Research Shows Unauthorized Digital Books Leads To 'Significant Jump In Sales'

from the well,-look-at-that dept

We've seen this before, with individual authors like Paulo Coelho and David Pogue, who both found that as more people were able to get unauthorized copies of their ebooks, their sales actually increased. So, this shouldn't come as a surprise, but some new research looking at the impact on sales of unauthorized files getting out found a "significant jump in sales" (found via Michael Scott):
Brian O'Leary discussed his firm's research on the effect on sales when a title finds its way into an unsanctioned online market. The findings -- a significant jump in sales -- have surprised many in the business.
To be fair, he does go on to say this doesn't mean just "don't worry about" unauthorized access. Instead, he says it's important to figure out what kind of unauthorized access helps sales and what kind hurts -- and that still needs to be studied. But, the early results certainly suggest that the stuff that helps quite often outweighs the stuff that hurts (sometimes by quite a bit).

Filed Under: books, ebooks, sales, unauthorized


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  1. icon
    CommonSense (profile), 9 Feb 2010 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Only you could say "In part, it is because their downside risk is very small, because they have little to lose" when speaking about unknown artists, trying to exclude well known artists, and then turn around and say that well known artists benefit in the same way... At least without realizing that you're talking yourself in circles and losing any credibility.

    "Either you have enough money to afford not to care, or you have so little that it doesn't matter."
    -That's based on an entitlement mentality where you feel you have a right to make a certain amount of money per book/movie/album regardless of what anyone thinks about it. That's pure idiocy. If no one knew of a certain author, and they release a free EBook, there's no risk to a casual reader to check out the book. If Dan Brown (example of a well known author) released an EBook, there's no risk to a casual reader to check out the book. In both cases, people who would never give said books a second glance in a bookstore because they're not sure it'd be worth the money, can pick up the books in digital format and evaluate their worth with no financial risk. In both cases, the only possible harm that could come to the author is if the book is terrible, and everyone who reads it for free decides it's not worth paying for. The side of this that you don't seem willing to look at, is the people who actually paid for that book, found it highly disappointing, and vow to never buy a book by that author again because the work isn't worth it. I fall into that category, and I admit to RARELY viewing movies in the theater because they're so RARELY worth theater prices. I saw half of Avatar online (as well as heard lots of friends praise it), BEFORE I went to the theater to see it, and I paid to see it at the theater TWICE!!! I don't read much, and I don't buy books that I haven't already read, because I'm not spending money and storage space in my little condo for a book that's not worth reading twice.

    Anyway, content creators throughout the spectrum (large, medium, or small) all benefit in the same way, and the ONLY reason they should be afraid of losing sales, is if they know their work is terrible and want to con people out of their money before they realize it too. If it's good enough to pay for, people will pay for it.

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