John Locke of Louisville, Kentucky has become the first independently published author to sell over 1 million paid copies in the Kindle Store. He is the eight author to do so, and has joined Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, Nora Roberts, Charlaine Harris, Lee Child, Suzanne Collins, and Michael Connelly in the Kindle Million Club.

Locke sold Kindle books using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), which allows both publishers and authors to quickly start selling their content to Kindle customers worldwide via the various Kindle devices and other third-party devices that sport Kindle apps. Locke isn't just an independent writer though: he is the internationally bestselling author of nine novels, and his latest book, "How I Sold 1 Million eBooks in 5 Months," is a how-to marketing guide for self-published authors.

The US Kindle Store now has more than 950,000 books, including New Releases and 109 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 790,000 of these books are $10 or less, including 69 New York Times Best Sellers. Millions of free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle devices. Last month, Amazon announced that Kindle books had begun outselling print books.

Arguably the best part of the Kindle ecosystem is Amazon's Whispersync technology. It saves and synchronizes your full library of books, bookmarks, last page read, highlights, and annotations across all of your Kindles and Kindle apps for the Mac, PC, Android devices, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows Phone, and soon HP TouchPads and BlackBerry PlayBooks.

"Kindle Direct Publishing has provided an opportunity for independent authors to compete on a level playing field with the giants of the book selling industry," John Locke said in a statement. "Not only did KDP give me a chance, they helped at every turn. Quite simply, KDP is the greatest friend an author can have."

"It's so exciting that self-publishing has allowed John Locke to achieve a milestone like this," Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content, said in a statement. "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."