I’ve long been a fan of artists, publishers and film studios using piracy and peer to peer to turn a profit, instead of fighting the tide. I talked about it for film here, and for music here and here.
Is it a simple solution? No. Does it have pitfalls (mainly, are their folks out there who won’t ever buy your stuff legally)? Yes. Can it work? Yes. There have been several case studies in music (mostly the “pay what you want” model, as espoused by bands like Radiohead and concept companies like 1band1brand, in which the “what you want” part is occasionally zero but the overpayers/true fans often make up for that) and a couple in film (mostly movies obtaining small release deals from the peer to peer buzz they generated).
Now we have a solid book publishing case study in the new children’s book “Go the F*ck to Sleep“. Instead of rewriting the Fast Company article that gives more detail on the story, I’ll point you to it and let you form your own opinion.
If the creative industries who are feeling their old business models crumble under their feet are seeking a one to one replacement for the old business model, they aren’t going to find it. We are now in a fluid creative content economy based in a la carte sales and peer to peer recommendations, dependent largely on reach.
Am I encouraging people to pirate? Heck no. I’m a big believer in paying the artist who makes what I like. Am I encouraging people who have things to sell to think creatively about price structure and sales tactics and be fluid in getting the message out? I am indeed.
I’d love it if you shared your stories about pirating helping (or hurting) your content and business model in the comments. Only by examining both sides of the peer to peer coin can we develop new ways for people to support themselves with their art.
What’s on your nightstand or in your beach tote this summer? My summer reading looks like this:
note: links in this blog may be Amazon affiliate links
Are you a bookworm? Does your budget for dead trees and new ideas exceed your means? Do you have a jones for reading that rivals the national debt in expense? BookMooch is here to help.
Other services offer related services. Most notable of these is BookCrossing, combing a love of books, a need for books on a budget and scavenger hunts in one web application. What do you do if you don’t have the time or inclination to go digging around a random local park bench for a book someone left there in a baggie a week earlier? Sign up for BookMooch.
BookMooch is the individual, personalized version of exchanging books online with strangers. Sure, BookMooch also offers a certain social aspect key to any Web 2.0 application these days. You can’t have a Web 2.0 presence these days without friendships.
On BookMooch, you can make friends with other people who share your taste in books. You can join their forums and discuss your recent reads with other users. You can even find BookMooch on the ever popular game SecondLife, proving you can be literary andtechnical at the same time.
BookMooch works on a point system. You accumulate points by sharing your finished books with the world. Each time you list as book as available for mooching, you gain a tenth of a point. Once you accumulate a full point, you can mooch a book off of someone else. Each time you actually mail a book to someone, you also gain a point.
The only real cost you incur as a member of BookMooch is postage. You can restrict where your books are available for mooching to keep the cost of your postage down. When I set up my account with BookMooch I restricted myself to the United States, knowing I had limited funds for mailing books to people.
BookMooch also works with several charities. One example of BookMooch working with charities allows you to give your points to local childrens’ hospitals so a sick child can have a free book. You can also give your points (which translates into free books) to local libraries and other charitable causes.
BookMooch makes money by having affiliate links from Amazon on their site. Each time you click on one of the book descriptions, you are taken to an Amazon page. If you make a purchase, BookMooch gets a small percentage of your purchase.
The BookMooch interface provides a smooth way to search for and obtain books with no fuss, no muss. It also helps you reduce clutter by getting rid fo the books piling up on the floor by your bed before they take over your space, not to mention offering you a chance to do some good for charity if your heart desires. Plus it does all of this without breaking your wallet.
My original version found at Profy site.