call for a contract.


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