Despite the predictions that rang in the digital age of reading, traditional publishing and paper books haven’t disappeared, and many publishers have even prospered with their adaptations to the new technology. At the same time, new platforms launch literally daily that afford authors the opportunity to take charge of their own works and put them in the hands of the reading public without the traditional industry’s help.
Amazon, who certainly was not alone at the forefront of providing self-published authors with ebook publication access but has made a name for itself as a leader in the field, opened the doors of Kindle Direct Publishing to an international audience of writers. Now, like several well-known indie authors stateside who have reported impressive ebook sales, Amazon UK has an indie author at the top of its Kindle charts.
Kerry Wilkinson, author of the three-book Jessica Daniel series of detective novels, apparently wrote his first book more to prove to himself that he could do it and without a specific publishing goal in mind. He practically stumbled on KDP and decided to publish his first book, Locked In. His titles have now sold more than 250,000 copies on Amazon UK, and the fourth and fifth books in the series are pending.
But like the much heralded success of authors Amanda Hocking and John Locke, both of whom have each sold more than one million copies of their self-published ebooks before going on to sign contracts with major publishing houses, Wilkinson is open to the idea of traditional publishing and has already heard from some print publishers, although he admits he didn’t set out to be an author.
With the credibility that some of the bestselling indie authors have brought to the field, more readers and writers are finding that success in one area—while not necessarily guaranteeing success in another type of publishing—does not have to remain exclusive. A number of authors are now experimenting in both traditional and digital indie publication for their works, as proven by the number of successful traditionally published authors who are at work on digitally publishing their own back lists of titles, whether for increased exposure or just for the fun of reviving long gone characters. Where the two opposing camps of publishing once maintained an attitude of print-vs-digital for reading and bookselling, more writers are proving that the two can work together very well for the authors.