Are you a writer and looking for more readers? Follow the example of the author of the ultimate birthday-gift book The Alchemist: Paul Coelho. He’s using filesharing networks as a way to promote his books.
Coelho thinks that giving people the possibility to swap his books for free, actually has a positive effect on sales. In a keynote speech (see below) at the Digital, Life, Design conference in Munich he gave some strikingly good examples. When he uploaded the Russian translation of “The Alchemist”, sales in Russia went from around a 1.000 books per year to 100.000 and then to a million and more. The author said:
In 2001, I sold 10,000 hard copies. And everyone was puzzled. We came from zero, from 1000, to 10,000. And then the next year we were over 100,000. […]
I thought that this is fantastic. You give to the reader the possibility of reading your books and choosing whether to buy it or not. […]
So, I went to BitTorrent and I got all my pirate editions… And I created a site called The Pirate Coelho.
He thinks that this tactic will pay-off in other countries as well. I guess he’s right. Just imagine that you download his book and start reading it. After two chapters you’re captured by the book and obsessed to know how it ends. Trust me, Coelho is the kind of writer who can make you do that. Do you really want to print the whole book? No, you surf to Amazon.
Not sure if it works the same for business books since they’re generally not so captivating as thrillers.
Coelho however is preaching his new sales evangelism on the Pirate Coelho blog, where he also offers links to illegal copies of his books: “Believe it or not, the sales of the book increased a lot thanks to the Pirate Coelho site…”. See the rest of his interesting speech: