Why would I pirate my own ebooks?
There have been two words that have sent shivers down the spines of owners of digital content on the Internet. Piracy and BitTorrent. Piracy being the act of copying and BitTorrent being the vehicle to distribute the pirated content around the Internet – to over 400 million active BitTorrent users.
Well, it had to happen eventually that Bittorrent sites got into a trouble with copyright owners, and the law, and in the last year or so, many have either closed down or been closed down. Except for a few enterprising Bittorrent sites that have cleaned up their act by removing all the illegal files, and have been reborn as legal content distributors to this pool of 400 million users.
When I thought about free content distribution for ebooks, the conclusion came to my mind that Amazon is probably the primary provider of free content distribution through their KDP Select program. Of which, I am not a fan as it necessitates granting exclusivity of the ebook rights to Amazon for a fixed period. However, there is no doubt that free ebooks are becoming a fundamental component of ebook marketing, and in building an author profile.
So I put two and two together. 400 million active BitTorrent users is quite a pool of people + I don’t like Amazon’s demand for exclusivity just to be able to give my ebooks away = Pirate my own ebook and put it on BitTorrent.
I used one of my earlier books to provide a reading taste and selected Mininova as my Bittorrent client. The result has been outstanding. On average, my ebook is being downloaded 400 times per day. Now even if only a small percentage actually read the book, this will provide ongoing marketing for my name and other books 24/7, for free and without having to grant exclusivity to anyone.
It’s not for every author, but it is an alternative means of promotion.
UPDATE: I stumbled across a free ebook site, and found one of my self-pirated ebooks on offer. It was pleasing to see over 2,000 downloads in less than one month. But even more pleasing to read nearly 100 comments. For a now out of print book, it’s publicity, and any is good huh?