Sunday, April 10, 2011

Word of mouth

Robert McCrum tackles the phenomenon of word of mouth success in today's Observer. I'm a bit amused, though, by John Murray MD Roland Phillips' reported statement - apparently in support of the notion of word of mouth - that 'people don't like to be told what to read'. Maybe he means when you hear publicists talking out of other orifices...

McCrum points out, however, that when a book takes off apparently independently of a publisher's publicity machinery, there's more involved than people simply telling each other about a book: there's the subtler matter of 'the milieu into which the unknown book is released' that creates that kind of grass roots excitement.
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