Author Pirates Self To Increase Sales

Well, this will make many Suits scratch their already-balding heads:

Alchemist Author Pirates His Own Books

Coelho’s view is that letting people swap digital copies of his books for free increases sales. In a keynote speech (embedded below) at the Digital, Life, Design conference in Munich he talked about how uploading the Russian translation of “The Alchemist” made his sales in Russia go from around 1,000 per year to 100,000, then a million and more.

How many times have people pointed out the example of Baen Books freely giving away ebook editions of their printed books?

Why hasn’t the point been grasped yet?

Giving It Away

When my first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, was published by Tor Books in January 2003, I also put the entire electronic text of the novel on the Internet under a Creative Commons License that encouraged my readers to copy it far and wide. Within a day, there were 30,000 downloads from my site (and those downloaders were in turn free to make more copies). Three years and six printings later, more than 700,000 copies of the book have been downloaded from my site. The book’s been translated into more languages than I can keep track of, key concepts from it have been adopted for software projects and there are two competing fan audio adaptations online.

Most people who download the book don’t end up buying it, but they wouldn’t have bought it in any event, so I haven’t lost any sales, I’ve just won an audience.

I assert the same thing holds for music and video.

I’d rather go out and buy a CD and rip it at a higher rate than, say, Last.fm’s low bitrate.

TV networks and movie companies shouldn’t fear crappy 240×320 pirate versions of their work on YouTube and other services. With digital TV and its higher resolution just around the corner, how can they really think such low-quality versions are competition instead of free advertisements?

Heed this, Suits:

Most people who download the book don’t end up buying it, but they wouldn’t have bought it in any event, so I haven’t lost any sales, I’ve just won an audience.

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Explore posts in the same categories: C.O.A.T. - TV, eBooks, Music, Tech - Other, TV, Video - Online, Writers - Living

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