How A Little Novel From Nowhere Hit The Big Time

Turning a book into a bestseller is hardly an exercise in subtlety. Publishers usually line up a big-name author, order a huge first printing, book the writer on Oprah, and persuade Barnes & Noble and Waldenbooks to stock up. Put enough muscle behind the project, and you have an excellent shot at that coveted spot on The New York Times list of best-sellers.

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