The experience of the British crime author Kerry Wilkinson proves that, sometimes, you just have to do things yourself.
The 30-year-old journalist's debut novel Locked In, which he wrote in his spare time and self-published online, has beaten best-selling authors Stephenie Meyer and John Grisham on iTunes' electronic book sales chart.
However, Wilkinson may have a long way to go before receiving the sort of royalty cheque enjoyed by those blockbuster writers, since he is selling Locked In for only £1 (Dh6). He also has a few more copies to sell to better the US's John Locke, who earlier this summer became the first self-published author to sell a million books through Amazon's Kindle service.
Speaking to the Lancashire Evening Post, Wilkinson, a sub-editor with the Daily Express newspaper, said he had written Locked In to fulfil his dream of publishing a book by the age of 30.
"I told people I know [that] I had put it out and to have a look at it," he said.
"Then I got a tweet from a friend saying, 'Have you seen you're in the iTunes chart?' I had a look and my book was above all these bestselling authors like Stephenie Meyer and Bill Bryson and Stephen Fry. I don't really know how it's happened - it must be word of mouth. It's very strange."
Mainstream publishers have taken note of the promising writer, with Amazon's publishing house set to release a paperback version of the novel later in the year.
Locked In was written as the first of a series featuring Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel, who is called in when a dead body is found in a locked apartment.
Wilkinson said he was already planning the next two instalments.