TUESDAY THREE: Self-Published Successes

With self-publishing becoming a more popular medium, many aspiring authors are bypassing the traditional agent and publisher-hunting route and instead taking to going it alone. Many self-published chick-lit authors have been successful, including Catherine Ryan Howard, Nicola May and Tali Roland. But every so often, an author will attract the attention of publishing houses, resulting in offers most wannabe writers can only dream of. This week, we've taken a look at three highly successful self-pubbed writers who've made it big thanks to their talent.

diaryofamadfatgirlnew.JPGStephanie McAfee, author of Diary of a Mad Fat Girl
Stephanie McAfee's novel Diary of a Mad Fat Girl was originally released as an e-book in late 2010, where it was later listed on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords. According to Stephanie's website, the book hit number 31 on the New York Times bestseller list in March of last year, and was later snapped up by a imprint of Penguin.

Graciela "Ace" Jones is mad-mad at her best friend Lilly who cancels their annual trip to Panama City for mysterious reasons; at her boss Catherine for "riding her ass like a fat lady on a Rascal scooter;" at her friend Chloe's abusive husband; and especially at Mason McKenzie, the love of her life, who has shown up with a marriage proposal three years too late. Ace is never mad, though, at her near-constant companion, an adorable chiweenie dog named Buster Loo.

Ace's anger begins to dissipate as she takes matters into her own hands to take down Chloe's philandering husband-and to get to the bottom of a multitude of other scandals plaguing Bugtussle, Mississippi. Then, she starts to realize that maybe Mason deserves a second chance after all.

With a sharp and distinctive voice, Stephanie McAfee delivers a hilarious and fast-paced tale about Ace Jones and her two best friends-thick as thieves and tough as nails-navigating Southern small-town politics and prejudices, finding love, and standing up for each other all the way.

switched_jacket.jpgAmanda Hocking, author of the Trylle trilogy
Amanda' Hocking's young adult paranormal novel Switched, the first book of the Trylle trilogy, was released in the UK by Tor in January. But before that, author Amanda had made over $1million in a short space of time by self-publishing her books. She has now earned over $2.5million - not bad for a young writer who was previously rejected.

Wendy Everly knew she was different the day her mother tried to kill her and accused her of having been switched at birth. Although certain she's not the monster her mother claimed she is - she does feel that she doesn't quite fit in . . . The new girl in High School, she's bored and frustrated by her small town life - and then there's the secret that she can't tell anyone. Her mysterious ability - she can influence people's decisions, without knowing how, or why . . . When the intense and darkly handsome newcomer Finn suddenly turns up at her bedroom window one night - her world is turned upside down. He holds the key to her past, the answers to her strange powers and is the doorway to a place she never imagined could exist. Förening, the home of the Trylle. Everything begins to make sense to Wendy. Among the Trylle, she is not just different, but special. But what marks her out as chosen for greatness in this world also places her in grave danger. With everything around her changing, Finn is the only person she can trust. But dark forces are conspiring - not only to separate them, but to see the downfall everything that Wendy cares about. The fate of Förening rests in Wendy's hands, and the decisions she and Finn make could change all their lives forever...

50shadesofgrey-cover.jpgE L James, author of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy
Fifty Shades of Grey is currently one of the most talked-about novels, with two more books in the series to come, and movie rights having already been snapped up. The erotic story by E L James started as a self-published e-book, which has now led to a three-book deal with Arrow.

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana's quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too--but on his own terms.
Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success--his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family--Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey's secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

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