Of course I’d heard of her and knew why she was famous but I’d not really heard her story until now.
She has put in a lot of hard graft and with 17 completed and (then unpublished) novels on her hard disk, clearly she is not a quitter. I think she is an inspiration to anybody who has ever tried to get published. I wish her all the best and hope that some of her luck rubs off on me.
Do I feel she has revolutionised publishing? Possibly, but arguably it was inevitable and she just happened to be the right person in the right place at the right time. Before Hocking, online fiction was mostly for hobbyists or for those wishing to build experience before taking the plunge into “real” writing. I signed up for Elfwood in 2000 and the only other major site back then was fanfiction.net (I think writing.com started about then as well). I never got into fanfic though I did write about three or four pieces in the space of about six months and then decided it wasn’t for me.
Since Hocking, there has been a veritable explosion of digital access to publishing from the likes of page99test, WEBook, Lulu.com and the resurrection of subscription publishing for the 21st century at Unbound, it is being taken seriously at last. For the next few weeks, my Site of the Week will feature some of these options for digital publishing.