More inspiration for self-published authors and others currently weighing whether to go the self-publishing route. Hugh Howey just sold North American rights to his bestselling self-published book series Wool to Simon & Schuster. Publishers Weekly also reports 20th Century Fox has optioned the film rights. Wool has sold so well for Howey — he earned nearly $140,000 in sales in the first quarter of 2012 — that he initially refused offers from traditional publishers.
Howey credited Amazon reviews for fueling word-of-mouth about his book. Publishers Weekly adds, “When he joined Amazon’s Kindle Select program (which forced him to pull his titles from Apple’s iBookstore and B&N’s Nook store), he said sales rose even more quickly — boosted by hitting the Kindle bestseller lists.”
Adding more food for thought for writers, as the war between traditional publishers and Amazon rages on, Publishers Weekly quotes Howey as saying:
“It’s hard to think about giving up a 70% royalty for an 18% royalty,” he said, referring to Amazon’s digital royalty rate, compared to the rate many large publishers offer. “The transaction has changed when it comes to successful independent authors,” Howey said. “I’d be giving up existing sales [with a traditional deal]. I’d be giving up the freedom to write what I want. To publish as quickly as I want. But publishers don’t seem to realize this.” However, Howey said he would still love to partner with a publisher and reach more readers “if the right offer came along.”