Dave points us to a recent interview with Lester Brown
, who's been pushing for alternative energy for years. I'd actually heard about his book, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
a few months ago when someone pointed out that he was giving away his book for free, but I hadn't heard much more about it. Yet, in the interview, he mentions that the book can be downloaded, which appears to surprise the interviewer, who seems to assume that this means the guy is willing to give up revenue to get his ideas out there by noting "you do feel strongly about this." But then Brown points out that it's not hurting sales at all, but quite the opposite:
Dr. BROWN: No problem. Incidentally, "Plan B 4.0" is online at earthpolicy.org. It can be downloaded free of charge.
FLATOW: No kidding.
Dr. BROWN: Yeah.
FLATOW: Wow. You do feel strongly about this.
Dr. BROWN: Yeah. And it's interesting, people think this must reduce sales. In fact, it increases sales.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Dr. BROWN: Just between the two of us
Of course, this is hardly the first author to recognize this, but add another one to the pile. It's about recognizing that obscurity is a bigger risk that piracy, and then figuring out how to get more attention and then giving people a real reason to buy on top of that attention.