From Forbes blogs:
Piracy is portrayed as many things by many people. For the content industries, it’s portrayed as theft, despite that being legally inaccurate. For a subset of the free culture movement, piracy is just an expression of the adage that “information wants to be free”. For many, it’s a moral outrage. For some, it’s the only practical way they can access content, either because the item is not available any other way, or it costs far more than they can afford. And for others, it’s a protest against the evil hegemony of the film, music and book industries.
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Unfortunately, too many people across the publishing world have learnt the wrong lessons from the music industry and Hollywood. They focus on scaring people away from piracy, or suing them, or getting into a technological arms race with the DRM crackers — a race they are doomed to lose, by the way.
Instead, we need to face facts. Piracy’s here. It’s staying. We can’t stop it. So we need to find inventive and attractive ways to work around it.
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We need to think about what offers we can make to readers to encourage them to buy legitimate copies of our books, rather than download them for free. Is this bundling ebooks with paper books? Or special editions? Or box sets? Or merchandise? So many obvious opportunities for experimentation that pirates simply couldn’t match.
We need to create direct relationships with readers — and by ‘we’, here, I mean both authors and publishers — so that we can give them a reason, many reasons, to buy from us and not download illicit copies. We need to enable direct sales channels that we control, so that we get the benefit of all the data and intelligence that produces.
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I suspect that most people who go into publishing have a bit of an allergy when it comes to numbers, so hire in a statistician or analytics expert to help turn numbers into actionable intelligence. Stats by themselves aren’t the goal; improving your businesses’ bottom line is the goal. Data can help but only if you treat it with respect, understand its limitations, and talk its language.
Link to the rest at Forbes blogs and thanks to Kathlena for the tip.