John Locke has become the first independent Kindle-only author to sell over a million electronic books. Seven authors who also use regular channels have already achieved a million Kindle sales, including Stieg Larsson, Kames Patterson and Lee Child. But Locke is the first to do it without printing a word. In a release this morning, Kindle’s VP, Russ Grandinetti, said: “It’s so exciting that self-publishing has allowed John Locke to achieve a milestone like this. We’re happy to see Kindle Direct Publishing succeeding for both authors and customers and are proud to welcome him to the Kindle Million Club.”
Direct publishing, which bypasses traditional dead-tree publishing routes, is going to be huge. Electronic books continue their meteoric rise this year, stimulated not just by the Kindle but also by the unprecedented success of the iPad. The more people turn to ebooks and forsake bookstores and printed books, the more pressure there is going to be on publishers and traditional distribution channels. It only takes one best-selling author to have the guts to ditch traditional publishing and the floodgates will open. Things will never be the same again for the publishing industry.