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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Blog

Okay, I've been writing this blog in my head for about a month or so, and I was trying to decide how I would break the news to everyone. But by the time I got to say things, everybody had already heard.

And if you haven't, here it is: I've got a deal with St. Martin's Press to publish a four book young adult paranormal romance series called the Watersong series. I think they're shooting for a fall 2012 release. The Wake book I've mentioned a few times, that's the first book in the series.

Here's the article from the NY Times about the deal: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/self-publisher-signs-four-book-deal-with-macmillan/

There's also going to be many articles in the future about it. So many, that I'm sure you'll be sick of hearing about me, if you aren't already.

But the big question on everybody's lips isn't what the deal is but why? If I've sold over a million books and made close to $2 million dollars on my own, why oh why would I possibly want to give up rights? How could they possibly offer me more then what I'm getting myself?

Is it because I feel I need validation? (Somebody misunderstood my post of my saying "I want to be a writer" to mean that I didn't feel as I already am one, when in fact I meant, "I only want to be a writer. I do not want be a publisher.") Also, after selling a million books, making the USA Today Bestseller list, and getting the amount of support from my readers that I get, I feel pretty validated as an author.

Is it because I think publishers will take over marketing over me? No. I enjoy marketing. I am hoping that since I'll have their publicist on hand, the process will become more streamlined. I know I will have to continue doing interviews, and I'll always blog and tweet because I enjoy that.

Is it because I'm so hung up on the idea of seeing my books on shelves in bookstores that I'm willing to give up huge portions of my profit for it? No. That's just silly. I'll be honest, it is pretty cool to think about having a book in stores. Having large distribution is part of the reason why I wanted a deal, and part of that is having books in stores. But just the thrill of seeing my book at Barnes & Noble in no way affected my decision. It's just an added bonus.

Here are the two considerations I made in my decision: what's best for my career, and what's best for my reader. (Notice I didn't say what was best for my wallet).

It boils down to these points:

1. Readers inability to find my books when they want them. I am getting an increasing number of emails from people who go into bookstores to buy my books for themselves or friends or family members, and not only does Barnes & Noble not carry my book, they can't even order it for them. People are requesting my books, and they can't get them.

2. Readers complaints about the editing of my books. I have hired editors. Many, many editors. And I know that I can outsource editing, but I'm clearly doing a really shitty job of picking editors. EDIT: The people hired as editors are great people who worked very hard. Which is the most frustrating thing about the continued complaints of errors in my books. I know that my books are better because of the people I hired. And I don't understand how there can still be errors. So my remark at "shitty" is over my frustration at the situation. Not the actual editors or the work they did.

3. The amount of books I've written and the rate of speed that I write books. If it took me five years to write a book, and I only had one book written, I'd be thinking long and hard about this deal. But right now, I have 19 books currently written. By the time the Watersong series goes to print, I'll still have 19-24 titles at least that I can self-publish.

The reason I took this deal wasn't for the money. At least not the upfront money. Also, let's be honest - if I self-published the Watersong series on my own, I could probably make $2 million within a year or two. Five years tops. I am fully aware that I stand a chance of losing money on this deal compared to what I could make self-publishing.

I honestly didn't do this for money. But let's not forget that as much money as I've made, James Patterson made $70 million between June 2010 and July 2010. Legacy houses (is that what we're calling them now?) have made a lot of authors very rich.

So what do I actually want out of this deal? What do I hope to gain?

Career stability. As an author, I'll never really have one. Each book I come out with could bomb and could be the one that turns readers off me forever. Any day, my books could just stop selling. And I know that going with a house isn't going to change that. Any author can stop making money any day.

James Patterson has a book out now that has incredibly low reviews, some of the lowest I've seen for any book, and that book is still selling like crazy, and I can find it Target and Walmart. Even the sequel to the book, which the reviews say is even twice as awful as the original, is selling like crazy. Why? Because James Patterson wrote it. (Or more accurately, because his name is on the cover).

I want that. Not the writing bad books thing. I'll always strive to write a product that people enjoy. But I want to be a household name. I want to be the impulse buy that people make when they're waiting in an airport because they know my name.

That, I think, is as close to career stability as I can get. And that's why I took the deal.

Does this mean I'll stop self-publishing? No, absolutely not. I have a few titles lined up this year yet to put out via the self-publishing. And I'll have more in the future.


Did my agent push me into this? Nope. This exactly how the conversation went: Steve (my agent): "Have you thought at all about going the traditional route?" Me: "Yeah, I have. And I have a series that I'm ready to pitch." Steve: "Great. Send it to me when you're ready."

Did you sign the contract without reading it? I haven't actually signed anything. But on top of my agent, I have a lawyer, an accountant, a financial adviser, and a personal assistant. I like my agent. I trust my agent. But that doesn't mean I'm so excited about this that I'm going to ignore logic and forget to make sure everything is in order the way I think it is. Not only will I look over it, but I'll have other people who understand contracts better than me read it.

Aren't you going back on everything you said? Nope. I've made a number of blog posts in the past, and I haven't changed my opinion on anything. I always said if the deal was right, I would take it. Part of the reason I'm taking it now is because I have made enough of my name for myself that I had the leverage to get the kind of deal I wanted.

What happens if they screw you over in a contract, steal all your money, and keep your erights forever?
Then they do. I like the books St. Martin's bought. And I believe in them. But if I lose money on them, I lose money on them. That's the risk I'm taking. And I do know this is a risk. But it's a calculated risk, and if it works out, the payoff could be enormous. But I'm making enough money on my other books - and I will continue to make enough on my self-published books - that I can afford to take this risk.

With all that said, I am very excited about this. The folks I've talked to at St. Martin's have been very kind, and they're pretty jazzed up to have me. They even sent me flowers and chocolates today.

But 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.

Which is really silly, you guys. If there's one thing I've proven in the past year is that I'm pretty business savvy. I'm practical and level-headed. I've thought this through and talked it over with a lot of different people.

And now, I'm watching Scream 2 with Eric. It's his 25th birthday today, and I'm going back to celebrating that with him.

294 comments:

  1. WOOOOOHOOOOOOO! Congratulations :)
    This is the best of all possible worlds – where you can have anything*!

    You write what you love, promote other writers, blog honestly, support causes, and work your butt off... I love it when good things happen to good people! Thanks for taking us along for the ride :)

    *Just Pete Wentz to go! :)

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  2. Go you! What a grand adventure!!!
    Well done Amanda :-)

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  3. HUGE congrats!! A deal well earned.

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  4. Congratulations on doing what you want to do. No one outside your trusted circle has any business telling you what to do with your career, because no one else has ever done anything like what you've accomplished. You have the joy and terror of creating your own path, and I think you're being amazingly cool and level-headed about the whole thing.

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  5. Congratulations, Amanda! This is really awesome news! And I'm impressed with how level-headed and rational you are about all of this. It sounds like you're enjoying the experience. Best of luck with everything!

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  6. Congrats! I love your writing and will continue to read no matter who publishes it. Rock On!

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  7. You totally deserve all the good things which have happened for you, the good things you have created for yourself. Rock on.

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  8. You do what you want. You worked hard and deserve to get exactly what you want. There will be naysayers regardless of what you choose to do. I wish you the best of luck and CONGRATULATIONS! :p. I look forward to the new series.

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  9. Happy Birthday, Eric!
    Congrats, Amanda! I can't wait to read your Watersong series. The title alone sounds really neat.
    I hope they sent you *good* chocolate. You deserve it.
    I also hope you have a good pair of earplugs, so that when people start talking smack, you can insert and go back to what you do best:
    telling stories.
    Keep forging ahead!

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  10. Congratulation! Sincerely!

    I hope i wont have to wait that long to have one of my own.

    Here in Canada, agent are pretty scarse and publisher's are related to as Editor's: they both have the same objective as to sell book.

    I double the difficulty: i have to find an agent here for my french original version and i have to find and agent in the USA.

    Good Luck Amanda Hocking

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  11. Congratulations Amanda! Could you ever have anticipated finding such a place for yourself in publishing, while working your care-giving job?

    I am really excited for you - and that you've found a place you want to be, with a deal that you'd like to accept.

    Please continue to enjoy life :)

    Shackled
    Cheat

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  12. Sorry, "...and i have to find an agent in the USA" for my english version that just got out.

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  13. Congrats and Happy bday to Eric. Enjoy this. You have every right to do so.

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  14. Girl, don't apologize. I don't blame you. Every writer wants validation (me included).
    Congratulations and I wish you brilliant success!

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  15. I think it's wonderful that you are able to span both the traditional and self-publishing worlds. It makes perfect sense to get your name out to more outlets through the traditional outlets, while maintaining your indie readership. Congratulations!

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  16. As long as you are able to write the books that you want to write, and the contract does not say that you cannot still self-publish other series while with them. Why not do it, it is an amazing opportunity for you. If you were in this just for the money, you would have stopped putting out books and caring about your fans. But you still release books quickly, and I feel like you are in this because you love writing and you love sharing your work. The money is an added bonus, why wouldn't you want to do it. If it gives you the ability to become more of a household name and a you can become up there with the likes of James Patterson, Stephanie Meyer (sorry!! I am totally not comparing you, I love your books way more) or even J.K. Rowling, why wouldn't you? I think it is ridiculous for anybody not to support you! I am just happy that I can say I was a true fan of yours from your "early days" and how wonderful you are to your fans. Not many authors would bother to answer questions from their fans about their books, and you have done it for me. So Brava! and thank you!

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  17. Can I just say you owe nobody an explanation? You're a writer to your core and the fact that you've taken this step, making your work even more accessible to your readers, proves that. I personally wish you nothing but the best...

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  18. You inspire me, and I think you're great, no matter what you do Amanda.
    GOOD FOR YOU!!!

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  19. Congratulations! It sounds like you worked your butt off to get where you are today. I admire what you have done and I think it's really helpful when you share your experiences and savvy with your fans, especially your writer fans! Thanks for being so open.

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  20. Congratulations Amanda! How exciting for you. And so well deserved. Your hard work and your talent brought you to this place. Enjoy it!

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  21. Good for you! Don't worry about the detractors. You deserve the success.

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  22. You got a lot of people worried, but your post now clarifies it all. You aren't going brainless or with rose colored glasses in with this deal. (Once you sign that is)That's good.

    I wish you all the success and take care of yourself. I really hope you get what you wish for out of this deal, and I'm happy you'll still be selfpublishing which is good. ;)

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  23. Congrats! I think it's kind of silly that you have to justify yourself to everyone, but I appreciate that you care enough about your fans to do it. Very exciting news and Happy Birthday to your friend Eric. :)

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  24. Congrats Amanda! I think its amazing what you're doing and I think you made the right choice. The right choice is the one that will make you happy and allow you do to what you love. Keep up the great work!!

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  25. Congrats!! I look forward to reading the Watersong series :) I'm in the middle of the My blood approves series and I absolutely love it :)

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  26. Congratulations Ms. Hocking, you have done more for the publishing world than you can possibly imagine. Never stop dreaming and, more importantly, never stop writing.

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  27. As an author and publisher, I feel your pain. I also enjoy the marketing end (even though I'm new to the publishing industry), while also understanding that publishing isn't my passion. Writing, speaking, blogging and marketing are. Way to go, Amanda! I'm following your lead, so keep living your dreams and giving me permission to do the same!!!

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  28. "I want that." You'll get it. In the past, I always cringed when I saw a self-published ebook, expecting a poorly edited jumble of words with no true plot (I had a number of experiences with that). You were the author that changed my mind. You'll go far with print, as well. Never doubt that.

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  29. Congrats Amanda - you have such a great attitude!

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  30. Congratulations to you! I love your books and I don't really care how I find them. I wish you well and I look forward to more of your books. I like that you explain your news but you don't owe anyone an explanation, just live your life and do what's right for you. Those who love your work will love it no matter what.

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  31. Congratulation on your book deal. That is great. Excited to see someone from MN doing well.

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  32. Congratulations! I just found you today off of Pub Rants blog post. I am incredibly awed and inspired by your hard work and dedication and truly happy for you and all your success. I also of course downloaded three of your books onto my Nook right after I read your story. Can't wait to dive in.

    I am also awed by the speed you write. Wow.

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  33. You work hard, write fantastic stories, and you are an independent thinker....go for it and don't let anyone bring you down about your choice.
    Sandi

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  34. To be totally honest, it's your business what you do with your life, right? I will read your books. I think it will be cool to be able to buy them and have them on my bookshelves if I want to. Funny you mentioned Patterson. My mother in law has been a fan of his for years, and he was almost all she read...until I started bugging her and she realized, his writing actually stinks...so sorry, but it really really does. And neither of us believe he's writing those books anymore. Anyway, I just don't think you have to explain yourself. It's nice of you to do it, but as an author, all I expect from you is a good book. How you do it, that's your business.

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  35. Amanda we are all so proud of you, and we know that you will continue to bring us great stories no matter if they are self published or not. you bring hope back to indie writers every where. you dont have to justify anything to us!!! and we are proud to see you succeed in such an amazing way.

    Cant wait to keep reading...

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  36. Congratulations!!! I really hope this all works out amazingly well for you. I would have done the exact same thing in your shoes. Keep being awesome!

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

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  37. If you don't feel stable with a million $ in the bank I don't think any book deal will change that.
    It's just another way of saying I'm still insecure.

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  38. Awesome post! It'll be great to grab your books at B&N! Keep up the great attitude and following your heart.
    Happy b-day to Eric!

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  39. I'm so excited about this book deal for you because I think you're in the best possible place you could be--traditional AND indie simultaneously. And I think it's pretty crazy that you've having to justify your decision to some people, but at least in doing so you sound calm, collected, and wise. I think you've made the right choice, and I hope to some day be in a similar (if much smaller monetarily, let's be realistic) position. Congrats and good luck!

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  40. Amanda, I've always enjoyed how you've shared your journey and the process so openly with your blog readers. Of course, you don't owe anybody any explanation about any of it. ENJOY the ability to focus more exclusively on the writing (and marketing). Congratulations on this new deal. I wish you all the best. Yay, Midwest Girls!
    Kellye from Iowa

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  41. Congrats! That's really exciting news!!! Btw, I didn't hear this news before hand...so you got to break it to at least one fan :)
    Happy Birthday Eric!
    I freakin LOVE Scream!

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  42. Congratulations on your success! As a reader, I am a little sad that it had to be a Macmillan imprint. Aren't they one of the publishers that won't let libraries buy their ebooks?

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  43. Well, Amanda, someday folks will learn... "If you want to know what Amanda's really thinking... go to her blog." We miss you dropping by KB as much as you used to, BTW, but understand how busy you are. All best, as always, fellow Mower County-ite!

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  44. Jay, what in the world is wrong with you?

    Amanda, congratulations. It does sound like the best of both worlds, and I like following your journey.

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  45. Amanda,

    Congrats on all the success you've already had, and all that you will have. You are an inspiration. A perfect example of all that hardwork and talent can bring.

    You deserve nothing but support and congratulations. Clearly you are a smart, savvy woman ready to take the world by storm.

    Storm on!

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  46. What a wonderful adventure and you have the perfect outlook so you can enjoy the ride. I wish you every success and I'm really glad this has happened to someone as savvy and deserving as you. Great job, Amanda!

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  47. The adventure continues. You've worked hard and let's hope the reward is all that and more. If you need a good house painting writer/actor let me know! Don''t strangle your cat in the meantime.

    Best to you, Danielle Notaro http://www.youtube.com/user/danpeak?feature=mhum

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  49. Seriously that you even have to explain yourself and your choices to others is beyond me! Listen, I devoured your My Blood Approves series in less than a week, then downloaded every other book you wrote onto my Kindle. I think that it is ABOUT DAMN TIME a large publishing house has made you a deal, a good deal. This is your life Amanda, Good for you for doing what is right for you. I want to be a household name too, doesn't everyone? Don't let the people that are jealous or want to keep you all to themselves dictate what you do with your life(I have a pretty good idea that you don't but..) That being said, I am so happy for you, I am glad that this deal will make your life run a little more smoothly. It sounds like this is exactly what you need to continue to write books which you love, but to have someone else take care of the crap you don't love so much! Congratulations and You Freaking ROCK!!! Now about that last My Blood Approves book... LOL Joking, but if you ever want a "pre-reader", please consider me, I average about 2 to 3 books a week and love your genre, just FYI! Anyway Congrats Again Amanda!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Eric~ at first I read it was your birthday so I had to reread! DUH!!

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  50. I wanted to offer my congratulations - your deal is amazing! I agree it's ridiculous you have to justify taking it - you say people wouldn't have questioned it ten years ago? Try one year ago. Heck six months ago.

    I wish you much success!

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  51. Congrats girl, and good luck on your endeavors :) You are going to be the new S. Meyer in no time.

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  52. I think it's awesome. Congrats to you for getting to do what you want the way you want.

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  53. It might be too easy just to chalk up all the negativity surrounding YOUR deal with St. Martins to jealousy but sometimes the easiest answer is the most correct. You don't have to justify anything to anyone, what you chose to do with YOUR career is YOUR business. I think you played this well and all the naysayers could actually learn something from you.

    Congrats on your book deal and here's to many, many more!

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  54. Well you've definitely become famous when you have to justify to your fans why you're taking a 7-figure book deal! You're right though, it IS silly. You're a savvy business woman as well as a brilliant storyteller. You made it this far on your own and you deserve a go at the traditional route if that is what you want to try. I think the deal you've landed rocks, and whether it's Indi or via a publisher I will continue to buy your books simply because your name is on the cover. You're an inspiration to all of us unpublished writers out there! Happy bday to Eric and enjoy the movie.

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  55. To have options is a beautiful thing!

    It seems that you have weighted different sides of the issue and came up with a decision that is right for YOU. That is all you can ever hope for. Publishing isn't a one size fits all industry. Others may have chosen a different path and I respect that. However, I also respect the path you have chosen for yourself.

    All the best to you,

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  56. Congratulations! Look, it's about being both business savvy and being an artist. Warhol said, "Good art is good business."

    Michael Jackson, George Lucas, Steven King, Todd McFarlane all excellent business people.

    It's discouraged though. Do you know why? The publishers, critics, and speculators try to dissuade the public from thinking of the artist as a business person as well? It's so they can take larger profits from artists, and if the artist says "I want some money" they aren't so glamorous.

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  57. St Martin's IMO puts out some of the best books of any trad pub. Many of the books I really love, not just the content but the whole BOOK and the way it's put together, is done by St Martin's. Congrats! I think it's a smart deal and if they really push your name out there hard, I think you could definitely be the next Rowling/Meyer phenom. Hell, you're already that among indies.

    Not everybody likes handling every single aspect of everything themselves. And I'm not sure I've met a single indie who doesn't have a price. Everybody has a price. Different people have different things they'd need to ever license rights, but I'm sure you got a plum deal, and if that's what you want to do, more power to you! :)

    It's easy for people to sit on the sidelines and pick it apart and play Monday morning quarterback. And some of that nitpicking on you is just jealousy talking.

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  58. I think its an awesome opportunity for you and I don't think you really need to justify why you did it to anyone. I have really enjoyed the books I have read so far and will continue to read your books whether you publish them or someone else does. I read that you have 19 books right now. Are those already published because I have not come across that many of your books and would like to know where I can find them. Congratulations on your success!

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  59. Congrats, Amanda. You're doing great. Keep up the good work.

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  60. Awesomeness! As a publishing company CEO, I'm thrilled to read how much industry knowledge you've acquired. Use "Legacy Publishers" for what they're best at, getting your books far & wide, even if it means you'll take a cut in salary on *these*.

    Congratulations on knowing exactly what your career needs and how to move it forward for everyone, most importantly your readers.

    A thrilling post to see,
    -SL Clark, CEO Heart Press

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  61. There will always be a place for both indie and traditional publishing. What I love about small presses is that it marries aspects of both. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I find them very inspiring.

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  62. Congrats Amanda! You are already a household name around the Jade household. Celebrate to your heart's content!

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  63. It seems like you thought this over about as much as is humanly possible. It feels like the right kind of decision and if I were you, for whatever that's worth coming from reader # gazillion or so, I would most likely do the same thing. I'm not really a fan of the genre but what you've done is really an inspiration and I really want to be in a position to make the same choice myself one day, for my stories, then take that 'calculated risk' as pretty much everything in life is.

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  64. Congratulations! (And happy birthday Eric!) This is amazing news and the folks at St. Martin's seem to be a lovely bunch.

    I can't wait to see your books on shelves at the stores and I know my friends and family who are huge fans would love to also. Not everyone has an eReader or buys online.

    I am glad to hear you will be self-publishing, too, if only for the fact that between those long traditional publishing schedules I (I mean your fans) will get to read some other books. Because we all know that waiting sucks!

    Congrats again!

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  65. Go Amanda! Seriously, you hardly have to justify yourself, do as you please, its your life!


    But mostly, Happy Birthday ERIC!

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  66. Congrats Amanda! I am so happy for you. I knew after reading your first book that you would make it big. Your books are amazing and you deserve this. I am happy I will be able to tell my friends without e-readers, to go to the store and buy your books. I wish you luck and Happy Birthday to Eric!

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  67. Congrats, Amanda!

    You have already accomplished a lot self publishing and I wish you all the best going down the traditional publishing route! Ganbatte!

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  68. Congratulations Amanda! I always feel a twinge of jealousy (!!) when I hear of writers signing mega-deals, but I can honestly say I was just 100% happy for you when I read this news this morning. I've only self-published one e-book and I know how much work that was; I can scarcely imagine how much it's been for you. This is only what you deserve. I look forward to reading them! :-)

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  69. So friggin excited!!! I dont think it's possible for you to not have an amazing career... you're books are just so great... congratulations on everything!!!

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  70. One can't help but notice that there is a massive absence of criticism of your decision in the comments here. I think it is pretty clear that no one has a problem with you making a decision that can only (theoretically) help your career! :)

    I feel your pain as well; one of the best things about a publishing house is the army of talented editors you can get access to.

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3A4D2

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  71. Amanda, congratulations on the deal! In the ever changing world of publishing, having one hand in indie and the other in legacy publishing makes perfect sense. I suspect you'll learn a lot and I hope that you'll continue to share what you learn with the rest of us writers looking to make a deal to see our own books make it into bookstores. Thanks and best of luck!

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  72. See the power of positive thoughts within you. God bless you

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  73. Congratulations Amanda, as an aspiring writer and fiction enthusiast I completely support you and absolutely love your creations! Heres to many more!

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  74. Thanks for clairfying the "I want to be a writer" statment. I took it as you needing validation. But I apologize for that assumption. You're doing a great thing by sticking to both ways of publishing. Thanks for being an inspiration!

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  75. Congratulations! I applaud you and what you are doing. From your self-published success to the trail you are blazing for those of us following in your footsteps, it is authors like you who are forcing the necessary discussion regarding traditional publishing versus self-publishing. Personally, I do not believe this is an either/or situation. There will always be room for both. You are spot-on with your assessment of availability. A self-published author can only do so much alone.

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  76. I said it on your last post, but I'll say it again-- congratulations!!!

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  77. I just want to throw out there that even if you were making decisions "for your wallet" there is nothing wrong with that. People do have to eat :) This is a job and not just a hobby. So what if you did make the decision based on the money. What's wrong with that? Nothing. I don't believe you did but IF you did...who cares. Money is what pays the rent.

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  78. Congrats! You deserve all the success I'm positive is coming your way!

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  79. SWEET!! I'm so happy for you! Dreams do come true!

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  80. You've done great for yourself already. No need to doubt or justify yourself now. Congratulations. Hope I'm just as lucky!

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  81. Congrats on the deal! While indie can be both daunting and fun, it's not a bad idea to dip your toe in the traditional waters. One thing they have, and you've already pointed it out nicely, is distribution.

    And one thing I think a lot of people seem to have overlooked is this is for four books. Not seventeen or a lifetime supply. After four books, anything is possible. You may decide to go after another deal or stick with indie. Either way, readers win. There's nothing wrong with that.

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  82. I am incredibly happy for you! You clearly know what you are doing and everything is working out amazingly for you. I can't wait to see your books on the shelves in stores!

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  83. Congratulations! I don't know why people would make such a huge deal out of it. This is what you tried for when you first started. You were turned down and proved yourself to everyone! There should be no questioning. You are a brilliant person and I wish you the best of luck! To be shot down up until you took control then offered a huge deal like this is amazing!

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  85. Congratulations for following your heart. I totally get the need for stability. Love your honesty. Best wishes to you for continued success.

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  86. Wow, Amanda, what a wonderful story! I wish you all the best with this scary, new, wonderful development! Please keep us updated, I'm so very curious what work with a big traditional publisher is like :-)

    Also, I absolutely agree with all the other bloggers here: You worked hard to be where your are now and it is your decision alone how to continue. As you said, it is a calculated risk, but if you're willing to take that risk no-one has any right to interfere. Besides, I honestly believe that you'll have the wonderful opportunity to reach even more readers, so what if you ultimately get less money out of this series than you'd get by self-pubbing? More people will know you and buy your work, so you're just testing new waters, not loosing old shores :-)

    Romana

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  87. Congratulations on your deal! You've worked hard for it and you definitely deserve it. Your books are amazing and I can't wait to read your next one. Honestly, this is the logical next step. It's time your books are seen in Target and Walmart. Good luck! Stay true to yourself.

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  88. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  89. Right on Amanda. I know you'll have a long and successful career. And it's pretty cool that you started it all on your own. Self motivated and all that. So, Kudos to you and I hope you have no regrets with it comes to this publishing house. VIVA LA AMANDA !!!! lol

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  90. Awsome,Awsome,Awsome!!! With that said, you are so sweet, smart,and deserving,Thank you for including all of us on your journey,Its very exciting.I wish the best for you:)Also,I was right about Leif!!! HA! I love your books:)

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  91. Hi Amanda! I don't think you have to justify anything at all; your fans are SO very happy for you. You deserve every good thing that comes from your talent and hard work. It's a good career move and I hope you meet the editor of your dreams. ;D Bee

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  92. Congrats and all the encourage in the world! Love you and your mind. But really, all I zeroed in on was the 19 books all ready written. I have 9 and can't wait for the rest. MBA is my favorite (hint,hint)

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  93. Rock on girl, I'll back you in what whatever you wanna do. Your writing rocks and i can't wait for the next book. Congrats!

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  94. What erights are you signing? I've never been able to purchase an ebook from St Martin's in Canada. Will your books be available internationally or just in the US?

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  95. Everything is supercool on this blog

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  96. Brava, girl! Go ahead and get yours!

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  97. The coolest part for your fans - this massively increases the odds of movies being made from your books.

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  98. Congratulations! Looking forward to reading that series!

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  99. Amanda. I notice that you're a fan of Jerry Salinger. I highly recommend JD Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski. I did a long Amazon review of it last week. It details Salinger's relationship with his publishers, which was often quite tortured. He had many stories rejected, even when he was already critically acclaimed. He was asked to tweak stories when he didn’t want to, publishers changed titles of whole stories without telling him first, etc. It's superb at revealing how Jerry handled fame as a writer. He was not really as reclusive as we think until became famous, and was prayed upon by press and fanatics.

    Since you like him, and Rye is outstanding, this particular Salinger bio would be ideal reading for you. It's not the tabloid fodder of the man, but rather an investigation into how his life and relationships with traditional publishers made him who he was.

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  100. Congrats! St. Martin's Press published the House of Night novels so you'll fit right in there! I am looking forward to find some of your books easily accessible in stores! :D

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  101. Best of luck to you! You have worked hard and it will be a pleasure to see your work move to the next level.

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  102. Congratulations, Amanda. You deserve it, and I can't wait until your books hit the shelves. Hopefully you do a signing in Atlanta.

    Ben Is Writing!

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  103. Congratulations! I am so thrilled for you! You have accomplished so much and it's just awesome to see it going to such a deserving hard working author!

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  104. My biggest congrats to you and may you have a long and successful career! :-)

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  105. You Go Girl!

    All that matters is you did what's right for you!

    Sooo celebrating your success and true grit!

    And Happy Birthday, Eric!!!

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  106. There is nothing cooler than to have the power to do whatever you want with your career, so enjoy it. And if things don't go great, oh well, it's not like your world is going to end. Although, I highly doubt that things will go less than wonderful.

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  107. Congrats! I think you are amazing and its sad that you have to justify taking a deal to people. It is your business and your books!

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  108. Congrats and welcome to St. Martins! I will disagree with one thing you said; "But 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."

    Ten years ago, if you'd been self-pubbed, the buzz would have been even bigger. A decade ago self-published authors were being lectured by both editors and agents that doing-it-themselves was the Kiss of Death(TM) for their publishing careers. The fact that you've succeeded so fantastically both on your own and are now moving to a major house, is ample proof that little "rule" is complete nonsense. You go, girl!

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  109. These book will still be available on kindle I'm assuming, or will they be print only? I intend to buy everything you write Amanda, no matter how you intend to publish it. =)

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  110. Grats! Nice to hear such awesome news from you.

    Gluck on the path you chose. :)

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  111. Congrats Amanda! You are an inspiration to us all!
    Reading the Trylle series now and LOVE LOVE it, so can't wait to read more :)

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  112. Cool fish! I just fed them:)

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  113. Congratulations! Always do what is right for you. I'm a 'new reader' of your books. Love what I have read so far.

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  114. Congrats!!!! I think it's incredible what you have accomplished. This is your life and your deal. Your entitled to shout it from the rooftops. I think it's fab. Really, anyone who poo-poos over this is just jealous.

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  115. Congratulations, Amanda! I'm not in your target audience, but I think what you've accomplished - and will continue to accomplish - is fantastic.

    The indie vs. trad sniping has gotten out of hand; I even wrote a post about it, it had me so disgusted. Why *can't* you use both avenues? What's the big deal?

    Here's to your continued success. :-)

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  116. cool
    wish you luck
    http://itamarzo71.wordpress.com/

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  117. When I heard that people were openly criticizing your personal decision on this deal I got really angry. I may have even said a few bad words.

    My teenage daughter who hopes to finish writing her first book someday soon reads your blog and you have become a wonderful inspiration to her.

    Publishing is a crazy business but I am sick to death of hearing people on either side say that there is only one right way. You've made the decision to do what's best for YOU and that's what matters. You should never have to justify that.

    Congrats from my entire family and we wish you many more sales!

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  118. You're one smart young lady, and you're doing this for all the right business reasons and none of the wrong psychological ones.

    Brava!

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  119. Well said Amanda. Congratulations on this part of the journey.

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  120. Next is a movie deal. Well done Amanda . I don't understand why everyone has such an issue with traditional publishing . I think a combination of both self publishing and traditional publishing is great ... I think that you have to explore every option you can as an indie writer ... Wishing you all the best for the future.

    Isabella
    adiscoveryofvampires.blogspot.com

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  121. Sounds dead on target to me. I sorta figured you were looking at things this way, and I'm glad for you. This is a terrific opportunity for a writer of your persistent work ethic, and I look forward to seeing you shine in both publishing routes.

    Keep up the great work!

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  122. I wish you the best of luck. I hope it is everything you dreamed of. And I completely understand why you would sign a contract. Self-publishing is alot of work. You have to wear so many different hats, and at the rate of your success, I can imagine you need assistance or at the least time to take a break. So best wishes in all your future endeavors, I know you will make it work. Blessings.

    Lena
    lenasledge.blogspot.com

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  123. I think your memoir would sell well.

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  124. Congrats!
    and you're right that it's crazy people second-guess your decision to take a big book deal.

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  125. Congratulations, Amanda! Thank you for paving a new path for so many of us out there. You are truly history in the making!

    Hopefully Scream 4 will be too... I love those movies. And Courtney Cox's mask in this new one is so scary. Can't wait to see it!

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  126. Congratulations Amanda! Good for you and you shouldn't have to explain your decisions to anyone...least of all us! It's your life and your business and more power to you! You deserve all of this!

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  127. Congratulations! This is great news! Good luck to you.

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  128. Congratulations! That is such awesome news and I am so happy for your. Your books rock and you do deserve this book deal. Good luck on all the good thing to come in the future!

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  129. Way to go Amanda. How exciting for you, especially the flowers and chocolates!

    Best of luck, you have worked hard for it so enjoy...
    :)

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  130. From one fellow Minnesotan to another--Congratulations! I'm very happy for you. This is your life, your career. You have every right to make the best decision for you and it sounds like you did!

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  131. Valid reasons. I started out with traditional publishers and now I'm going the opposite route. You gotta do what you gotta do to get your books out there. I completely understand about wanting to get your books into the reader's hands. It is so frustrating to hear the complaints and not be able to do anything about it. Good luck.

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  132. Congratulations Amanda! I am so happy for you. With all of your success self-publishing, maybe more traditional publishers will take a look at e-book publishers and not see "inferior" books. You are definitely helping to destroy that stereotype. The deal was right for you, so enjoy it to the max.

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  133. Congrats Amanda, I'm very happy for you. And I think you made a great and very well thought out decision going traditional with St. Martin's for this series.

    But here's the only thing that bothers me...

    Currently all of your e-books can be purchased for $2.99 or less. We know that the Watersong series will not be nearly that cheap in e-book format. Most likely each one will be priced by St. Martin's at $9.99 - $12.99. And I simply won't pay that much, even though I really want to read them.

    There are really 3 reasons for your success so far:

    1. You write great books.
    2. You are great with marketing, self-promotion, & social networking.
    3. Your books are FINANCIALLY ACCESSIBLE!

    #3 means that purchasing a good e-book for less than $3.00 is a no-brainer. An after thought. Trust me Amanda, if you had been selling the Trylle Trilogy for $9.99 per e-book on Amazon most of us wouldn't know who you are right now.

    So please tell us that part of this traditional publishing deal is that the e-book versions of the Watersong series will be sold for less than $5.00. Otherwise I may have to wait for the library versions!

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  134. It's a different kind of industry, Jason. Those editors and publicists and pillow fluffers cost money, and that cost isn't going to be recouped for $2.99.

    It's a common misconception that removing the paper and ink removes a huge chunk of the cost of book production. This is simply not the case. Big publisher books cost more to buy because big publisher books cost more to make.

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  135. It's so nice to see someone succeed using non-traditional methods. I'm neck deep in trying normal route to getting published and I'm about ready to strangle someone. People keep telling me to hang in there because I'm getting some responses and requests from agents, but in the end it's always the same thing...you are a very skilled writer, there's talent but the project isn't for me...
    I have been thinking about turning to self-publishing but if you mention it at a writer's conference or to someone in the business, a lot of them look at you like you have horns coming out of your head.
    Seriously, I don't believe you're selling out either. Whatever gets the story to the most readers works for me. Continued success!

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  136. Do what grants you happiness. Congratulations and you have my best wishes on your future success.

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  137. I completely disagree Anonymous. The profit St. Martin's would make from this new series being sold at $2.99 - $4.99 per e-book would be much greater than what they'd make selling at $9.99 or above. Because they'd sell 10x as many e-books at the lower price point.

    And they know this. But they will never price that low because they don't want e-book sales to eclipse paper sales. They need to make sure their paper book sales stay strong, so they over-price their e-books knowing they won't sell as well.

    With e-books, there are no costs for printing, distribution, warehousing, returns, etc. None of these 'middlemen' need to get paid for an e-book. More of that savings should be reflected in the price of the e-book version.

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  138. GO, YOU!!!!!

    No one can predict the future with accuracy, but I totally think you're doing the right thing--you're diversifying. If thing's don't work out with St. Martin's, big effing deal, you've got a dozen other books to sell. And they're putting enough money into this deal that they're motivated to really push you--you are safely out of the Mid List Hell danger zone.

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  139. Don't take the negative buzz to heart.

    Most of us are happy for you and are truly inspired by your self-publishing success.

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  140. Amanda - Good for you! I've followed your journey for a few months and I'm thrilled to see someone work hard and 'make it' against all odds.

    As for the flack floating around - I have one thing to say - forget them. This is a whole different ball game than publishing was two years ago.

    Because of your work - all writers have more choices. That's the important thing - opening doors that used to be closed, so all writers have the ability to choose.

    Best wishes now and always!
    Kat Jordan

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  141. Good luck with this calculated risk, Ms. Docking. Your reasoning is quite solid.

    Not sure why there's so much negative buzz. Honestly, I think the book deal will, if anything, help with the self-publishing.

    Go forth and make more books!

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  142. Congrats! This seems like a smart decision to me - everything you wrote about your reasoning makes sense.

    From a reader's perspective: I haven't bought/read any of your current books (I'm not an e-book person). But! I will probably buy your Watersong books, even though they'll cost more. A lot of readers, like me, are "old-fashioned" and vastly prefer print books :) And a lot of readers still trust legacy publishers to produce higher-quality works (you touched on this with the editing issues) and will give your St Martin's books the first chance they might be hesitant to give to your indie books. I'm sure you'll benefit from reaching out to every possible reader.

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  143. Good editors are out there. Here's one: www.bookdoctoring.blogspot.com

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  144. Hey freinds visit ishan92.blogspot.com

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  145. Good for you! Take a risk and do your best. :D Nothing to lose but the world to gain. You inspire me, I'll keep my eye out for your releases!!

    http://rabbitontherun.blogspot.com

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  146. dan anderson lawrenceville gaMarch 25, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    I am thrilled for you and proud of you. Loved reading the article on your success.

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  147. I think you made the best decision. Screw the haters. :)

    A HUGE Congrats to you!

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  148. Good luck - screw the haters - and I can't wait to see your name out there, staring back at me on a shelf at the bookstore. :) (although i'd still buy it on my kindle, lol)

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  149. Congrats! You've been a huge inspiration to a bunch of us, and I can tell you right now I'll be buying the new series when it comes out.

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  150. You are such an 'Awesome' person/author/creative mind so congratulations on coming to such a pivotal mark in your career. And when my friends ask who Amanda Hocking is, I will be more than happy to tell them exactly who you are and what an incredible author you are!

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  151. I wondered about this deal, Amanda. Your reasons sound practical. I'm glad you didn't sell all your rights. I am just starting with one book available and three more in the writing stages. Good luck.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

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  152. Congratulations on the book contract.

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  153. Good for you, Amanda. Anyone who even begins to suggest that you're foolish for trying traditional publishing doesn't have a clue as to the amount of work you've done to be successful in self-publishing.

    You don't have to explain anything to anyone, but since you did here, I must say you have incredibly sound reasoning for your decision. Congratulations!!

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  154. I just wanted to say huge congrats...This is amazing..Enjoy it..You worked hard and now this is your time...

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  155. Huge congratulations, Amanda, and very best wishes for this new adventure.

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  156. I have a dream of writing book. now I am learning by reading others work and experiences......I will selfpublish and I want to be like Amanda. Great job Amanda you are the best

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  157. I didn't make it in your blog...I was watching Scream 2 with you guys. :( Maybe it was because I was sleeping during a part of it? lol.

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  158. congrats to you! :) I just saw an article on you and I'm glad for your success. I'm extremely impressed (I went and told a bunch of people about you actually.) I wish you the best with your new deal. Good luck with becoming a household name :)

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  159. You're an inspiration to me. Thanks.

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  160. I totally respect & admire you! Your books have made my NOOK purchase worthwhile! I am so excited that my non-ebook friends will get the chance to know your stories! I have told all my friends about you and to be on the lookout for your books! As far as the people talking smack, don't let them get you down. You have an amazing fan base and we all love you and will stand behind you. You seem like you are one cool ass chick and have a great head on your shoulders. I wish you nothing but good luck and fortune on this new adventure you are about to embark on! Cant wait to read what you put out next!

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  161. Well spoken! Congratulations!

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  162. I just started to know about you since you started getting a lot of press.
    Your story has been an inspiration.

    Congratulations!

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  163. I love following your story, Amanda. You seem incredibly humble and level-headed, even when fans and opponents sometimes are not.

    And I love that you're doing both: self and traditional. It's like everyone wants you in their camp, but you refuse to be boxed in, to allow either side to "win" (whatever that means).

    I imagine it must be really hard to face all these expectations put on you from every side (part of fame, I guess), but I think you're doing a fantastic job of handling it. THAT, more than anything else, makes me want to check out your books.

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  164. I am so so so so happy you didn't get any backlash on this :D

    Congratulations, girl! You go! You've done a phenomenal job getting yourself out there. Now, take a step back and let someone else pay for the cover, editing, and distribution :D

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  165. I am happy for you, in that you are getting where and what you want, Amanda.

    Way to go! =)

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  166. From "nook" on Facebook:

    "Discover a new author who’s making news. Amanda Hocking’s books are PubIt! bestsellers with great customer reviews. Now this indie author has signed a huge publishing deal that has the book world buzzing. Check out her Trylle series via PubIt! at the link below.

    Amanda Hocking Books
    productsearch.barnesandnoble.com"

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  167. I find your story tremendously inspiring!!
    Sounds like you've got a great head for business and great talent!
    I predict you'll make more in the end with this deal, because your name'll get out there and your self-published stuff will sell even more.
    you go girl!

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  168. Super xD zapraszam do mnie:
    http://www.harry-potter-swiat-czarodziejow.blogspot.com/

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  169. I think that's awesome, you totally deserve it. Congratulations!

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  170. Why I was, but no longer am, a fan: http://ravenspeak.wordpress.com/2011/03/26/not-a-fan/

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  171. Congratulations on making a deal that makes you happy - that really is the important thing. But the Old Library Lady still wishes you had said screw traditional publishing! I still work in libraries but really can not stand what publishers are doing to consumers with both the crappy physical books they are sending out and their attempts to sabotage ebooks even if most of the consumers do not seem to care so I have been very proud you were out there kicking their butts!

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  172. Congratulations first off! That is a huge deal and not easy to manage. I think you have done an amazing job with self publishing and promoting your own work, this just seems like the next step in your growth as an author. I wish you the best!

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  173. Take a deep breath. Enjoy.
    Then, get back to work. :)

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  174. Amanda, I'd buy anything you wrote!!! I've enjoyed all of your books on NOOK and have recommended them to all of my friends with NOOKS. It would be great to be able to see your books on the shelf at Borders & Barnes & Noble. Congratulations on all of your success, you truly have an amazing imagination and you deserve this!

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  175. Amanda, what is the name of the company that you used for self-publishing and marketing through e-booksellers? My husband has tried to publish his books with no success.Thanks!!

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  176. First of all, CONGRATULATIONS Amanda!! This is sooo amazing and I'm happy for you. :-D

    Secondly, you don't have to justify a thing to anyone. This is your life, your writing career and your choices. Don't allow any negative people to poop on your parade.

    Also, don't fret over editing. Almost all published works, no matter how famous, have errors in them. It happens all the time.

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  177. Well done! I'm adding my voice to all the well-deserved congrats!

    And yes, I find typos even in the best published printed books - so no worry!

    And yessss, why all this fuss because you got 2 million? Mary Higgins Clark gets and advance of 4 to 6 millions for every book she writes. She's up to no. 43 - and she's 83 years old, the grand old lady! But she started much later than you did (in her forties).

    So I expect you to have at least 86 books published when you're 83!!!

    All the best and good luck!

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  178. Amanda you write amazing stories! I told some people about your books and they were bummed because they are ebooks. This is an awesome deal for you and all the potential fans! I've read all your stuff and am super siked for you!! All the best!

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  179. Congratulations! I know you are hearing this from everyone, but you are terrific. I just read Switched and loved it. If anyone deserves a publishing contract its you! You go girl!

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  180. This is a great tool!

    Please send me more information - mfarkas@ontariodc.ca - Mario

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  181. This is so awesome and I am super excited for you. Can't wait til the new series is published. It will be awesome to walk into a bookstore and see your books :D
    And you don't have to justify anything for anyone. If it's the right career move for you, then that is what matters. Whoever is questioning you taking a 7 figure book deal is crazy. If it's what you've wanted it would be crazy not to take it.

    And Merry Day of Birth to Eric! (belated, obviously)

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  182. I'm thrilled for you--and totally stumped about the hubbub. Like you said, you're business savvy, and it's not like an author has to pick to be either an e-book indie author or a traditionally published one. Take the best of both world and run with it.

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  183. That's just way too cool, Amanda. Couldn't happen to a more deserving writer. I'm so happy for you.

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  184. I just wanted to say congratulations on all your success (independently and now with your New York deal). You've obviously worked incredibly hard to achieve your goals and F*CK the haters/naysayers. Seriously girl, you rock!

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  185. Just some thoughts:

    I heard about you from a friend recently after you got a lot of media attention from selling so high publishing indie on Amazon. When I looked into it, it inspired me to follow the same path.

    I don't feel like anyone should be criticizing you for not sticking to the indie path. This reminds me of politics almost. Indie publishing is not going to die off without you or anything. Its feelings won't be hurt when you "turn your back on it" or whatever people might be saying. I honestly feel like you are working too hard trying to justify yourself when your actions require no such justification.

    Searching for career stability seems rather humble and wise of you. This broadens my scope on the subject of indie publishing a bit more.

    However, what really stuck out to me was the desire to become a household name. It's your career and your goals or what have you, but I have personally always felt that if I can make a living doing something I really love and have a readership that enjoys my work as much as I enjoy writing it, then the fame and whatnot simply doesn't matter. Your success story is actually what drew me to this conclusion.

    But then I suppose I'm not the one selling millions of books publishing indie. Perhaps my perspective would change if I was in the same situation.

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  186. Just showing that you could get a fantastic traditional publishing deal probably does a lot to silence some of your critics too. That must make you feel good also. Keep leading the way!

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  187. I don't know why you hesitated to say so....that's amazing!!! Wow! How this year has changed everything. I love that you waited for the right deal to come along. Not only that, you are continuing to self-publish. You are well on your well to becoming a household name and broadening your readership and you've only had your books out for a year. Congratulations! I can't wait to read the new series!

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  188. Congratulations. You are light years ahead of the game. I've been compared to you with my ability to write so many titles. 14 books in 7 years and I took a year off. I too, self published my Elusive Clue Mystery Series and others. I did manage however to get picked up by brick and mortar stores and libraries. You are such a trend setter. I applaud all you're doing. I can't wait until you write your first how did I do it book!! You are an inspiration to all writers.

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  189. Love your honesty- Congratulations on bringing it all together- What a great post to inspire other authors on with...

    Jacqueline Howett Author of The Greek Seaman novel.
    http://jacquelinehowett.blogspot.com/

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  190. Congratulations! I picked up your books on Amazon for my kindle. Love your work no matter who prints, edits, or publishs- as long as your happy and keep writing!

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  191. I imagine that for many authors in the future, there will be a good time to self-publish and a good time to publish the traditional route.
    Thanks for sharing this blog post, Amanda Hocking!
    - Nicholas

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  192. So excited for you! Wishing you only the best! I've got to get caught up on all your books! So much to read, so little time! St. Martins has a lot of the books I love to read too. Looking forward to seeing your name alongside Sherrilyn Kenyon. I love her Dark-Hunter series. I bet Watersong is going to be great!

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  193. Amanda,

    This is so super awesome. Congratulations! I only first heard about you a couple weeks ago, although I later realized I had seen your books advertised as "cheap reads" on ebook sites. I was surprised that a self-published ebook was so good that I actually wanted to keep reading them. It's nice to see you getting the opportunity to try traditional publishing.

    I know what you mean about editing, though. I've seen very professional books that have been around forever that still have errors in them. I'm not sure it can be completely avoided, but at least with traditional publishing, it won't be all on you to deal with editing.

    Good luck with your endeavors! I'll be buying your books when they hit shelves!

    Callie.

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