Monday 31 May 2010

Do e-books promote piracy?

I've been following J A Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, for some time now, and it's been interesting to see the modest levels of success that can be attained while operating outside of the traditional publishing paradigm. Konrath repeatedly states that his way might not be suitable to all, but it is certainly quite an encouraging prospect, that even if an agent or editor might not 'click' with your book, it doesn't mean that a wider audience won't either.

The phenomenon of the e-book has dragged literature into the piracy debate. Naysayers argue that if people can download a book, they can also pirate a book. No one will buy e-books because they can rip them for free as torrents. Really? So how do you account for the fact that the publishing industry still exists after all those years of public libraries, secondhand book shops and Amazon Marketplace?

Bearing these arguments in mind, Konrath is giving away an e-Book of his short stories on his blog. You can download it for free from his blog, you can download it for $1.99 for the Kindle or the Nook, or you can download it for free and send him a donation of $1.99. He's going to track the downloads, donations and rankings, and hopefully come up with some kind of evidence to back his argument that piracy doesn't harm sales as much as many believe it will.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting experiment. A bass player I follow in the UK (Steve Lawson) has similar views when it comes to music, is that file sharing does not necessarily hurt sales.
Success depends on the criteria you establish to measure it.

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