by Amy Edelman

August tends to be a slow month news-wise, but not in the world of indie books (or—it appears—Mother Nature).

Here are a few of the highlights…

August 3rd – Selling a self-published book to a traditional publisher used to be as difficult as telling the Kardashian sisters apart. But the advent of eBooks, IndieReader’s “List Where Indies Count” and Amazon rankings have made the search a lot easier, leading to a new parlor game in which hip book-lovers try and discover the next great indie books before the traditional publishers do.

The first to go trad this month was Michael Wallace, author of the indie book “The Righteous“, the first in a thriller series about a renegade Mormon polygamist cult and its various denizens (and an Amazon Kindle Top 20 bestseller). Wallace sold the rights to his book, plus four additional titles, to Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint, for publication in early 2012.

August 10th – The next title to get scooped up was Marty Beckerman’s originally self-published THE HEMING WAY: How to Unleash the Booze-Inhaling, Animal-Slaughtering, War-Glorifying, Hairy-Chested, Retro-Sexual Legend Within … Just Like Papa!, a humorous guide to living the manly man’s life, by St. Martin’s Press.

August 15th – Still an indie—although with two books near the top of Amazon’s bestseller list he may not be for long—Rick Mercer filled IndieReader in about his life as a writer:

RM: “I actually was published in 2003 in Writers Journal for a story called “Herb’s Home Run”. My best friend had died from a massive heart attack at age 42, and we hadn’t talked much during the previous year. I wrote the story to cope with my grief, I guess, but he and I used to talk about spiritual things and I was hoping Herb had that resolved.”

“After “Herb’s Home Run” was published, I thought maybe I had something to offer, so I did the first draft of “Caribbean Moon” in about four months, but only played at finishing it for a few years. Then I lost my job, couldn’t find another, and decided I’d better do something productive. After numerous edits, I released “Caribbean Moon” in late March of this year.  So far so good!”

August 22nd – What do you do if you’re the first indie author to sell over 1 million paid copies in the Kindle Store, joining authors including Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, Nora Roberts and Michael Connelly in the Kindle Million Club? If you’re John Locke you sign a deal agreeing to let traditional publisher Simon & Schuster handle the sales and distribution for the print editions of your books (starting February 2012) and you stay an indie, retaining control over your indie empire.

August 22nd – Celebrating its 40th edition, “What Color is Your Parachute?” was self published by Richard Bolles on December 1, 1970, using the services of a local San Francisco copy shop. The title has gone on to be the best-selling job-hunting and career-changing book in the world.  Even when we’re not in a recession, it is estimated that twenty thousand people buy the book each month and there are more than 8 million copies in print. Its first commercial edition was published in November 1972, by Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, Calif. It began appearing on best-seller lists in 1974, has been revised and updated annually since 1975.

August 23rd – William Paul Young–aka King of the Indies and author of The Shack–signed with the Hachette Book Group for his new novel. Published in 2008, The Shack has more than 15 million copies in print, 10 million in the U.S. and more than 5 million in translation. It spent 50 weeks at number one on the New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into 41 languages.

More news next month!

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