Because it didn't fit an established mold (this was well before everyone had a vampire book), the book was a hard sell. But it has paid off. Boy, has it! The Sookie Stackhouse series is a huge success.
Now the books are going to be a series on HBO, by Alan Ball, the guy who gave us Six Feet Under. I remember hearing about this from Charlaine back in 2005.
Ad Age has an article about the unique way they are promoting the series. “Among other things, a message written in ancient language symbols was mailed to prominent bloggers and science fiction geeks known to be interested in vampires. When a few with language degrees cracked the code, they found an address for a vampire website.” Read more here.