Self-Published Author Sells a Million Kindle Copies, Barbed Author Insults, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Pulp-fiction writer John Locke is the first self-published author to sell a million copies of a book for the Kindle. His latest book is not a thriller or a western—it's called How I Sold 1 Million E-books in 5 Months. (

In other self-publishing news, Strawberry Saroyan profiles Amanda Hocking for the New York Times. Hocking's best-selling vampire and zombie series is an e-book success story that has resulted in wealth, fame, movies in the pipeline, and comparisons to J. K. Rowling. In March Hocking signed a two-million-dollar book deal with traditional publisher St. Martin's, who outflanked Amazon in a bidding war.

Waxing nostalgic, Flavorwire lists what it deems the thirty harshest author-versus-author barbed insults of all time, such as H. G. Wells referring to George Bernard Shaw as “an idiot child screaming in a hospital.”

Following the success of "The Wasteland" as a top-selling iPad app, Penguin Classics has released an "amplified" edition of Kerouac's seminal On the Road. Jennifer Schuessler takes it for a drive. (New York Times)

During the Vancouver hockey riots of last week, citizens saved a beloved bookstore from destruction. (CBS News)

Tragedy has struck the young Harvard author whose book contract was canceled because of plagiarism—Kaavya Viswanathan's parents were killed yesterday in a plane crash. (AP News)

Borders has reached an agreement with GE Capital, allowing it to keep fifty-one stores open for business. (Reuters)