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Piracy Can Boost Book Sales Tremendously

Piracy Can Boost Book Sales Tremendously

It seems the problem of “book piracy” is more of an issue for scaremongers and “the sky is falling” types. In practice book sales stay constant or grow with the wider exposure unauthorized distribution can bring.

Lieber shared his findings in a blog entry, complete with fancy graphics which show that the 4Chan piracy resulted in a flood of new customers.

The picture [on the article site] shows how Lieber’s site traffic surged after the pirated scans were posted, and how 4Chan brings in more traffic than BoingBoing. But Lieber also said that the spike in sales was even more impressive.

This isn’t an isolated instance. I’ve blogged before the Corey Doctorow, who believes that widespread distribution helps more than it hurts, has always made all his books available for free for download, and yet has had many best sellers than have been translated to six languages. While every book was available for free.

David Pogue’s publishers experimented with making one of his books DRM free, which inevitable led to unauthorized distribution, but sales increased slightly.



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