The New York Review of Books has an interesting article by Emily Eakin on how the author of 50 Shades of Grey grew into such a success without a publicity campaign, formal reviews or a huge endorsement. How did EL James do it? And can you do it too?
Read the full NYRB piece here -- in essence plan to take a crash course in the magic of word of mouth.
The author's work originated as "fan fiction, a genre that operates outside the bounds of literary
commerce, in online networks of enthusiasts of popular books and movies,
brought together by a desire to write and read stories inspired by
those works.* (EL James real name) "Leonard’s excursion in the genre provided her with a
captive audience of thousands of positively disposed readers, creating a
market for her books before they ever carried price tags. But fan
fiction is inherently collaborative and by convention resolutely
anti-commercial, attributes which make its role in the evolution of her
work both highly unusual and ethically fraught."
The NYRB is a long, thoughtful piece - worthy of your time if this genre is relevant for you.
Books sure keep life interesting...