Why Hugh Howey is a Self-publishing Success Story

hugh howey author

Why Hugh Howey is a Self-publishing Success Story

Hugh Howey is a self-publishing success story that has been well documented. Hugh is an American author, known for his popular series ‘Wool’ which he independently published through Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing system.

It is his start in self-publishing his first eBook that has launched Hugh into the noted success stories of self-published authors who was able to write and self-publish a best-seller without the help of the big publishers.

In 2011, he began self-publishing, through Amazon’s Kindle Direct program, a series of post apocalyptic short stories that eventually became the novel Wool. Due to the success of his ‘Wool’ series Hugh signed a six-figure deal with Simon & Schuster to publish a print version of the book. Hugh retained the digital rights himself. 20th Century Fox then came knocking and they bought the movie rights.

What Can You Learn from Hugh’s Success as a Self-published Author?

  • First of all he is a brilliant and talented author.
  • He understands his genre and has a passion for writing this genre.
  • He wrote a series of eBooks which is a must for fiction authors.
  • He self-published with confidence via Kindle.
  • Hugh is a prolific writer.
  • He knows how to self-promote and get his eBooks in front of his target audience.
  • Hugh knows how to stay in the public’s eye with regular posts and commentary.
  • Hugh sourced the help of a professional editor to produce a quality cover.
  • Hugh sourced the help of an editor.
  • Hugh is an advocate for self-published authors.
  • Hugh was not afraid to join with a publisher on his terms for print rights.
  • Hugh has created a professional, informative and interactive author website.
  • Hugh uses social media with Twitter and Facebook.
  • He is outspoken and not afraid to take on those who belittle self-publishing.
  • Hugh sold his print rights but retained the digital rights himself (his eBooks)
  • Hugh has established a strong author platform that he uses to sell future eBooks
  • Hugh has a newsletter sign-up form on his website thus capturing the details of his target audience.
  • Hugh has a forum on his website making his site a place for fans to keep coming back.
  • Hush keeps a ‘progress chart’ on his website to let fans know how he is progressing with his current writing.

About Hugh C. Howey (from his author website)
Born in 1975, I spent the first eighteen years of my life getting through the gauntlet of primary education. While there, I dabbled in soccer, chess, and tried to write my first novel (several times).

Out of school, I became fascinated with computers, repaired them for a brief stint, then moved to Charleston, SC and attended college. To save money, I purchased a small sailboat to live on, and nearly got myself killed bringing it down from Baltimore with a friend.

After my junior year of college, possibly out of fear of the real world, I left my safe little harbor and sailed South. I hopped around the islands for a while, went through two hurricanes, and spent the last of my cruising funds re-stepping my mast. It was time to head back to the States, where I began a career as a yacht captain.

This began an exciting phase of my life, traveling all over the East coast and Caribbean, from Barbados to Chicago. I worked on boats in New York, the Bahamas, even Canada. One of these adventures brought me together with my wife, who was able to lure me away from my vagabond ways, dropping anchor and buying a house.

Physically settled, my mind continued to roam, concocting adventures and whisking me off to fantastic places. Some of these tales seemed worth sharing, so I tapped into my love of books and decided to write them down.

My first stories detail the life of a character that I’ve been mulling over for quite some time. Her name is Molly Fyde, and she draws inspiration from the awesome women in my life.

My Wool series became a sudden success in the Fall of 2011. Originally just a novelette, the demand from Amazon reviewers sent me scurrying to write more tales in this subterranean world.

The resulting Omnibus has spent considerable time in the Amazon top 100, has been a #1 Bestseller in Science Fiction on Amazon, and was optioned by Ridley Scott and Steve Zaillian for a potential feature film.

The story of its success has been mentioned in Entertainment Weekly, Variety, and Deadline Hollywood among many others. Random House is publishing the hardback version in the UK in January of 2013.

When I’m not writing, I like to go for hikes with my family, take a stroll on the beach, and keep up with my reading. I currently live in Jupiter, Florida with my wife Amber and our dog Bell

eBooks by Hugh Howey:

Novels and novellas

  •     Half Way Home (May 1, 2010)
  •     The Plagiarist (February 24, 2011)
  •     The Hurricane (May 9, 2011)
  •     I, Zombie (August 15, 2012)
  •     The Walk Up Nameless Ridge (September 4, 2012)

The Bern Saga

  •     Molly Fyde and the Parsona Rescue (August 22, 2009)
  •     Molly Fyde and the Land of Light (January 1, 2010)
  •     Molly Fyde and the Blood of Billions (June 1, 2010)
  •     Molly Fyde and the Fight for Peace (October 27, 2010)
  •     Molly Fyde and the Darkness Deep (TBA)

Sand Series

  •     The Belt of the Buried Gods (December 15, 2013)
  •     Out of No Man’s Land (December 19, 2013)
  •     Return to Danvar (December 26, 2013)
  •     Thunder Due East (December 27, 2013)
  •     A Rap Upon Heaven’s Gate (January 5, 2014)

Silo Series

  •     Wool (July 30, 2011)
  •     Wool: Proper Gauge (November 30, 2011)
  •     Wool: Casting Off (December 4, 2011)
  •     Wool: The Unraveling (December 25, 2011)
  •     Wool: The Stranded (January 14, 2012)
  •     First Shift: Legacy (April 14, 2012)
  •     Second Shift: Order (November 20, 2012)
  •     Third Shift: Pact (January 28, 2013)
  •     Dust (August 17, 2013)

Collected editions

  •     Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1-5) (January 25, 2012)
  •     Shift Omnibus Edition (Shift 1-3) (January 27, 2013)
  •     Sand Omnibus Edition (Sand 1-5) (January 9, 2014)