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How Colleen Hoover Found Readers on Goodreads

How does a self-published bestseller start? In the graph embedded above, you can trace the actual path of a hit indie book.

At a PubWest presentation called “How Readers Discover Books Online,” Goodreads founder Otis Chandler shared some fascinating statistics about how a book’s popularity spreads on Goodreads. Looking at Slammed by Colleen Hoover, Chandler mapped how the book traveled from giveaways to bloggers to a book deal. Here’s more from the founder:

Slammed was published in early January of 2012. The book didn’t get a lot of attention those first few months, which illustrates how tough it can be for a first-time author. But Hoover smartly took matters into her own hands, running a pair of Goodreads giveaways in late February and early March. These are free for authors/publishers to set up—the only cost is in mailing the book to the winners. It immediately got the book onto people’s shelves and generated a few reader reviews, which is vital for any new book. Then, in late March, a few prominent bloggers her in genre wrote about the book, spreading the word to their many followers on Goodreads through their reviews.

In August, Hoover signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books. Her work dominated our Self-Published Bestsellers List for weeks this year. In addition, producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (producer of SaltG.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and the Transformers trilogy) has optioned Slammed.

We’ve embedded the complete slideshow from Goodreads below–what do you think?

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