Word of Mouth Momentum Propels Teen Vampire Scribe into Tipping Point Territory
I noticed in the weekend papers that four books penned by Stephenie Meyer occupied the top four spots on the list of Australia's best-selling books (confirmed here, so I wasn't dreaming).
I'm sorry, who?
Now, I shouldn't play dumb here 'cos I live with a couple of recently converted Meyer devotees so I do know a bit about her. Rather, I'm echoing the thoughts of many Australians (I took a straw poll of six people to confirm this - how's that for robust research?).
For those unaware of Meyer, she's written a series of books - a teen vampire love saga, if you will - which has obviously struck a chord not just with teenagers but adults as well, a la Harry Potter given her massive popularity.
In what is testament to the power of consumer-generated word-of-mouth (with some help from PR activity, a web presence including MySpace and the odd retailer promotion etc), Stephenie Meyer has seemingly rocketed out of nowhere and is now blitzing it with her Twilight series - Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.
I say seemingly because all of a sudden Meyer is 'everywhere' and selling books by the truckload. Now, obviously she's been around for ages (she's written five books and you can't do that overnight!) but, to me, this rapid trajectory is the stuff of TIPPING POINT.
In doing a little subsequent research, I discovered this is indeed the case, as illustrated by online monitoring service Hitwise (although they refer to an 'inverse' tipping point when it comes to Meyer).
Further reinforcing the word-of-mouth theory is the large number of fan-based websites that have sprung up in Meyer's honour, a sure sign of grassroots support (a necessary driver for word-of-mouth), not to mention the fact she's got over 83,300 friends on her MySpace page.
Now that Twilight is heading for the movie screens, maybe Stephenie Meyer will indeed become the next JK Rowling as predicted.
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