John Green’s work-in-progress novel, “The Fault in Our Stars”, reached the top spot on both Amazon’s and B&N’s sales charts last week less than 24 hours after he promoted it through his social networks, and without the help of his publisher, Dutton Children’s Books. The Wall Street Journal wrote about Green’s self-promotion strategy, which makes use of an impressive number of followers across multiple platforms (see image below).

Over at Giga Om, Mathew Ingram writes that while not everyone has the self-promotional skills or publisher backing that Green enjoys, this story is more evidence that marketing power is shifting from publishers to authors:

Green is just one of the new authors changing the rules in the book business in unpredictable ways. Although he is still represented by a traditional publisher (a unit of Penguin Group), the kind of following he has been able to gather through social media gives him enough clout that he could easily decide to publish on his own, as author Barry Eisler recently decided to do, turning down a $500,000 advance after years of publishing through a traditional agency relationship. JA Konrath is another author who has argued that more writers should pursue the self-publishing route because it gives them more control.

Everyone is passing around the Giga Om article this week, but if you can only read one of them, pick the WSJ one, which focuses more on how Green did it.


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