Hugh Howey Success Story

By on March 26, 2013

This is a great success story along the lines of JK Rowling of the Harry Potter fame.  Hugh Howey self published his “Wool” book series on Amazon and had astounding success right out of the gate!

Hugh Howey Success

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Half a million people read one man’s novel before it ever even made it into print.

A year and a half ago, college dropout Hugh Howey was making $10 an hour filling shelves at a bookstore. Today it’s a completely different story.

“Yeah, I’m making enough that I’m setting up retirement and I don’t have a day job anymore and my wife and I don’t have any debts. We’re just very comfortable because of this,” says Howey.

Howey is being a little too modest. He’s a millionaire a couple times over and – according to The Wall Street Journal – pulling $120,000 a month, thanks to a quiet revolution he’s unexpectedly leading.

It all started with a 40-page post-apocalyptic short story called “Wool,” that he posted online.

“I had it on Amazon, so you could read it on your phone or anything that had a Kindle app, you could read it on. Or a Kindle of device, but you could read it on computer. It’s difficult to read a 300-page novel on your cell phone. But this was only 40 pages.”

And those 40 pages came cheap – just 99 cents.

The low risk paid off. He sold a thousand copies within three months. A second installment of what was now turning into a novel sold 3,000 copies in one month. Two more sections sold 10,000 copies and when he posted the fifth and final installment and began selling the entire 5-part novel for $5.99, he sold 23,000 copies in the first month. Sales have only skyrocketed since: 500,000 copies and counting.

And remember, the book had yet to be published in print.

Book publishers swarmed all over him but Howey refused to sell away his digital rights. He turned down a number of million-dollar offers until Simon & Schuster finally agreed to his terms.

“It’s the smartest thing I’ve ever done. For me, I make 70 percent of the retail price. If I’d done this traditionally – it’d be 12.5 percent. It’s a huge difference. So many authors are watching this and congratulating me and hoping that this becomes a trend,” says Howey.


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