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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gratitude and a Fact

Tonight Christian Bale won a SAG award for his role in The Fighter, and as he was walking up to the stage, he was hugging a whole buncha people, and my roommate Eric said, "I wonder if he's going to hug the sound guy," and I laughed for a good ten minutes. Really loudly.

I eat peanut butter with frozen cheese pizza because it tastes awesome. I know all the words to every song ever written by Fall Out Boy. I've seen pretty much every movie made in the 80s (and most of them from the 90s and the 00s too). I really, really love Michael Wincott. I try on shoes a lot, but I rarely buy them. I'm obsessed (unhealthily so) with possessing Sharpies. I live in the same house my parents bought twelve years ago, and I live with the same guy I've been friends with for the past ten years.

Last night, my friends threw me a surprise party at a bar.(Thanks everybody!!!!) My mom, my roommate Eric, and my good friend Pete did most of the planning, along with my friend Fi would made me a really neat plaque and a clock (and some of my writerly friends wrote some very nice things about me, thanks guys :) :)).

At the party, these are people I've been friends with for years. And they are truly, awesome, quirky, funny people. They know who I actually I am, and they like me anyway. And most importantly, they'll call me out on my crap. And that's the point. I'm still Amanda Hocking. I still have my same fantastic friends and family, my same life, and I'm grateful for it everyday.

Because as much as I love everything's that's been happening with my writing, the things that really make my life what it is are the people (and pets) I have in it.

So what has all this been leading up to? I have a fact that I'm about to share with you, and I thought this fact would change something. I thought that I would be a different person when these things happened. And the last six months have been so confusing to me because I'm not a different person, so I kept feeling like something's wrong. Something should have changed.

But then I realized that that's the point. It hasn't changed. And I don't want it to change.

Anyway - here's the long meandering moral. According to what Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Createspace is reporting, I've sold 486,018 books total. But that's without sales from Apple and the My Blood Approves series from B&N reporting to Smashwords yet. Assuming that I've sold at least 14,000 books (which I'm inclined to think I probably have) - that means I've sold half a million books.

I hate saying "I sold" books, because you know what, I didn't. You did. I wrote the books, but you the readers, along with the good folks at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple did all the work. You're the ones writing reviews, blogging about it, telling your friends. You've done so much for me, and I'm not going forget that or stop being grateful for it.

But I'm not going to let that change me. I'm still gonna drink orange Hi-C from a juice box, and I don't care what anybody thinks.


  1. Dude you are so freaking cool! If you did care I don't think I could like you... ps I finally quit being a sissy and rocked out Hollowland... again your amazing!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed your night and I hope you were truly surprised. You're a wonderful friend and I am so grateful for you! Thank you for being there for me so often in the past. And thank you for the bonus of entertaining me. <3

  3. That's awesome, Amanda. It's so refreshing to see this sort of attitude from someone who's been so successful. Congratulations on your sales.

  4. Wow! You deserve every bit of success you have Amanda, and I'm sure you won't let any of it change you. Keep on doing what you're doing, and good luck with the future. :)

  5. Congratulations, Amanda. Those are stunning and awesome numbers. As cool as that is, my favorite part of that post was the Hi-C. :D

    I drink them on the sly when I think no one's watching.

  6. @mindie I'm glad you liked Hollowland. I have a really high tolerance for gore, so I'm always happy when readers don't hate it. :)

    @Valerie I heart you

    @Danielle Don't hide the Hi-C! It's not our fault they refuse to sell such deliciousness in juice boxes! Drink them with pride!

  7. Half a million books? I wonder how that compares to traditionally published authors... It sounds so HIGH.

    Congratz! And, don't go changing, 'cause you don't need to. Obviously, you are doing something right already.

  8. What is it called now? Orange Lava?

    I miss the days when it was Ecto-Cooler!

    J. E. Medrick

  9. @Cathy I have no clue what that is in comparison. I only know how many books people sell unless they tell me.

    @J. E. Oh my gosh yes! Ecto-Cooler! It was green with Slimer! I think they only stopped that a few years ago. But yeah, good stuff.

  10. amanda said:
    > I eat peanut butter with frozen cheese
    > pizza because it tastes awesome.

    you're weird. i mean, seriously...

    > I'm still gonna drink orange Hi-C
    > from a juice box, and I don't care
    > what anybody thinks.

    i love hi-c. but not from a juice-box
    -- those puny straws creep me out...


  11. LOL--you've changed--ya don't have to get up and go to work at the disabled people place anymore :)

    But--what's NICE is that you didn't turn into a "I'm better than anyone else" snob.

    No matter how much I've enjoyed your work--I wouldn't read it if you were a total bitch to your fans.

    Hopefully, the things that Do change for you will be things that are only positive.

    You seemed so stressed earlier this month--I'm glad you had a fun night out and a nice vacation!

    Personally--as I hate winter--if I sold half a million books--I'd be on the first plane lock, stock and barrel to Hawaii!

    I used to live in Minnesota--I hated every minute of it.

    Not sure what you thought would be different--other than you can afford a lifestyle where you don't have to eat peanut butter and Mac & Cheese unless you WANT to.

    When you'll see things change for the WORSE is when you try to take on more than you can do. Don't stress yourself. Please AMANDA and do what's best for HER. HOPE you're pleasing your readers with your work--but ultimately, AMANDA is the one that needs to be happy, not us.

    And...still looking forward to your USA today interview--that's just cool.

    You're probably one of the best-selling Indie Authors out there, hon. The sky is literally the limit for you.

    Your next book could be "Hello, I'm Amanda Hocking and I'm an author" -- guarantee it'll be inspirational for those of us still struggling to get sales.

    Your success has made me feel better about my chances of doing well--and what inspired me to take a chance and put up Linked and The Storm Within.

    Granted--I've only sold 300 copies of those two books in January--but it's 300 I probably wouldn't have sold if I'd never read an Indie Author. (Still can't remember if I found you via Imogen Rose or HP Mallory or??? I do remember it was an excerpt in a book that found you.

    My worry about you, to be honest, is that you'll burn yourself out.

    I'm insanely jealous at how fast you can write!

  12. Wow! Congratulations on all your success Amanda. You really deserve it and more.

    You are a terrific writer and with each story you write you give your readers a nice escape from reality, a few laughs, a few tears, one heck of a good time and you occasionally take us on a wild ride with your characters.

    And from one 80's fan to another there must be at least one cheesy movie you missed so that you can still discover more 80's awesomeness!

  13. Well, you done good by the looks of things. No problem with that.

  14. What incredible news--a surprise party with all your favorite people! Oh,and the half million books sold is pretty cool too...

  15. Amanda, Congrats on hitting that milestone and truly handling it all with class. You've really adapted well to some tremendously big and fast changes.

    As for a comparison to print books, think about this. An average book without a huge push by the publisher is considered fairly successful if it sells 10,000 copies.

    And put it in even more perspective--Amanda has not upfront costs to recoup. She doesn't print paper, or ship to bookstores, or pay anybody for front table placement. Nor does she give 10% to an agent (except for maybe foreign rights? Not sure how that arrangement is working).

    Either way, it's quite a model for success and one I hope to follow.

    An E-Publisher's Manifesto

  16. I am so happy for you! I've read all you've made available and will continue! I love your work. I love to read and I must say your characters stay with me. Lately I've been wanting to go back to how I felt when I was reading Hollowland. You deserve all this and more!

    I can't imagine cheese pizza with peanut butter. But I like peach halves (from the can) with mayo and shredded cheese...weird but tasty.


  17. Congrats! You've worked hard, you deserve it, can't wait to see you post that you've hit 1 million!

  18. Congrats! What an accomplishment!

  19. Congratulations on hitting such a remarkable milestone, Amanda. I am truly happy for you and still think you are cool, even though you eat frozen pizza with peanut butter. :)

    Enjoy your success and your accomplishment.

  20. I just happened across your blog here while trying to make sure your books are ok for my son to read. I still don't have an answer to that question, but since he's already half way through Switched, it might be a pointless quest anyway. So far he seems to love it. He's 11 years old, but an avid and advanced reader. He found Switched while searching on Barnes and Noble for something that looked interesting but wouldn't use too much of the GC money on his Nook account. I have to say the last time he got started on an author in that way it was at a book fair when he was in 2nd grade and what he found was Suzanne Collins and her Underworld series. She went on to do pretty well with some other books, so things look good for you : ) Unfortunately I don't see your books on Accelerated Reader. Maybe that's a sign that they ARE too grown up for him, but you might want to look into how you get on there. Many kids won't read books they can't get credit for by taking those tests because it reflects in their grade. You can see my son's book review blog here if you have any interest Good luck n your writing.

  21. I just discovered you a few weeks ago and have already read the Trylle Trilogy and Hollowland, all of which I loved. I look forward to starting the My Blood Approves series. I love your strong female characters. I also appreciate that your books are so reasonably priced on Amazon. Thank YOU!

  22. Congrats Amanda! That's super exciting! Its so nice to see someone as level headed as you and it sounds like you have awesome friends and family.

  23. Just wow. Couldn't have happened to a nicer girl, though.

    Now when you hit ten million sales, we'll see if you're still hugging the sound guy :-)

  24. Just know that you ROCK with a capital R!!! keep up the good work I read a lot, over 175 books just in the last year, yours are one of the best I have come across and I mostly read YA. I just love My blood Approves and cant wait for the next one, keep up the good work and just being who you are cuz people will love ya for it!!!!

  25. Thank you for the "Shout Out" to the fans. Its humbling that you took time out to thank us.
    Thank you for the entertainment at a great price. As a mom of two girls I really struggle with finding things that we can all talk about, appreciate and do together, without breaking our budget. Books for three bucks or less are really great. We all love them and we appreciate your talent for story telling.
    The girls and I have reading competitions. To see who can read them the fastest. Then we have mini book clubs about them.
    I know it sounds terribly corny, but sometimes your books help us talk about bigger issues than vampires and trolls. (Not that we don't love talking about either one of those either).
    However, we have talked about boys, sex, (I still cringe when i think about opening that bag of worms. But it turned out ok.) disappointment, consequences and appreciating a story beyond who someone winds up with.
    Anyway this is a long winded thank you . . . But really thank you from me and my Little Strong Ladies in training. I know you said that you write books to simply entertain, but in our house they have gone beyond that simple goal.

  26. You so lost me at frozen pizza with peanut butter... I mean my mind literally went wait what? What are you talking about? Oh my hell gross no way! LOL I had a friend a long time ago tell me not to knock it 'til I try it and it was wheat thins with peanut butter... I must say after trying it, it wasn't bad... This one however I may have to play fear factor with my kids and see how they take it! :)

  27. the pizza still frozen when you add peanut butter?

  28. Awesome job!! Here's to hitting the one million mark some time this year. :)

    Oh, and I know what you mean by Michael Wincott. His voice gives me chills.

  29. Way to go, Amanda!!!

    *throws confetti*

    *blows tootie horns*

    All the best!!!

  30. So very fantastic - I was "guessing" this would be true. Can't wait until you are the first indie to hit 1 million!

  31. Going way off the subjects listed above...but seriously LOVE Peter. Add more Peter to the My Blood Approves books, please!!! Thanks!!

  32. Wow, just wow! That is an AMAZING accomplishment! Many authors would strive to sell that many books in a lifetime, never mind in just a few short months! I personally have read all of your books to date, and recommended them to at least 25 different friends, making all of them buy each book. I love to support writers like you and can't believe how many books you have sold! Keep being who you are, don't let any of it change you, but don't forget to be so proud of the this! You are a successful, amazing, talented writer and it just proves that your fans love to read your work. Keep writing! I guarantee I will keep reading!