Kerry Wilkinson: traditional publishing 'adds legitimacy'

One-time "Kindle King" Kerry Wilkinson, who made his name as a self-published bestseller, has said his experience of being traditionally published by Pan Macmillan has "been great", pointing to traditional poster and billboard advertising as bringing "normalcy" to his published work.

In a blog for The Bookseller's FutureBook site, Wilkinson wrote that "the physical book market is still a decent size", and that Pan Mac had succeeded in getting his books into the four major supermarkets, "including a number three chart position at Tesco, and a number one in Morrisons."

"When Hugh Howey talks about royalties for e-books, none of those types of sales are included," he pointed out.

Meanwhile the writer also said traditional publishing had added "legitimacy" to his work. "In 2011, when I was Amazon's top e-book author for a while, there were people I knew very well who shrugged at that fact," he wrote. "In 2014, when Macmillan put up a massive billboard in Manchester, I had strangers tweeting me photos; people I hardly know texting me to ask if I'd seen it…That sort of old-fashioned advertising – posters, billboards – gives your name a normalcy that can't be matched by Kindle chart positions or e-book sales."

The issue should not be self-publishing versus traditional publishing, but good publishing versus bad, Wilkinson argued.

"As it stands, I'm with a good publisher – and I'm very pleased," he concluded.

Pan Macmillan signed Wilkinson to a six-book print and digital deal in February 2012, after the first book in his Jessica Daniel series, Locked In, became the top-selling Kindle book for the last quarter of 2011.

Further multiple-book deals followed in May and August last year.

Wilkinson's novels have recorded sales of 75,482 thus far in their print editions through Nielsen BookScan, with the highest single sales figure so far coming with his February 2013 novel Think of the Children (36,136).

Publishing's hits and misses.