Another self-publishing phenomenon goes traditional: John Locke


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Self-published author John Locke has signed a deal with a traditional publisher. The print editions of John Locke Books will be sold and distributed by Simon & Schuster, the company announced Monday.

Locke was the first -- and so far, only -- self-published author to sell a million Kindle ebooks. He writes thrillers starring the character Donovan Creed, and has published a popular how-to book, ‘How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months!’


It appears from Simon & Schuster’s announcement that Locke will retain control over his ebook publishing, while print editions of his books will be sold and distributed by Simon & Schuster. The company’s vice president of client publisher services, Stephen Black, said in a statement:

“Not only does John Locke write terrific novels, he clearly knows his audience and has a deep understanding of how to reach them. We are very excited that we can now help to expand John’s readership to include those millions of readers who still savor the joys of sitting down for a few hours of entertainment with a traditional paperback book. It is a win-win for all concerned.”

In the statement, Locke added, ‘I applaud Simon & Schuster’s incredible vision, and their willingness to provide a vehicle that allows all readers traditional access to my books.’

To date, Locke has published eight novels in his Donovan Creed series, including ‘Saving Rachel’ and ‘The Love You Crave.’ The popularity of his books have put him in the Kindle million-seller club with well-known bestselling authors James Patterson, Lee Child, Nora Roberts, Michael Connelly, Suzanne Collins, Charlaine Harris, Janet Evanovich and Kathryn Stockett. He’s seen several of his books reach Amazon’s bestseller list at once.

Many of Locke’s older ebook titles sell for 99 cents a download. While this makes them attractive to readers looking for a bargain, it will be hard to price hardcovers and paperbacks as enticingly. Whether his ebook success will translate to print sales is an open question.


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-- Carolyn Kellogg