I came across this video of Neil Gaiman sharing his thoughts about piracy—how it can sometimes be a good thing for authors. More readers see their books, then share them with friends and family, which, for Gaiman, resulted in bigger sales overall. He also describes how he managed to convince his publisher to put his book American Gods on the web for free for a month, even though it was still selling well. During that time, sales for the book at independent bookstores went up 300%!
This issue is popping up everywhere online. Not that I’m advocating piracy, but Gaiman’s view is interesting. Recently, I’ve noticed that publishers are putting up several chapters of a book online, instead of just the front and back covers and a few interior pages. Personally, I love this—remember in an older post I discussed how I read the first 80 pages of Divergent online? And now, even though 2011 is supposed to be my no-book-buying year, I’m so tempted to break it. Those 80 pages hooked me, and I don’t know if I can wait until Divergent is available at the library.