Read this article from business insider first.
Then read her response to the press on her blog.
And finally, read "how I did it."
At one point in "how i did it" she says she thinks her books sell well because:
"-the books are in a popular genre
-the covers are enjoyable
-the price is good
-the writing isn't terrible (although, believe me, some people would argue that point)
-book bloggers recommended it
-accessibility - I'm on Twitter, facebook, goodreads, Amazon, KB. I'm anywhere I can be. I always try to respond to readers...
And I'd add to what she said...
- writing 7 hours a day for about 10 years before she ever published a word.
- choosing really great titles. Titles that "stick" in your mind, things like "my blood approves"
- working obsessively on marketing
- writing the same kind of book that she reads, writing in a genre she likes.
- starting small, dashing off novel after novel quickly (call them beta versions)
- finding and working with an editor (she's still looking for a better one)
- being willing to fail repeatedly and keep going. Sounds like her mantra was something like:
"OK, learned something. Good! Keep going, try something else."
- shipping stuff. She finishes the novels she starts and then submits the finished work for publication.
- damn luck. All the planets were in alignment, at the right time, in the right place, and significant book bloggers liked her stuff.
More power to Amanda Hocking! I truly hope she becomes a zillionaire. I applaud her success. She sounds like someone I'd like to have coffee with and talk to about writing.