Amanda Hocking's story isn't just interesting because, at 26 years old, she's a millionaire from selling eBooks. Her tale is also fascinating because it remains a work in progress. Success brings new challenges, one of which is often defending that success. Something Hocking is having to do.
Hocking, a self-proclaimed unicorn enthusiast and Muppet activist, writes about vampires, zombies, and yes, romance. According to reports, just one year ago, the Minnesota-based writer was "impoverished," "living paycheck to paycheck," and the manuscripts she sent out were rejected by publishers all over New York. Like many authors, Hocking turned to self-publishing, creating a store on Amazon. She set the prices of her work relatively low — 99¢ to $2.99 — and for every $2.99 book she sells, she keeps 70%. Hocking tells USA Today: "To me, that was a price point that made sense for what I would be willing to spend on an e-book… I use iTunes a lot, and it's 99 cents and $1.29 a song."
Between her blog, Twitter, Facebook and word of mouth, Hocking's stories caught on; she sold 100,000 of her works in December, and over 10 months she's sold more than 900,000. She's about to buy a house, she's getting a lot of press, and Elle magazine is going to profile her. Cue the inevitable backlash.
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