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'WOOL': Why all the hype?

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(Read caption) "WOOL" was a New York Times bestseller before it was even released in print form.

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It reads like the collective dream of authors everywhere. A writer closing in on middle age self-publishes a serial novel. The book slowly gains traction in the underground of the writerly world, selling for only $1 on e-readers.

Within a year, the writer has already made a million dollars all by himself. That's when the big publishing houses close in on him, trying to buy digital and print rights to the book with big seven-figure deals. But the author is making around $120,000 a month from book sales, so he turns them all down.

Until Simon & Schuster comes along and offers to buy just the print rights – leaving digital sales to the writer – for a six-figure sum. 

Hugh Howey, author of the incredibly popular e-book "WOOL" is the man who got to live this story. (A much more detailed version in the author's own words is available on IndieReader.com).

"WOOL" is the story of the last remnant of humanity all living together in an underground silo. The only contact they have with the desiccated outside world is through cameras that transmit back to the silo. Sometimes, a member of the community will be sent to his or her death by cleaning the lenses of the cameras. According to the The Wall Street Journal Howey says he got the idea for "a future where people get all of their information from a single, unreliable screen" when he was watching cable news.

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