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7/17/11

How 26-year-old Amanda Hocking solved the publishing business all by herself


"Figured out that romance was an evergreen," so says 26 year old E-Arthur Amanda Hocking.

How it played out -

Two months later, Hocking uploaded "My Blood Approves" to Amazon and, about a month later, to Smashword, a service that makes her books compatible not only with the Nook but also with less popular devices like Bebook and Kobo. (When, in Oct 2010, it became possible to self publish directly on Barnes & Noble's site for the Nook, she did so.)

The first day, she sold five books. The next, five more. “I took screen shots a lot,” she said. Then she uploaded another novel and sold a total of 36 books one day in May. “It was like: 36 books? It’s astounding. I’m taking over the world."

Soon she started selling hundreds of books a day. That June, she sold 6,000 books; that July 10,000. “And then it started to explode. In January, it was over 100,000.” Today, she sells 9,000 books a day.

Why her books are successful - part breakneck pacing, part quirky girl-like-Hocking characters. Part Hollywood style action and part bodice-ripping romance - they are literature as candy, a mash-up of creativity and commerce.

Strawberry Saroyan/NYT's