Amanda Hocking is still the exception to the rule: Most self-published authors don't get huge book deals

There's been a lot of talk lately about Amanda Hocking's amazing journey from self-publishing to a multi-million dollar book deal with St. Martin's Press. But Hocking's success story — selling a million e-books on the Kindle, getting a major publisher — remains a rarity, cautions a story over at MediaShift. And Hocking didn't get the major book deal until she'd already sold the movie rights to one of her books, and negotiated overseas deals in Hungary and other countries. Most self-published authors won't get on the publishing industry's radar, unless they do something to break out.

But meanwhile, there's another amazing success story to chew over — author Kerry Schafer sold her urban fantasy trilogy to Ace Books after an editor discovered her on their online community, Book Country. On that site, says Schafer, "writers can post their work and get feedback from a wide variety of readers. I think most people on the site are writers, but agents and editors also stop by, and anybody who is interested can read a limited amount."