Back in January, John Locke played 5 questions with me here at Strong Scenes. He's the author of the wildy successful Donovan Creed series of novels. Back then he'd only had 3 Kindle novels published at .99 cents each. His latest at the time, "Saving Rachel," was #15 on the Kindle bestseller list. Pretty amazing for a guy without a major publishing house or publicity campaign to support him.
Fast forward 3 months. The guy is blowing up. He currently has 4 novels in the top 20 of Kindle's bestseller list, hitting the top spot with regularity. Even though he could easily price his books at a higher price, he maintains the .99 cents price and readers all over the world are discovering his talent for writing exciting thrillers with witty dialogue. Now his seventh Donovan Creed novel, "Vegas Moon," has just come to market and already the buzz is deafening.
Why is this important to writers and readers alike? Because major publishing companies have been ignoring the John Locke's of the world for far too long. Instead of discovering new talent, New York publishers have decided to stick their marketing money behind brand name authors and forget anything novel. And when I say brand name authors I mean brand name period. Because even though supermodel Tyra Banks is not exactly know for her literary skills, she's received a large chunk of money for a 3-book deal with Random House. Really? Tara Banks? It's the same reason Hollywood is releasing no less than 27 sequels this summer.
Does this mean big name authors aren't worth the money? Of course not. I just spent 17 bucks on Nelson Demille's latest novel, "The Lion," and it's worth every penny. It's just that now I have more choices, that's all.
So where will readers find new talent? Bingo! The Kindles and Nooks of the world are gamechangers. Big name authors can't afford to sell their books at .99 cents because they have agents and publishers and publicists and who knows who else with their hands out, they can't make a living at that price point. So here comes John Locke with his ability to create fantastic thrillers with pitch-perfect dialogue. Without Locke, readers might fall prey to lesser skilled indie authors and get a sour taste in their mouth. They might not give other talented authors a chance and resort to paying 10 bucks for an author with a brand name--like Tyra Banks. See what I mean? John Locke, and Amanda Hocking, and J.A. Konrath are quite possibly the most important writers in the country right now.
Without them, we'd be forced to read the latest Sci-Fi thriller by first-time novelist, Charlie Sheen. See?