I point you to this article: The Shack: How William Paul Young wrote a bestseller as an excellent encouragement.
- He was bankrupt and facing divorce after infidelity.
- He wrote a novel for his family, and had 15 copies printed.
- The average novel sells only 3,000 to 5,000 copies over its lifespan and sales of 7,500 gives you a bestseller.
- They sent it to 26 publishers, who all were uninterested. They formed there own printing company and spent $300 on marketing.
- It has sold 20 million copies, printed in 48 languages worldwide and remained #1 on The New York Times bestseller list for 49 straight weeks. (It has spent 136 weeks on the list, and returned to it just last week, currently sitting at No. 7).
(Incidentally it is an awesome book).