Author Gregory Levey just revealed how his book won almost 700,000 Facebook fans, more than Brad Pitt, JK Rowling or the New York Times. His secret: Accidentally appeal to stupid people.
In a great essay over at the Nervous Breakdown, Levey describes watching as the Facebook fan page for his two-year-old memoir Shut Up, I'm Talking shot from its longtime equilibrium of 700 people to 4,000, then 7,000 then 25,000 more per day until the total reached its current 671,608 . Levey was baffled, until he started reading his fan page "wall," where his followers had written things like, "Cool page! I hate it when people talk over me!" And: "Yeah, I was saying something and my mom broke in, and I was like, ‘Shut Up, I'm Talking!' LOL!" Levey's "fans" had clearly mistaken Shut Up, I'm Talking—the 288 page account of working for the Israeli government—for Shut Up, I'm Talking the interpersonal outburst and Facebook search term.
Along those lines, we'll be keeping an eye out for the publishing industry's inevitable follow-on titles, "Put Your Ringer on Vibrate!," "Stop Asking Me For Spare Change!," "Privacy Settings," and "Lesbian Porn."