June 01, 2010
Steal, er, Share Joe Konrath's Ebook: Is it Piracy or Sharing?
Joe Konrath, author of Cherry Bomb and the Jack Daniels series, is running an experiment. His claim: piracy or what he prefers to call file sharing, can increase sales.
So he is experimenting, saying his Kindle sales will not suffer as a result of his collection of Jack Daniels stories being given away free. You can read his claims and download the collection here.
Author Marilynn Byerly and other authors call the whole thing a fallacy as Joe may not suffer, but small press, ebook and indie authors and presses will suffer having their works put all over the web for free.
I'm still figuring out this piracy-file sharing - free thing. If you're lucky to have a number of books already published or are a writing machine, that cushion is larger. If you already have a name, yes, it makes sense that you will feel the hurt of free vs. sold books less.
People will do what they do. There's no stopping it. But it's like legalizing drugs - do you do it because "everyone" wants it? Is it a good idea? Aren't there still always those who do get hurt?
Yes, thieves will take what they want and won't pay anyway, no matter what. Entitlement seems to be the byword today (just ask all those jailed execs who still think they were the ones wronged and didn't do a anything illegal).
But... maybe that old saying still holds true: why buy the cow when the milk is free? Maybe the real key here is Joe is crazy - like a fox. Yes free works for him - he stirs the pot and gets all the free publicity he could ask for. Hmm...
* * What's your opinion?