My friend Lisa Genova created one of the coolest (and most successful) World Wide Rave's I've seen. She is the author of Still Alice, a novel about a young woman’s descent into dementia due to early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. I met Lisa at Grub Street Writers, Boston's premier writing school.
After Lisa wrote the book and was ready to get it into the market, she spent a year trying to get literary agents and editors at publishing houses to speak with her. The editors all treated her as yet another aspiring writer not worth their time, and the few literary agents she managed to reach thought her novel wouldn’t sell.
Instead of letting "rejection" mean no book, she self-published, created a web site with valuable information about Alzheimer’s Disease, and worked with the Alzheimer's Association to establish a blog. Still Alice, although fictional, was still a truthful and respectful depiction of life with the disease and her free Web content resonated with tens of thousands of people who talked about her ideas.
As a result of Genova's World Wide Rave, Still Alice sold at auction for a mid six figure US dollar advance in June 2008 to Simon & Schuster. The first print run of the new edition of the book, coming this week, was 250,000 copies and translation rights have sold to ten foreign countries so far, with more in the works. In addition, Still Alice won the 2008 Bronte Prize. None of this success would have happened without Lisa creating her own World Wide Rave.