Better to Sell Fewer Books with No Piracy or Sell More with More Piracy?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Is it worth enduring piracy of digital content if it means higher sales overall?

By Edward Nawotka


This week’s digital book conference in Sao Paolo, Brazil featured an extensive panel discussion on piracy. Publishers in Brazil are themselves extremely concerned by the threat of digital pirates hijacking their costly content, especially in the education sector where pirated copies of non-DRM textbooks might easily proliferate. One panelist noted at piracy proves, at the very least, that there is demand in the marketplace for a book and that publishers can capitalize on the attention. Others balked at the suggestion.

And so the question was posed: is it better to sell 100 books with none pirated, or sell 1,000 books with 9,000 pirated?

Is the trade-off of piracy worth the potential sales or a false positive?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.