John LockeJohn Locke, a well known author of sex and violence thrillers, is the first person to sell a million self-published books on the Amazon Kindle. He joins Steigg Larson, James Patterson and Amanda Hocking, a 26 year-old woman whose Kindle sales, while under a million, were high enough to get her a $2 million book contract with St. Martin’s Press.

The great thing about publishing on the Kindle is that it requires no middle man and no publishing company. Traditional publishers are so inundated with manuscripts that they throw them into what’s called the “slush pile,” rarely or never to be seen again. Most will only accept submissions from literary agents, and usually only agents they know and have dealt with. Those are the old days — still occupied by ossified book publishers.

What’s an author to do? How about this? Write your book, send it to Amazon, makers of the Kindle e-reader, and hope for the best. John Locke (not the 17th century philosopher) sold his books at 99 cents, keeping 35 percent of the revenue. He earned $350,000 in five months. Now he has a new book called “How I Sold One Million E-books in Five Months;” but this one is $5.

Amazon shows you how to self-publish on the Kindle on their website but the information is hard to find. We’ve created a direct link at You can also use Amazon’s “Create Space” to publish your work as a hard cover book, CD, DVD, video download or Amazon MP3. Use for a direct connection to that.

The downside of this new publishing freedom is that plagiarists have gotten into the act. Known novelists have found some of their books published again under another name. It happened to Shayne Parkinson, a New Zealander who writes historical novels, with her book “Sentence of Marriage.” An Amazon spokesperson said the company is working on the problem.


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