Today, my friend Amy Edelman, founder of IndieReader.com, the great site showcasing independently published books, sent me an email from Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, that made my head spin. The email had a link to an IndieReader.com feature by indie author Jessica Park called “How Amazon Saved My Life.” What an inspiring story!
The riveting tale was all about Jessica’s trials and travails in trying to find a traditional publisher for her book Flat-Out Love. After finding an agent, but failing to sell her book, Jessica made the decision to publish her book on her own. Why? Mainly because she wanted to get her book in the hands of readers. Here’s how she put it:
“One of the major reasons that I write is to connect with readers, not publishers. The truth is that I couldn’t care less whether New York editors and publishers like me. I don’t want to write for them. I want to write for you. The other undeniable truth is that readers could care less that my books aren’t put out by a big publisher. They read for the content, not the publishing house emblem.”
So Jessica took the self-pub route and launched Flat-Out Love via Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program. And Jessica’s “generous, loving, wild readers” responded. She’s averaging 3500 book sales a month; when Amazon featured Flat-Out Love on a list of books for $3.99 and under, she sold 45,000 copies in 30 days. Amazing!
I love this story, not just because of the way Jessica decided to bet on herself and beat the odds, but because of her love of her “wild readers.” Jessica knew in her gut what the publishing industry didn’t — that readers would respond to her novel. And so she trusted herself and her readers enough to take a huge leap of faith. And her readers responded by buying Flat-Out Love and giving her the freedom to pursue her passion: writing fiction. Bravo, Jessica! Check out, “How Amazon Saved My life” by Jessica Park on IndieReader.com.