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Novel Idea

A gritty novel takes a former drug dealer from prison to her own publishing business.

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This story appears in the May 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Entrepreneur: Vickie Stringer, 34, founder and CEO of Triple Crown Publications in Columbus, Ohio

Description: Leading publisher of hip-hop literature

Startup: $5,000 in 2001

Sales: 2005 estimated sales of $1.8 million

Mean streets: "I was a madam. I was a fence, and now a drug dealer. This is not how it was supposed to be." Vickie Stringer wrote those words while serving seven years in federal prison for drug dealing. By the time she was released, she had completed a gritty hip-hop novel, Let That Be the Reason . "It was all I had when I left prison," she says. As a single mother, she needed income fast, so she sent the book to every publisher she could find.

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