“The Shack,” by William P. Young and published by Windblown Media in partnership with Hachette Book Group USA, is one example of a novel that spread rapidly by word-of-mouth. This is a powerful example of how readers can influence the sale of a book. “The Shack,” a once small time Christian novel by an unknown author, debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times trade paperback fiction best-seller list on June 8, where it still remains. It is also No. 1 on Borders Groups and Barnes & Nobles trade paperback fiction list, outselling Oprah’s Book Club selection “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle.
Excerpt from NY Times 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.