Emerging 'New Adult' Book Genre Puts Smut Fiction on Bestseller Lists

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"I love fluffy," said 28-year-old Ria Parks. "Seeing people fall in love and how it works and how strong their bond is, and it's just -- everybody wants that for themselves."

These themes about love and romance helped catapult Cora Carmarck onto a slew of bestseller lists. The twenty-something college student and part-time teaching assistant self-published "Losing It," a story about a young woman who is desperate to lose her virginity.

"I think it's a timely subject," Carmarck said. "We're in a day and age where we can approach this more honestly and openly, which is nice."

She wrote "Losing It" during her three-week break from school.

"I wrote the book in three weeks," she said. "I remember thinking, if I just make $1,000, it will be worth it."

So how much did she rake in from sales?

"Surprisingly a lot considering most self-published books are priced really low," Carmarck said, laughing. "My price point was $3.99 and I made about $200,000."

And her success eventually landed her a six-figure book deal with publishing giant HarperCollins.

As for Hoover, her husband was able to quit his job as a truck driver and the family has moved from their single-wide trailer to a modest home. And for the mother whose holiday present inspired it all? An early retirement.

"This whole past year has been crazy," Hoover said. "I'm just trying to focus on all the positive aspects of it and so far, I've loved it."

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