Monday, August 04, 2008

Author as Brand

Following on from my post on branding last week, Jeff Jarvis interviews Paul Coelho and finds the perfect example of an author embracing his power as a brand. He's making more money in the process as well.
He is a pirate. Coelho discovered the power of free when a fan posted a Russian translation of one of his novels online and book sales there climbed from 3,000 to 100,000 to 1m in three years. "This happened in English, in Norwegian, in Japanese and Serbian," he said. "Now when the book is released in hard copy, the sales are spectacular." So Coelho started linking to pirated versions of his books from his own website. But when he bragged about this at the Burda Digital Lifestyle Design conference in Munich last January, he got in trouble with his US publisher, HarperCollins, whose then head, Jane Friedman, called him.

1 comment:

Von Allan said...

I've been following Coelho's efforts over the past little while and I've certainly been inspired to try them out myself. I've just finished creating a free ebook version of my first graphic novel (in English only so far, but I'm hoping to get a few other versions out in the next year or so) with clickable hyperlinks embedded inside it to both my website and the book's page. I have no idea if it'll work, but it's certainly worth a shot. Especially if the alternative is complete anonymity. That's far more frightening to me than people just downloading the ebook and not purchasing a hard copy version.