Amanda Hocking is a 26 year old millionaire writer who a very short time ago was a rejected college dropout working in an old folks home for low wages.
She mainly writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy for the young adult audience. For eight years she tried to get published through traditional channels because she thought it was the only way for an aspiring novelist.
Then she read an article about two authors, Joe Konrath and Karen McQuestion, who were doing well with e-books and she decided to try going the same route by publishing her books as e-books.
Now, she gets to keep 70% of her book sales — and she sells around 100,000 copies per month. Hocking sells her books for $3, and some $.99 and because ebooks cost nothing to print, ebooks have become a very lucrative way to publish your work and earn a substantial income.
Until about a decade ago, authors usually needed traditional publishers in order to ensure wide distribution and a shot at significant sales and income. If publishers rejected a book, the most common way to get into print was to pay a vanity press. With a vanity press an writer would pay for all the printing and distribution costs themselves. That process often ended with hundreds of copies, of an authors unsold books, stacked in the author's garage.
Today, digital books and print-on-demand technology let authors self-publish with little or no upfront costs. Companies are now set up to let authors self-publish their work with minimal, if any up-front costs. Companies such as Lulu Enterprises, Smashwords, Amazon's CreateSpace, and Kindle Direct Publishing, don't print the books or take a cut until they sell the authors books.
As a result, even some established authors are choosing to self-publish. Last year, Stephen King and "Seven Habits" guru Stephen Covey self-published some works at Amazon's Kindle store. Amazon now sells more e-books than paperbacks. Moreover, in 2010, electronic books accounted for 9 percent of new books, up from 3 percent the year before.
The bottom line is: If you can use a computer, you can publish your book.
Christian writers and ministers need to understand that a game changing shift in the publishing landscape is opening doors for their gifts, time, and talents to bring new streams of income into the Kingdom of God.
In Part 2 of this article I will take the time to explain how, when, and where you can participate in this modern day gold rush.
Bishop James 'I Feel God' Brown
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