Everywhere I turn I read about the phenomenal success of Wool, an indie published series which has garnered unprecedented sales in the very short time since its release. Wool has been picked up by Random House in the UK and Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator) will be directing an upcoming blockbuster movie made by 20th Century Fox.
I don't know about you, but even when I'm daydreaming about hitting it big, I don't dream about hitting it this big. In a recent article for PW, Hugh Howey writes about his amazing success.
[A]n actual deal seemed a long way off, a fanciful dream. Who was I? A few months ago, I worked part time in the university bookstore, dusting the shelves and tackling shoplifters to pay the bills. How could someone like that, who spent his mornings and lunch breaks pecking away at his keyboard ever get mentioned in a press release along the likes of Scott and Zaillian?Read more here: How My Self-Published Book 'Wool' Became A Hot Movie Property
Word of mouth, is how. Which is also the reason I've been able to quit that day job and write full-time. And it's why the film rights for that little story I wrote now lie in the hands of Hollywood giants.
Now, this is still new enough to me to leave me in a daze simply from typing the words, but it gets even better: The same book--self-published, mind you--has been picked up by Random House in the UK for a major hardback release. And while domestic publishers have made offers that would have had me swooning mere months ago, I have chosen to remain independent here in the States.
. . . .
My inbox lately has become sprinkled with missives from other independent writers asking me for any advice I might have. So I tell them what you have taught me: Please the reader. Write your best works for them; make those works affordable; interact with your fans; and take their feedback to heart. Without a single dime spent in advertising, a short story I wrote and didn't even work to promote climbed to the top of the Amazon charts. It drew the attention of Hollywood. It landed me an agent and half a dozen foreign book deals. All because of word of mouth. Because I happened to please you, and you told someone else, and they spread the word further.
The first WOOL story came out in July of last year. At just over 12,000 words, it qualified as a novelette, and not much more. I forgot about the story until it began garnering a slew of positive reviews that could muster only a single complaint among them: Where was the rest? They wanted more.
So I began writing more. I released the rest of the story in installments, something I'd always wanted to try, and I enjoyed the quick turnaround and the immediate feedback from readers. The entries grew as the series went along, until the fifth and final WOOL story was the length of a short novel. Once the tale was complete, I collected the five books into an Omnibus, which was when it began to really take off.
- Wool: Indie bestseller to be made into blockbuster movie
- Ridley Scott’s Next Project Is Wool
- 20th Century Fox Takes Wool
"Hugh Howey Writes About The Phenomenal Success Of Wool," copyright© 2012 by Karen Woodward.