Author Of 'Go The F**k To Sleep' Says Piracy Helped Him… But He Doesn't Support It
from the it-supports-you... dept
Last month, we wrote about how the children’s book for adults, Go the F**k to Sleep, became a bestseller and got a movie deal and tons of attention in large part due to the fact that it was being “pirated” like crazy. The PDF and scanned images of the book were everywhere. I was sent the PDF by at least a dozen people — most of whom are not people involved in file sharing or infringement in any way. It was just one of those cultural phenomenons that everyone was passing around. At the time, we noted how ridiculous it was that the publisher was still claiming it had to take down those copies. After all, it seemed pretty clear that those “copies” helped make the book such a huge success.
In an interview with Rafe Needleman at CNET, the book’s author, Adam Mansbach, still appears somewhat conflicted about the whole thing. He jokes about how their attempt to stop the copies shows how “web savvy” they were, and then admits that after a week or so, they stopped when they realized it was clearly helping sales. The lightbulb moment was when they asked someone to take down the work, and the guy told them “Ok, If you want, but 300 people asked me where I could get the book.” But… he still can’t seem to bring himself to admit that this can work for others:
“It helped us,” he says, “but it would have hurt most people. We had a perfect storm. The idea of pirating I don’t want to be too romantic about or supportive of.”
Why? Why would it have hurt most people? It would hurt people if the book was bad and uninteresting, sure. But is that a problem? It might hurt people who don’t have a good way to then sell the book. But if you set things up correctly, where’s the harm?