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January 31, 2010

Books & Piracy. Yes, this is another post about it

Filed under: Books Related,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 10:29 PM

I have talked about books and book piracy a lot of times earlier on this blog and this is yet another post about it, but it has some additional insights and comments on the phenomenon.

A couple of days ago I saw this article called Confessions of a Book Pirate. Check it out, its a really good read on what makes a book pirate tick.

On a personal note, a few days ago I made a comment in a forum suggesting that all members of the forum to purchase actual books in addition to downloading them. My idea was that if all the members purchased a book a month then it would help the authors and encourage them to write more, which is what all readers want.

Imagine my surprise when I received replies from the posters stating the no of books they purchase each month. The top two posters buy anywhere from 10-15 books a month. and most of the other members on the forum purchased between 3-10 books a month.

Imagine that. That’s a lot of sales!

Now some people might say that these people are robbing the authors by posting their books but they are one of the biggest purchasers of the same books that they post. I myself download a lot of books but then I purchase most of the books written by any author I like. I have ebook copies of most of the books I have because they are portable.

To give you an idea of the no of books I buy, I just shipped a container weighing 599.66 pounds from my storage area in US to India that mostly contains just books. (An average paperback weighs about 4-5 pounds) BTW this is in addition to the books I have purchased in India

Baen publishing, Tor books and others have embraced the trend by making non-DRM protected books available for a very reasonable prices ($5-$6 for a book at Baen) However other authors/publishers seem to miss the lessons that the Music industry is being taught. They are pushing for higher prices and delayed ebook releases to push up the physical book sales. Which makes no sense.

According to Amazon they sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books when both copies are available for sale. Physical books cost money to sell, you need to print them, store them and ship them. For an ebook the only cost is the initial cost of creation which in any case negligible because the ebook can be created from the digital manuscript submitted by the author. However once an ebook is created, you never run out of copies. If you expected to sell 10 but end up selling 100, you still don’t have to worry about anything the same master copy can be copied a 100 times at no additional cost to the publisher.

eBooks are the future. Deal with it. If you (The publishers) don’t then you will go the way of the dinosaurs to make way for publishers who actually listen to what their customers what.

- Suramya

PS: For some reason I managed to get WordPress to loose this post the last time, so restoring it again from the DB.

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