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4. When in Doubt, DIY

If help isn't forthcoming ask yourself: 'Is there another way to make this happen?' For Amanda Hocking, hundreds of rejection slips initially crushed her hopes of being an author. "Then I realized, if you have a dream, you can't let people tell you no," she says. "I decided to do whatever it took for my books to get out there." So she self-published her novel electronically on The first day, she sold five books; the next day, five more. Hocking kept writing—and publishing. Pricing her books low (some at 99 cents) and releasing frequent new titles helped fuel her fan base. Today she has grossed more than $2 million and become a best-selling e-author on Amazon. She's poised for stardom in the print world, too: St. Martin's Press offered her a four-book, $2 million deal for the Watersong series and bought the rights to The Trylle Trilogy.