Thursday, July 03, 2008

Grass Roots Selling

At the end of May, I blogged about author William P. Young’s road to publishing success. His Christian book published by a small press began to sell through word of mouth. According to the USA Today, Young said:
 …there are 880,000 copies in print, 750,000 in distribution, and we're talking to New York publishers…
Recently, The New York Times, had an update on the book.
It is the most compelling recent example of how a word-of-mouth phenomenon can explode into a blockbuster when the momentum hits chain bookstores, and the marketing and distribution power of a major commercial publisher is thrown behind it.
The Shack hasn’t been without controversy.
Some conservative Christian leaders and bloggers have attacked “The Shack” as heresy. The Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, devoted most of a radio show to the book, calling it “deeply troubling” and asserting that it undermined orthodox Christianity.
Other readers have come around to praise the book.
“I was so stunned by the presentation of Papa that I couldn’t deal with it,” said Bill Ritchie, senior pastor of an 8,000-member nondenominational church in Vancouver, Wash., who recalled putting the book down at first. He eventually finished it and told his congregation that it was “one of the most remarkable books I’ve read in years.” Since early this year, his church has been buying copies to sell to members by the caseload.
No matter what your opinion, though, as a writer you have to look at its sales and what the book has accomplished not through major campaigns, although they are starting to do that now, but through grass roots, word of mouth and hand selling.

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