Friday, December 08, 2006

Give And You Shall Receive

Cory Doctorow authored a concise article in Forbes last week explaining how he has achieved considerable success with his practice of simultaneously releasing free electronic editions of his novels alongside the traditional printed editions for purchase. Two sentences are key to his arguement; “I haven’t lost any sales, I have just won an audience” and “My fans’ tireless evangelism for my work doesn't just sells books — it sells me”.
The emergent reputation economics of this sort of internet-enabled success interests me — it is a topic I have been following since 2003. I believe that there are models to implement and lessons to be learned here for all classes of knowledge workers, whether you are a branding consultant, an MS Word template guru, an expert on typography, a CSS maven, or whatever. In my mind, the type of practices that both Doctorow and Charles Stross are pioneering within their literary field has strong parallels with the concept of the Global Microbrand being championed by Hugh MacLeod. (Coincidentally, it was reading MacLeod’s ‘The Hughtrain’ free e-book distributed via ChangeThis that first exposed me to his ideas.) For all of us, getting our ideas out into the wild and establishing an audience for our ideas is going to be a prerequisite for success in tomorrow’s economy.

Delicious Tags: | |
Technorati Tags: | |