While the music industry in the West and in Bollywood is doing its best ostrich imitation, in another product category we are seeing some amazing new developments – books.
Amanda Hocking is 26* years old. She has 9 self-published books to her name, and sells 100,000+ copies of those ebooks per month. She has never been traditionally published. This is her blog. And it’s no stretch to say – at $3 per book1/70% per sale for the Kindle store – that she makes a lot of money from her monthly book sales. (Perhaps more importantly: a publisher on the private Reading2.0 mailing list has said, to effect: there is no traditional publisher in the world right now that can offer Amanda Hocking terms that are better than what she’s currently getting, right now on the Kindle store, all on her own.)
If Hocking had gone to a publisher to do a paperback that retailed for $10, she would have made $1 per book. For the Kindle version, she would have made $3. But by self-publishing on the Kindle she gets to keep 70% or $2.10 per book and keep the low, low price of $3.
Yes, she has to figure out how to market the book. But as any good VC will tell you, when you are starting out, focus on the product. If it’s good, they’ll keep coming back and bring their friends with them.
I don’t know how good Amanda Hocking is. I actually don’t think she needs to be a Michael Crichton. This is the magic of low prices at work.
Now, can we get songs for a quarter any time soon?