Friday, March 25, 2011

50K Audible Audiobooks direct to Kindle via WiFi. - Hocking signs ~$2M deal

New York Times's Julie Bosman reports that self-published Amanda Hocking has signed a four-book deal with St. Martin's (Macmillan).

Hocking, the 26-year-old author, who sold over a million copies of her self-published e-books (Amazon, Barnes & Noble), has signed up with the Big6 traditional publisher for her next series.  Who wouldn't? assuming the terms are good.  I guess the large publishing house couldn't ignore this success story which happened without any traditional publisher marketing, backing, etc.

  They'll publish her “Watersong” series, four books in the young-adult paranormal genre, Bosman wrote.
  See the earlier article here for background on her rise.

  What a scene.  Kudos to her.
' A heated auction for the rights to publish her books began early last week, and several major publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins, dropped out as the price climbed into the seven figures.

The bidding eventually rose beyond $2 million for world English rights, said one publishing executive familiar with the negotiations. (St. Martin’s declined to comment on how much it agreed to pay.)  Ms. Hocking was represented by the literary agent Steven Axelrod.

The first book in the series will be released in fall 2012, a spokeswoman for St. Martin’s said. '

  As Hocking reported on her blog Tuesday, in response to news stories that she was shopping her series to traditional publishers, Hocking explained her thinking (and activity) to her readers:
' “I want to be a writer,” she said. “I do not want to spend 40 hours a week handling e-mails, formatting covers, finding editors, etc. Right now, being me is a full-time corporation.” '
The Bloomberg Businessweek/AP story by Tara Bannow the other day has a good backgrounder on Hocking's story, from last year to the signing.
  She's written only one of the four books so far, so there'll be a bit of pressure, which probably won't have much effect on her.

  Bannow also writes, "Earlier this year, Terri Tatchell, co-screenwriter of the 2009 science fiction film 'District 9,' agreed to adapt the books from Hocking's Trylle Trilogy as a screenplay."  
  There's a bit on how she's adjusting to all this, and you should read it there.

In the meantime...
If you want to check out her existing e-books while they are still available and at a good price, see her Amazon author's page.

Amazon announced on March 24 that:
' ...more than 50,000 Audible Audiobooks are available for download on the latest Kindle (UK: K3) via Wi-Fi delivery.
  Of course, owners of any Kindle device can continue to purchase Audible audiobooks from and transfer the titles to Kindle via USB. '
  To find out more about how to do this, go to Audible Audiobooks, where they offer a 30-day free trial that includes "two free audiobooks."  The page will give an idea of what's available.  Those already subscribing to Audible Audiobooks they can listen to while on the go will probably welcome this news, as it frees you from the USB cable transfer in that you can download large-file Audible book whenever you are connected to a WiFi network, whether at home or at work or in a cafe somewhere.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. Of course, download of audiobooks over wi-fi is not new. It's been possible since Amazon enabled merging of Audible account with Amazon a few weeks after K3 shipped. Audible content shows up in Archived Items, where you can initiate download. It has also been possible to browse and purchase Audible content using the K3 browser (though it is somewhat painful to do so).

    What is new is the integration of Audible content in the Kindle Store, and the ability to purchase and download with 'one click'. (note that to search for Audible titles, add the keyword 'audible' or search results will contain only ebooks).

    One click purchase is one thing, but download is another. You can begin reading most ebooks in 'less than a minute', as they say, but an audiobook may take the better part of an hour or much longer. And unlike the iOS/Android/Blackberry apps, you must wait for the ENTIRE audiobook to download before you can start to listen to it. So much for instant gratification. Plus Amazon forces you to download the highest quality format (Enhanced), which consumes the most time for download and space on Kindle's limited storage. What was wrong with '4'? I doubt many people can even hear the difference, at least on a Kindle.

    Also, woe unto you if you don't have enough space to download the audiobook: Kindle will not inform you of any problem. You have to go to 'View Downloading Items' to check status. If you want to cancel download, that would be the logical place to do so, but Kindle won't let you. AFAICT you have to Restart Kindle to clear the Download queue.

    Oh well, it is a 'free' feature, and at $139 Kindle is cheaper than a smartphone or some iPods. But I would look for hybrid player apps (ebook & audiobook) on at least Android/Blackberry/Win/Mac to take advantage of the new integration of the Audible & Amazon stores, and eventually, hybrid format (ebook + audiobook).

  2. Tom,
    Thanks for all these good pointers on what to watch out for.

    I'm sort of shocked that Amazon wouldn't check free space first. It sounds as if this actually happened to you.


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