A followup on "The Hocking Effect"

Jim Hines just wrote an interesting article the other day regarding Amanda Hocking\’s success and what it means for other people.  He\’s speaking about her in a fairly cautious manner, though – reminding folks that she\’s an outlier, and probably not indicative of what any one writer will be able to accomplish any more than say, Stephen King or J.K. Rowlings is predictive of average success in traditional publishing.
As I mentioned in my own post on the subject, \”Expectations of Success\”, I completely agree.  Outliers are indicative of the maximum current potential of success in a given field, and are not really useful in terms of business planning for one\’s own career.  Jim and I differ a bit in terms of what we think one can expect for success levels, with work and effort, but we both completely agree that the work and effort are going to be the key factor.
Anyway, it\’s a good article, with a nice comments thread.  Check it out.  😉

5 thoughts on “A followup on "The Hocking Effect"”

  1. I think that self-publishing is starting to lose it’s “stink” with many success stories now coming out. I’ve said all along that in the past many good books never made it to market because there was only so much bandwidth that the big-six could absorb. Yes, there is junk out there…but if you write a good story, in many ways it makes good sense to get it out there rather than spending years of it sitting in a drawer. Here is what I posted on Hine’s site…
    I agree with your assessment that Amanda is an outlier – but there are a number of success stories now in self-publishing even beyond her. John Locke, has 7 books in the Amazon Top 100 including #1 Saving Rachel. D.B. Henson’s Deed to Death was self published and was pickedup by one of the biggest agents in the world Noah Lukeman – her book went to auction for an undisclosed some and will be releaed in July – Keep a watch on this one. H.P. Mallory got a six-figure two book deal after self-publishing her books. Michael J. Sullivan (my husband) got a 3-book six-figure deal from Orbit after doing a Paolini (my small press Ridan published his works). Victorine Lieskie has been on the top 100 for over 10 weeks. Nancy Cartwright has been on the top 100 for more than 100 days. J.A. Konrath has been posting guest blogs from many self-published authors and his own novel, The List has broke the top 20.
    Yes, Amanda and now John are outliers but there is plenty of success stories to point at in self-publishing today.
    Also – the most interesting thing on Hine’s post was the discussion between you and Ole A. Imsen
    I think you both make very good points.
    Robin Sullivan

  2. Thanks, Robin. =) For my part, I really appreciate those regular updates you have been doing about the top 100 list on Amazon. Very useful information!
    Like I said in my “Expectations of Success” blog entry, I’m really not worried about outliers. I’ll be happy – thrilled, even – with a level of success that lets me just do the writing for a living, full time. It’ll take time to build to that, but I think I’ll get there.

    1. It’s a co-credit on one of the old Magic: the Gathering books. 😉 “Back in the day”, I was briefly the #2 ranked player in the world. It was fun but…um…not the sort of thing I generally want at the top of my resume, y’know? 😉

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