The New York Times yesterday printed an article about another writer who found success because readers loved the story that sprang from his imagination.
Snippets from the article ...
- Thousands of readers like Mr. Nowak, a regular churchgoer, have helped propel The Shack, written by William P. Young, a former office manager and hotel night clerk in Gresham, Ore., and privately published by a pair of former pastors near Los Angeles, into a surprise best seller. 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.
- In 2005 Mr. Young, now 53, started writing the book to show how he had healed by forging a new relationship with God. He chose to make God an African-American woman, he said, because he wanted to alter religious preconceptions. “It was just a way of saying: ‘You know what? I don’t believe that God is Gandalf with an attitude or Zeus who wants to blast you with any imperfection that you exhibit,’ ” Mr. Young said.
- He gave 15 copies to his children and a few friends. When the friends wanted to send copies to other friends, Mr. Young wondered if he might have something suited for a wider audience.
- So Mr. Cummings, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Young invested about $15,000 of their own money to print and distribute the book. All three began sending copies to influential Christian friends, and orders started rolling into Windblown’s Web site.