If you’ve ever had doubts about the power of the groundswell or social media, allow me the opportunity to introduce you to J.C. Hutchins. In 2006, the Louisville native (only one of the many reasons I dig the guy) was dutifully submitting his sci-fi trilogy novels called 7th Son to book publishers. No one would give him the time of day. The stories were about human cloning, complete with a conspiracy sparked by the assassination of an American president, but they were probably a bit too “out there” for publishers at the time.

J.C. Hutchins - 7th Son: Decent

But J.C. Hutchins had access to something many struggling authors weren’t aware of: social media.

Hutchins decided if he couldn’t sell the work, he’d give it away, only not by putting the full thing online, but narrating readings of the work via podcast. With little more than a computer, an Internet connection and the want to do it, Hutchins began building a community around 7th Son – A beta clone army, if you will.

How did he do it? Here are some snippets of his podcast/book marketing plan:

  • Hosted a launch party for the podcast in Second Life
  • Conducted the first nationwide podcast book tour by doing more than 50 phone interviews with podcasters around the globe
  • Got 7th Son fans to contribute short stories, images and videos to an anthology of the first “book” in the series
  • Coerced celebrities from sci-fi and horror films, books and more to appear in the original podcast series.

Today, his podcast, conveniently accessed on the website at 7thsonnovel.com, has over 100,000 monthly episodic downloads. The downloads are free.

Why is this a story? Because today – October 27, 2009, St. Martin’s Press releases the actual, hard copy, tactile and printed version of 7th Son: Descent. Hutchins used three plus years of groundswell and social media marketing to realize his original dream of publishing 7th Son as a novel. The works have already been optioned by Warner Brothers for motion picture development as well.

(I’m standing and clapping as I write this.)

Because J.C. is a friend and fellow Louisvillian, I asked if there was something special I could do to help him today besides tell his story. He turned it around and gave all of us something.

You can get a 10 chapter PDF of the book, by clicking here. It’s a free preview, so to speak. Once you’re hooked on the story, you should go buy a copy of the book and a few others for gifts for your friends. (Amazon links here are my affiliate links, FYI.)

Better yet, check out the Google Reader embed below to check out the preview.

I’ll be the first to admit sci-fi thrillers aren’t necessarily my thing, but I’m halfway through the book already and have been brain sucked into becoming a Beta Clone myself.

Hat’s off to J.C. for the wherewithal and faith to build his own groundswell and realize his dream. It’s an inspiration to all of us, individuals and businesses. If we believe in it, someone else will. If we use these tools to connect those dots and build community around our ideas, we can realize the success we know is possible, regardless of those who tell us it isn’t.

Today is an historic day in social media thanks to J.C. Hutchins. How will it inspire you?

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog and signature Explore events. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://copywriteink.blogspot.com Rich Becker

    Great story Jason. This is clearly how social media ought to work in terms of discovery, where gems are discovered amongst the rough rather than the rough being popularized over the gems.

    Best,
    Rich

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thanks, Rich. J.C.'s story is certainly one worth telling. We're proud
      of him here in the 'Ville … even if he did ditch us for sunny
      Florida. Heh.

  • http://copywriteink.blogspot.com Rich Becker

    Great story Jason. This is clearly how social media ought to work in terms of discovery, where gems are discovered amongst the rough rather than the rough being popularized over the gems.

    Best,
    Rich

  • http://copywriteink.blogspot.com Rich Becker

    Great story Jason. This is clearly how social media ought to work in terms of discovery, where gems are discovered amongst the rough rather than the rough being popularized over the gems.

    Best,
    Rich

  • http://hightalk.net/ George F. Snell III

    I absolutely love reading stories like this. Congrats, J.C. I hope you get a bestseller!

  • http://hightalk.net/ George F. Snell III

    I absolutely love reading stories like this. Congrats, J.C. I hope you get a bestseller!

  • http://hightalk.net/ George F. Snell III

    I absolutely love reading stories like this. Congrats, J.C. I hope you get a bestseller!

  • Pingback: A Moment In Social Media History: 7th Son | Social Media Explorer | Wellness Obsession

  • http://www.seorank.com.au/ Social Media Optimization

    based on the second and final piece of information I had about John Adams – I let fly a moment or two of stunned.

  • http://www.seorank.com.au/ Social Media Optimization

    based on the second and final piece of information I had about John Adams – I let fly a moment or two of stunned.

  • http://www.seorank.com.au/ Social Media Optimization

    based on the second and final piece of information I had about John Adams – I let fly a moment or two of stunned.

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    Good post, and a good topic, my friend. I chatted with a local authors group a few weeks ago about social media, and they all cringed at the idea of using social media to build a following and get a book published. Their fear was that publishers would balk at publishing any book whose content — in part or in whole — had been published on a blog.

    This 7th Son story is proof of PRECISELY the reason authors should be engaged online. Getting a book published is about proving to the publishers they'll make money. What better way to do it than to build an audience and create buzz?!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Very much agreed, Scott. Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    Good post, and a good topic, my friend. I chatted with a local authors group a few weeks ago about social media, and they all cringed at the idea of using social media to build a following and get a book published. Their fear was that publishers would balk at publishing any book whose content — in part or in whole — had been published on a blog.

    This 7th Son story is proof of PRECISELY the reason authors should be engaged online. Getting a book published is about proving to the publishers they'll make money. What better way to do it than to build an audience and create buzz?!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://mediaemerging.com Scott Hepburn

    Good post, and a good topic, my friend. I chatted with a local authors group a few weeks ago about social media, and they all cringed at the idea of using social media to build a following and get a book published. Their fear was that publishers would balk at publishing any book whose content — in part or in whole — had been published on a blog.

    This 7th Son story is proof of PRECISELY the reason authors should be engaged online. Getting a book published is about proving to the publishers they'll make money. What better way to do it than to build an audience and create buzz?!

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/UpbeatNow Rajesh Setty

    Great story. Congratulations to JC and Jason, thank you so much for sharing the behind-the-scenes story.

    Best,
    Rajesh

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Thank you, Rajesh!

  • http://twitter.com/UpbeatNow Rajesh Setty

    Great story. Congratulations to JC and Jason, thank you so much for sharing the behind-the-scenes story.

    Best,
    Rajesh

  • http://twitter.com/UpbeatNow Rajesh Setty

    Great story. Congratulations to JC and Jason, thank you so much for sharing the behind-the-scenes story.

    Best,
    Rajesh

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Thanks, Rich. J.C.'s story is certainly one worth telling. We're proud
    of him here in the 'Ville … even if he did ditch us for sunny
    Florida. Heh.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Thanks, Rich. J.C.'s story is certainly one worth telling. We're proud
    of him here in the 'Ville … even if he did ditch us for sunny
    Florida. Heh.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Very much agreed, Scott. Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Very much agreed, Scott. Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Thank you, Rajesh!

  • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

    Thank you, Rajesh!

  • winter123

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  • winter123

    Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza Store done renewal and displays their “speedy” archives over past years tiffany jewellery online shop sells varieties of tiffany jewelry products, including tiffany bracelet, tiffany necklace, tiffany ring, tiffany earrings, tiffany pendant and various other tiffany replica jewelries. We are one of the biggest suppliers of tiffany jewellery sale
    ,Louis Vuitton has been welcomed by many louis vitton handbag lovers. I think there is no cheaper louis vuitton handbags than you in the world. “speedy” is known as Louis Vuitton’s iconic line. Every arranged bags were very interesting.

    Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza Store done renewal and displays their “speedy” archives over past years,Louis Vuitton has been welcomed by many Louis Vuitton Handbags lovers. I think there is no cheaper LV Handbags than you in the world. “speedy” is known as Louis Vuitton’s iconic line. Every arranged bags were very interesting.
    Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza Store done renewal and displays their “speedy” archives over past years,Louis Vuitton has been welcomed by many Louis Vuitton Handbag lovers. I think there is no cheaper louis vuitton sale than you in the world. “speedy” is known as Louis Vuitton’s iconic line. Every arranged bags were very interesting.

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  • http://lisamariemary.com/blog/ lisamariemary

    This is a totally, awesomely KILLER story – I absolutely love it! :)

  • http://www.hippiespelunker.com lisamariemary

    This is a totally, awesomely KILLER story – I absolutely love it! :)

  • http://www.peoplebrowsr.com PeopleBrowsr

    A true pioneer! To see other pioneers and their historical achievements check out PeopleBrowsr’s cartoon history of social media:
    http://www.slideshare.net/peoplebrowsr/a-brief-cartoon-history-of-social-networking-19302011?from=ss_embed

  • http://www.peoplebrowsr.com PeopleBrowsr

    A true pioneer! To see other pioneers and their historical achievements check out PeopleBrowsr’s cartoon history of social media:
    http://www.slideshare.net/peoplebrowsr/a-brief-cartoon-history-of-social-networking-19302011?from=ss_embed