Brandon Sanderson is one of America’s most successful writers.
In fact, he’s probably the biggest fantasy author in the world right now.
I’m not joking, this guy is massively, massively popular. Looking at the stats, he’s sold something like 20 million books and makes a reported $10,000,000 per year. What’s more, his 2022 Kickstarter is one of the biggest of all time, with over 100,000 backers pledging more than 8 figures.
Not bad for an overweight nerd from Salt Lake City…
Part of the reason for this success is his incredible work ethic. Sanderson is known for churning out material at the speed of light. For example, during the COVID-19 quarantine, he wrote five new books. Another reason is his outrageously rabid fan base. As it turns out, these people are OBSESSED with Sanderson and often refer to him as “God.”
That being said, not everyone is a fan.
One of these people is Jason Kehe, journalist and author of a recent Wired profile on Sanderson.
To put it politely, this profile can only be described as unflattering.
In it, he trashes almost everything about the man, including his way of dressing, dietary habits, weight, city, religion, and also his fans. As you can imagine, this has sent the fan base into a state of total frenzy. They’re riled up, angry, and baying for blood.
It’s this anger which has also made the article go viral. Dozens of online outlets have now mentioned it, plus it’s also been shared and written about extensively on places like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit (Then you have the usual YouTube reaction and commentary videos.)
All of this brings us neatly to the point.
Whether intentional or not, the article is basically a work of genius.
You see, Jason Kehe had a choice: write another fluff piece or trash Sanderson. By trashing the guy, he pissed off thousands of nerds and generated millions of clicks. This makes the whole thing a near-perfect example of both viral content and also outrage marketing.
Don’t be afraid of attacking people bigger than you and creating controversy.
By doing this you’ll manufacture curiosity and most importantly attention…
…two things which are sorely needed to succeed in todays overcrowded marketplace.
Until next time,
P.P.S. Feeling curious? Want to read this controversial article? You can go here for that.