Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ebook (DRM Free) Sales Lead to PBook Sales

At first J.K. Rowling refused to release an ebook version of the Harry Potter series.

But after publication, "In the first month alone, it appears that almost $5 million worth of Harry Potter ebooks were sold. But here's the interesting bit. Even with DRM-free books, and plenty of infringing copies being out there, not only did tons and tons of people pony up for the ebook, but it also increased physical book sales as well, even as some worried that it would cannibalize such sales:
The Harry Potter e-books are DRM-free. ”Obviously there were fears piracy would increase as a result of being DRM-free, and that sales of the e-books would cannibalize sales of the physical titles,” [Pottermore CEO Charlie] Redmayne told The Bookseller, “but we were delighted to see sales of the physical books go up, and piracy come down.” He also said that “though there had been an increase in piracy immediately after launch, the community had rejected these illegal versions because of how the e-books were brought to market.”
Indeed, it's good to see that Rowling's team figured out ways to add value to get people to buy, but it again highlights some points we've been making for a while. Just because things are available for free, it doesn't mean people will automatically go the infringing route. If you offer something better that people want, they'll buy it." - Mike Masnick, TechDirt

The key appears to be adding value to the free content. Of course being J.K. Rowling doesn't hurt!

Listen to Neil Gaiman talk about Piracy & the web.

"He then mentions that after a lot of persuading, he got his publisher to release a free digital copy of American Gods, and sales went up by 300%, even though it had already been selling quite well before that. And that was his epiphany moment that you're "not losing sales" by having stuff out there. And he explains how "piracy" is just a giant way of lending books, and points out that, when asked this question at talks, he asks how many people in the audience found their favorite author because someone lent them a book vs. going into a book store and buying it. And only 5 to 10% of people found their favorite authors first by buying the books." - Mike Masnick, TechDirt 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. Inherently books are social. And the discovery of an author is through personal stories and storytelling. The likelihood of a friend appreciating the same is significantly greater as our friends tend to similar to ourselves.