50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James outsold all seven of the Harry Potter series on Amazon’s UK website according to the Daily Mail headline. Now I have admit I have read neither the Harry Potter books or 50 Shades, but I suspect it’s a real indicator of the massive change in the publishing industry.
J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, may be the last best-selling author to go through the traditional way of getting a book published. First she had an agent who after one year and 12 rejections by publishing houses at last found a publisher who would take the first book.
E.L. James on the other hand started by self-publishing an eBook. This books was picked up by the main publishers only after it had already become successful on Amazon. Will this become the new method of publishing – find success as an independent author first and then negotiate from a position of strength with the big publishing houses?
Of course the odds on an author having the next 50 Shades of Grey are quite long, but it does show what’s possible.