Amanda Hocking

A Bit More on My Decision…

July 28th, 2011 by
This post currently has 98 comments

When a reader is deciding whether or not to read one of my books, they weigh a few things. Whether the book sounds interesting, what they’ve heard about it, if they’ve enjoyed my previous books, the price, things they’ve heard about me, etc.

When I have to decide what’s in the best interest for my readers, my books, my career, and myself, the decision becomes a lot more complicated. Especially when considering what’s good for one reader might be not-so-good for another.

When I decided to sell the rights for the Trylle Trilogy to St. Martin’s, it wasn’t something that I came to lightly. It was something I discussed with people, struggled with, and weighed the pros against the cons. I knew there would be cons – and one of those cons would be backlash from people who didn’t understand or agree with my decision.

But in the end I came to the decision based primarily on this one fact: With St. Martin’s, I would be able to produce a better quality product that would be more accessible to readers, and I would have the support of a house behind me to help take of some of the strain I’ve been under so I can focus on writing more books.

Are there downsides? Absolutely. But I believe the the pros outweighed the cons for the readers, the books, and myself.

The biggest complaint is going to be that I’m a sell out. This seems silly to me because I will be making less money per book sold than I am right now. Also, I haven’t changed my opinion on publishing at all since I started this. But I digress.

The term “sell out” is going derive more from the fact that the price of the ebooks will go up with St. Martin’s. I will reiterate, however, that I am making much, much less on higher priced ebooks than I am right now. People will argue that unlike paper books, ebooks cost next to nothing to make, so why should they really cost anything?

The fact is that St. Martin’s is a huge corporation, which is why I signed with them. The money they make off the ebook goes into feeding said corporation, which includes their staff – of which I have frequent contact with my editor, two publicists, web design people, artists, marketing, etc. They’re working on major cover launches, spreads in ads that book buyers – like Walmart and Target – read. There’s a major ad campaign going underway that frankly, I couldn’t afford or negotiate on my own. I simply do not have the expertise in it.

I’m not going to go into a total break down of where St. Martin’s is spending their money, because honestly, I don’t think it really matters to most readers. The point is that I know where it’s going, and I think they earned their share of the royalties. I think that what they do justifies a higher increase in price.

With that said, both St. Martin’s and I are working to keep the prices as low as possible, because we do value my readers. I wouldn’t have gotten this far without you, and I know it. So out of respect and consideration for the readers, I don’t want to unnecessarily raise prices.

In the end, I know some people won’t agree with me. Some people will still think either I’m an idiot or a greedy asshole. Nothing I can say will ever change that opinion, so I just have to accept as part of the decision I made. I knew I would lose some readers in the transition, but I went ahead with it because I truly believe that this will benefit the readers who stayed around.

I guess all I’m really trying to say is that whether you agree with the decision or not, I want the readers to know that they factor heavily into all my decision making. In fact, they’re probably the biggest factor, because without them, my books and I are nothing.

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  • I definitely don’t think you’re a sell out. You worked so hard on your own, self-published, and grew an amazing following… and then you got the opportunity to further expand your audience to the mainstream, AFTER you put so much into your books on your own. There’s nothing wrong with that! 🙂 If other people don’t see that, then they are missing out~

    – Esther
    http://roseywinterrose.blogspot.com

  • FarmvilleBot says:

    The only thing I’m sad about is the fact that I purchased the first book in the Trylle trilogy, read it, went back to buy the next two… Only to find them gone. Talk about horrible timing!! 🙁

  • Liberty says:

    You are not a sell out. You need to let st. martins handle the stress of business and you do what you do best WRITE 🙂

  • Nicole says:

    Hi, there will always be people that complain no matter what you do and in the end, it’s your life and your stories. You can never make it right for everyone, so concentrate on the most important one – make it right for you. In my case – if you wouldnt have published your books I’d have never stumbled over your name and the Trylle story and that would be sad as I absolutely loved the first book and can’t wait to read the other two. I’m a little old-fashioned, I hate ebooks and there is nothing that can make me read them, not even stories from my fav authors that are not published any other way. There is too much reading on screens all day long that it’s such a relieve to turn all gadgets off, and cuddle up with a book. So thank you for your choice to publish them. It gives people like me the chance to experience this beautiful world you have created with your story. Looking forward to the next books and hopefully one day a movie about it – I’d certainly watch it.

  • Brianna says:

    Glad more people will get to enjoy the books’ amazingness. Want you to know that I read hundreds of books a year of many genres and your series is in my top 5 favourites of all times. I love them so much, thank for spending your time and creating such a great series! I was sad when they were over. Can’t wait to hear more news on the movie as well, hope they can do the trilogy justice!

  • Just started reading “Switched” and happy to hear that you are making them more widely available because (thus far) it is an excellent read!!! 🙂

  • WOW Gold says:

    Congrats on the publishing deal. The protection and help of the publisher certainly does make existence simpler plus they are able to help promote
    When we play the WOW, we need to try get the WOW Gold Cheap,thst’s to say, spend less money, do we have any good way to Buy WOW Gold from trust friends or some way else? When we have that we can play the game becomes more quickly and update the levels more easy.

  • WOW Gold says:

    I agree with the above mentioned .I just tried out as you suggested and it works great Thank you so much.

  • Jenny Foreman says:

    Hey Amanda!
    I loved this series and the My Blood Approves books as well. I’m glad your getting your books out there! I have recommended your books to all my “reader” friends and it would be great to be able to go to “Walmart” and pick up a copy for those of my friends or are not Ereader fans and still love the “book experience”. Congrats! Your a wonderful writer and deserve great success! I look forward to reading your work for many more years to come. I can now say that I started reading this great author when she was just starting out! Good luck, I hope this proves to be a great decision!