Writing can be a lonely busines, but for years I kept myself pretty much to myself because I read posts on networking sites and discovered that writers have very strong views and seldom keep them to themselves.
I read JA Konrath's blog post: Depression and Writers and was incredibly moved by Kiana Davenport's story. She is talented writer who has literally found a new lease of life through self publishing. Her book, House of Skin, went from being #134,555 at the time of Joe's first post to being #182 when I last checked. I found this story heartwarming and a little scary, because we hear all the time of writers committing suicide and as a writer you hope to never find yourself in that position.
What shocked me though was the cynicism among a few of my fellow writers. Some of them accused Joe of having ulterior motives, of deliberately posting this blog on the day that Amanda Hocking's four-book deal was agreed with St Martin's and a whole host of other things. Some have even said that Kiana would have committed suicide if she really wanted to and seem to have no sympathy for her. I suspect some of them are peeved that she is obviously a great writer and now that she has been made visible, she will no doubt be able to hold her own easily.
I'm absolutely thrilled for Amanda. She has always said that she wanted a traditional publishing deal and I'm sure she was able to negotiate the terms she wanted. Joe has been an advocate of self publishing and a lot of people seem to think that he will be upset with Amanda. I don't know why because, unless I missed it, he has never said that a writer should not take a publishing deal. It has alway been about the size of the deal and if it is the right one for you. Amanda is keeping the rights to all her current books which will continue to make her bundles of money. Yes, she is taking a risk, but it is a carefully calculated risk. I have no doubt that she will come up smelling of roses.
So, all I can say is, Stephenie and JK make way, Amanda is coming to join you at the top!