My Anthem

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Indie Hero: Amanda Hocking

Desi now is considering using an online publisher for his next work.**** First mistresspeace (ha, ha! a play of words I call DDC which some new readers may knot enjoy, it's OK by me, as DesiISknottyAsSusual:) was an anthology which had been blogged about a few years ago -- seem'd like ++++YESTERDAY, when the Beatles sang "all your troubles and mine are so far away!" IS REPRISED BELOW***z...: Ah, here's an amaxing lady who inspires -- via ~~~

LISTEN hear!++++

uesday June 19, 2012

Amanda Hocking: A success story


A new survey reveals that most self-publishing writers don’t earn much. So how did Amanda Hocking earn millions?
TO MOST self-publishing e-book authors, Amanda Hocking is a hero. The 27-year-old’s meteoric rise from an unknown, struggling author to bestselling millionaire writer courted by big publishing houses is well documented on the Internet.
In 2010, Hocking uploaded her first e-book – My Blood Approves – to, and then later to and Barnes and Nobles. She started selling a few copies on the first day, but by January the next year, she had sold over 100,000 e-books. She hadn’t expected that success at all since she was new to the e-publishing phenomenon.
“I was ecstatic. At first, I was taking screen shots of my sales page if I sold, like, 30 books in a day. I slowly started selling more and more books each day, and things got pretty crazy. It was fun,” says Hocking, who is based in Minnesota, US, via e-mail.
Big publishers paid attention. Hocking ended up signing with St Martin’s Press, for a US$2mil (RM6.4mil) four-book deal. The first book of theWatersong series, Wake, will be released in August. St Martin’s Press and Pan Macmillian also bought her three-book Trylle Trilogy, which she had previously self-published. The trilogy, which was recently released in print, reached the USA Today and The New York Times bestseller lists, and was also optioned for a film by Media Rights Capital. Apparently,District 9 screenwriter Terri Tatchell may be adapting the books for the silver screen.
Full circle: Numerous rejection slips from traditional publishers had Amanda Hocking turning to self-publishing; now those print publishers are eagerly snapping up her books for millions.
As an author, Hocking has made it beyond her wildest dreams.
But when asked about the secret to her success, Hocking says that she has no idea.
“I try to write books that I think people will enjoy, and be entertained by. I think that’s the best anyone can do,” she says.
Although she may be in the dark about why she ended up selling millions of e-books, one thing is obvious: Hocking is a savvy businesswoman. Much was made about how she turned down a higher advance from to ink a deal with St Martin’s Press. In various interviews, Hocking has said that she believed that St Martin’s Press would do a better job of getting get her books into brick and plaster bookstores.
“For me to be a billion-dollar author, I need to have people buying my books at (ubiquitous American department store chain) Wal-Mart,” she said in an interview with The New York Times (Storyseller, June 17, 2011).
She is thus a rare author who can pick and choose who to publish with in a field where thousands – if not tens of thousands – of authors are clamouring for attention.
Reactions to her “going traditional” were mixed, but Hocking believes that most were excited for her.
“I know there were a few self-published authors who thought I was making a mistake, and that I was a ‘sell-out’ but I never said that I would only be a self-published author, and I think I made the best choice for me and my career,” she says.
After all, it was a lot of work publishing your own work, says Hocking. “I knew that going with a traditional publisher I would have a whole team of people to help me, and to be along with me for the ride. I also wanted to get my books out to people who don’t have e-readers.”
Born storyteller
The one that started it all. Hocking’s first book that she self-published at, My Blood Approves.
Hocking says that she started writing stories as soon as she learned how to write: “I spent the majority of my childhood sitting in my room writing stories, telling stories, or acting out stories in my backyard. I think it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
She was quite disciplined at it too – setting up a daily writing schedule and writing whether she felt like it or not. By the time she was 17, Hocking had written her first novel.
She began sending query letters to literary agents immediately, but all she received were rejections. Yet today, Hocking is rather matter-of-fact about the whole thing.
“I realise that the book I wrote when I was 17 was pretty horrible, and the agents were right for not accepting it,” she says.
But still, she did not give up. Hocking juggled her day job at a group home for mentally disabled people with her writing schedule and often kept punishing hours to do so. “My job was usually from about 3pm to 10pm, so when I got home I would just go to my office and write until 8am or 9am, go to bed, get up, work and do it again.”
By 2010, Hocking had written 17 unpublished novels. She sent out query letters to agents for all of them but got nothing but rejection slips in return.
“There were a couple days when I was, like, ‘I’m giving up. This is horrible. I’m never going to be able to do it,’” said Hocking in The New York Times article.
But in April 2010, after receiving yet another rejection letter, Hocking decided to upload her novel to “I had heard about some people having success with selling their books for e-readers. So I thought I would give it a shot,” she says.
According to an article in the Britain’s The Guardian (Amanda Hocking, the writer who made millions by self-publishing online, Jan 12, 2012), Hocking, who was in tight financial straits then, wanted to raise money (about US$300, or RM960) to visit an exhibition on the work of puppeteer Jim Henson in Chicago.
And as the reader knows by now, not only did she raise the money for that trip, she ended up with quite a few extra zeroes in the bank too.
“I think the thing I’m most grateful for is having an audience,” says Hocking, who is currently working on the last book of the Watersonseries.
“Like I said, I’ve always told stories, but it was mostly to myself, or my mum. To have people actually interested in my books, and to actually pay money to read them, is a huge honour,” she says.


RM15 per copy, including of Postage.
Nu'e Entry dated May 21, 2007
A word that exudes a glow
Most times incorporates the "I luv you"
An Upper in Desi's vocabulary
Embracing and Engaging with bod language
that two souls just met can paint a landscape
where actors dance and writers speak
and everybody feels young and gay
Yes, life's A stage and we awe have parts to play
Except that many bloggers want to have the lust say!
Desi does, that's why he avows he's socialist
Plays socialite, elitist and whate'er you tag him you may
Jest repay with a kind word
Admit we've grown intiMATE ~~ Embrace & Engage
and let not our conversations abAte
From the
intimation Also found in: Wikipedia
in·ti·mate 1 play_w("I0201900") (nt-mt)
adj. 1. Marked by close acquaintance, association, or familiarity. 2. Relating to or indicative of one's deepest nature: intimate prayers. 3. Essential; innermost: the intimate structure of matter. 4. Marked by informality and privacy: an intimate nightclub. 5. Very personal; private: an intimate letter. 6. Of or involved in a sexual relationship.
n. A close friend or confidant. [Latin intimtus, past participle of intimre, to make familiar with; see intimate2.]
inti·mate·ly adv. inti·mate·ness n. in·ti·mate 2 play_w("I0202000") (nt-mt) tr.v. in·ti·mat·ed, in·ti·mat·ing, in·ti·mates
1. To make known subtly and indirectly; hint. See Synonyms at suggest. 2. To announce; proclaim. [Latin intimre, intimt-, to make known, from intimus, innermost; see en in Indo-European roots.] inti·mater n. inti·mation n.
Noun 1. intimation - an indirect suggestion; "not a breath of scandal ever touched her" hintbreath profferpropositionsuggestion - a proposal offered for acceptance or rejection; "it was a suggestion we couldn't refuse"
2. intimation - a slight suggestion or vague understanding; "he had no inkling what was about to happen" glimmeringinklingglimmer suggestion - an idea that is suggested; "the picnic was her suggestion"
Writing from the heart
I know I must write first true to my heart's desire.
The desiderata of happiness is to seek the Truth within one's soul
to be able to separate the precious from the banal
to discern the right from wrong
to find meaning and tranquility in the dance of life
While we may stumble, even fall,
we learn the language of overcoming the tests
So we won't lose the rhyme, nor the rhythm
As a quest can end in failure
because of corruption of the soul
by discordant notes and unsound distractions.
I just completed the first and second years' movements.
I am still composing the symphony of Life.
The third movement has just begun.
Do be one of my travelling companions
to be entranced by this common dance of life.
I Rest
I rest
I wait.
Times passes restlessly
You make me wait
My case
INTIMATION4: from BLOGOSPHERE~Beauty and the Beast
Now you want to know aMore INTIMATIONS, wait until tomorrow (May 22) and we'll oblige.
Meanwhile, be a good soul and email
to place a Mail Order at RM15 copy.
BULK PURCHASES at 10 copies or more get a 20% DISCOUNT
e.g. RM120 for TEN copies. Don't say Desi is a Scrooge.
Okay-lah, a Chinoserie Scrooge, not that Shylocky S!:)
UPDATEd May 22, 2007:
(or I Say Amen)
When you play Politics
You must master double speak
And watch out for the nemesis
Lest thou be trodden sick and weak
Linger a while
the opposition will attack you
It's all part of the Game
Linger more than a w'ile
When comrades hug you, kiss you
They honey you
Set thee for The Sting
Then say your prayers
knightly, nightly, frighfully
That thy mother's Angels watch o'er you
I do that too, yes, I do
"O' Lord Almighty, protect me from all evil
The Opposition enemy I can handle
It's the Devil from within I shudder!"
But the *AP is that Archangel in disguise
You saw Him attired in Dunhill shirt and tie
Then in the Steal of the night
They come for you
Chanting the internal Security Act
And a thousand "Amens"
Can't secure you.
A Reluctant Lament in May!
May 13, 1969 -- do we remember?
Countless Malaysians shed their blood
Life's fabric is oft strong, yet tender
Can withstand the elements even in a flood
But man's foul mood, tearing all asunder
I want to make this my motherland
Many of fellow Malaysians chorus in similar trend
But ill mouths and ill minds
They can't see our love
Sight closeted within their racial blinds
Some slog to get by with two jobs
Others born into privilege behave like mobs
Ninety percent of us shed
Blood, sweat and tears
So that the other 10 percent gallivant
in wine, women and bed
They then question our loyalty
Meanwhile they reap the oil royalty
We dutifully pay our taxes
Meanwhile they squander in madness
Monuments are built to meet the sky
They see gods and goddeses on high
Wrapped around karaoke lasses' bosoms
Behold, lo and hi
With our blood, sweat and tears
At the slightest sign of trouble
To safer havens they and lovers flee
Meanwhile they "yam seng!" in glee
They ask: Why art thou overseas?
Come back to serve your Motherland
Meanwhile, they who stay, they smother
Oh Mum's the Word
The majority lament
Why bother?
UPDATed May 25, 2007
Chapter 9 Conclusion

The overall objective of my exercise is to show the special qualities, versatility and advantages of using poetry as a medium of communication, and its effectiveness under special circumstances when prose writing would have been inadequate. The discipline, and careful and the right choice of words has been demonstrated through the samples cited. Poems can be short, and the words used can be simple, as demonstrated by Ehrmann’s works, but yet they achieve their purposes and objectives of sharing the experience and creating deep impressions on us. Indeed, poetry is the most concentrated and condensed form of communication achievable using language as the medium, and as in anything “digestible” like ice-cream or chocolate, often the higher degree of concentration yields a higher degree of enjoyment, and appreciation, and hence a longer period of retention, in the receivers.

9.1 Read Some Poetry
The writer is glad to observe that in the past few years, the Malaysian government has re-emphasised the importance of English in the schools and at university studies, and this indeed augurs well for the nurture and advance of this rich heritage. It is heartening to note that English literature has been incorporated into secondary school syllabuses again, after two decades of absence. From now on, it is hoped that when a teacher quotes from any poems of Shakespeare or Dickinson, he does not receive blank stares (as indeed this writer experienced when tutoring some sixth form students two years ago, and when the opening stanza from Leisure (What is this life if, full of care/ We have no time to stand and stare …) was quoted, it didn’t draw any response in the form of recognition from the students!). It is hoped that this thesis will spur more studies on poetry in the Malaysian education context, beginning at the school level, and continuing at the undergraduate and post-graduate, to promote a rich legacy inherited from the British which in no small measure has contributed to our country’s development and progress since we gained Independence in 1957. 

It is even recommended that perhaps the Government might consider requiring that a Form 5 students must score a Credit in the English Language paper, and encourage English Literature as an optional subject, in Form 6 or matriculation studies. English proficiency, and appreciation of poetry in the English language – will not only make Malaysians more competitive internationally, but also enrich our journey in life, reminding us that in the hustle and bustle of the materialistic life, “A poor life this if, full of care/ We have no time to stand and stare” (closing lines from Leisure, by W. H. Davies).

9.2 Toward a Civil Society
Our country aims to become a fully developed, First World nation by 2020 – in materialistic, economic terms, the objective implied by developed nation status can be well defined, as measured in gross domestic product terms and other economic such as per capita figures. But in the intangibles – the character, soul and spirit, and the mindset of the people, that’s where the difficulty lies! We are still far from having attained a mature, civil society. Recently, many quarters, including (then) deputy premier Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, have lamented that while the country can boast of infrastructure that rival the best in First World countries like the US, Britain or Japan. the people’s mindset is still of the Third World. This is evidenced by the people’s general lack of civic consciousness, with daily media reports of common littering, unkempt public toilets and “uncivil” behaviour when motorists take to the highway. Hence, while the country focuses on physical development, the mental and spiritual life of the individual Malaysian must not be neglected.
For Vision 2020 to be achieved in the “holistic” sense, then both physical and economic features, and the soul and character of the nation. must progress in unison and tandem. Poetry has a significant role to play in the “civilisation” process of Malaysians. May the day dawn quickly so that while we proudly trumpet the Petronas Twin Towers as the highest such structure in the world, the citizens can also stand tall in terms of their grace, culture and heritage, displaying First World civic behaviour and tastes.

Malaysians may do well to heed this wise observation from Thoughts on Virtue* by one of history’s great thinkers, Charles Darwin (who propounded the ‘Theory of Evolution’ in his opus, “Origin of Species”):
If I had my life
to live over again,
I would have made a rule
to read some poetry
and listen to some music
at least once a week….
The loss of these tastes
is a loss of happiness,
and may possibly be injurious
to the intellect,
and more probably
to the moral character.

I conclude with Bell’s recall in his Introduction (p.7) to Desiderata that Ehrmann once told an interviewer: “At De Pauw I contracted a disease which I have never shaken off. The disease was idealism. Because of it, I did the thing in life I wanted to do – Writing.”
* The Forbes Leadership Library, "Thoughts on Virtue" Synergy Books International p.65

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