“Kindles and eBooks are changing the landscape of publishing. You can reach an audience and create a buzz online. I think publishers are still important in terms of editing, marketing and getting into bookshops, but self publishing can be another route to that.”
Those were the astute words of crime writer Stephanie Merritt (aka SJ Parris, author of detective novels like Heresy and Prophecy) at a recent Red magazine event on how to write a crime novel.
And she’s clearly right. Her views are borne out by the news from Amazon.co.uk this week that a self published novel by UK author Nick Spalding has become one of its ten bestselling items over the last three months.
Southampton-based Spalding has published a string of “comedies with adult humour” through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). So far he’s sold 245,000 copies of his books and earned up to 70 per cent in royalties from his sales.
Spalding’s Love… From Both Sides is currently riding high in the top 25 Kindle bestsellers list while two of his other books, Love… And Sleepless Nights and Life… With No Breaks, are in the top 100.
As Spalding says: “KDP is a fantastic opportunity for writers to get their work into the hands of the people that actually count – the readers. It's never been easier to publish an ebook thanks to Amazon's progressive and forward thinking attitude. They've given many more writers a voice - writers who would otherwise have remained silent. I can't thank them enough for providing me with the means to become as popular as I am.”
Not surprisingly, Gordon Willoughby, director of Kindle EU, is delighted.
“Nick Spalding joins international bestsellers such as EL James and Suzanne Collins in our top ten bestsellers of the last quarter at Amazon.co.uk,” he says. “That’s a fantastic achievement for a KDP author. KDP enables independent authors to compete on a level playing field with the giants of the literary world and we’re excited to see it succeeding for both readers and authors.”
Nick Spalding follows in the footsteps of Kerry Wilkinson, a debut novelist from Lancashire who was the number one selling author in Amazon.co.uk’s Kindle store during the last quarter of 2011. Wilkinson didn't have an agent or publicist - just the determination to write the very best book he could. And it worked a treat.