Stephen Colbert Generates Positive PR for Authors—and Himself—in Hachette-Amazon Dispute

stephen colbert hachette amazonStephen Colbert, who has continually criticized Amazon over their ongoing feud with book publisher Hachette, is getting involved in the dispute again.

After boosting sales of debut Hachette novelist Edan Lepucki's "California" by featuring the book on "The Colbert Report" last month, Colbert invited the author to appear on his show Monday night and asked her to recommend another new Hachette author to his notably devoted audience. Lepucki, whose book debuted at no. 3 on the New York Times Best Seller list as a result of the Colbert-inspired publicity, picked Stephan Eirik Clark’s “Sweetness #9," which Colbert then further plugged.

The novel (which is listed in Amazon as “currently unavailable") shot up to no. 3 on Powell’s Books’s best-seller list overnight. Little, Brown—the Hachette imprint publishing Clark's book—increased the run of his novel from 12,000 to 60,000 copies as a result.

Take a look at Lepucki's visit to the show:

The two authors are enjoying the "Colbert bump," a phenomenon already known in the publishing world whereby books written by authors who appear on "The Colbert Report" see an increase in sales. Colbert—a Hachette author himself—has positioned himself in the PR battle between Amazon and Hachette as a defender of the publishers while creating tremendous exposure for previously unknown authors.

All the while, he's managed to accomplish his egging of Amazon with tremendous creativity and without changing the format or tenor of his show.

Follow Brian Greene: @bwilliamgreene

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