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Can Pirates Help Sell Books?

pirate.gifAs the publishing industry tumbles headlong into the digital era, many fear that piracy could ruin the book business. However, some suggest that digital book piracy actually boosts sales.

At the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference, “Impact of P2P and Free Distribution on Book Sales,” was one of the most controversial and well-attended presentations. Responding to this interest, O’Reilly now has a link to pre-order a “Rough Cut” edition of the data used in that presentation.

TeleRead has more details and figures: “O’Reilly monitored P2P activity and sales stats for the front list in the fourth quarter of 2008, via eight DRMless titles pirated from O’Reilly’s front list. ‘Average post-seed sales were 6.5 percent higher in the four weeks after. Ranged from 18.2 percent up to 33.1 percent down … Average first seeds appeared 20 weeks after publication date.’” (Via Edward Champion)

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