Small Groups of Evangelists Have Big Impact on Book Biz

In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, it’s small groups of hipsters in the East Village that start the trends that become national phenomena. In the book business, it’s a humbler, less fashionable set — leaders of small reading groups — that launch best-sellers (see NY Times).

Tipping Point

“Increasingly, authors and publishers are tipping their hats to the power of 8 or 10 or 12 women (and usually they are women) sitting around a dining room table, dissecting their particular book of the month, then spreading the word to their friends. Along with ‘The Kite Runner,’ the successes of ‘The Memory Keeper’s Daughter,’ ‘Water for Elephants,’ ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and ‘Kabul Beauty School’ have been credited to the early and continuing support of reading groups.”

It makes sense then that other large brands — such as Johnson & Johnson are investing in marketing to small groups of evangelists.

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