Most pirated books of 2009 – publishers shouldn’t be worrying

images (2).jpegFreakbits has looked at BitTorrent and compiled a listing of the 10 most pirated books - those that have been downloaded between 100,000 and 250,000 times. Most fall into the the "nerdy niche" or porn categories. As TorrentFreak points out, publishers' fears are largely unjustified as at the end of the year, Dan Brown, Stephen King, Stephenie Meyer and J.K Rowling were the only best selling authors that made it into the top 25. Authors who put their head in the sand are also mentioned. J.K. Rowling, who won't allow ebooks of her works to be published, has every single one of her books available digitally as they were either transcribed or scanned by fans. So much for the ultimate DRM - don't publish! Even that doesn't work. Simon & Schuster shot itself in the foot by not publishing an ebook of Stephen King's Under the Dome, as it was almost immediately available on the net within days. How many sales did they loose by delaying ebook release? Note that Rowling and King are among the top 25 most pirated books. All those sales lost, lost lost because publishers don't understand the ebook space. The 10 most pirated books after the break:

1. Kamasutra

2. Adobe Photoshop Secrets

3. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amazing Sex

4. The Lost Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci

5. Solar House – A Guide for the Solar Designer

6. Before Pornography – Erotic Writing In Early Modern England

7. Twilight – Complete Series

8. How To Get Anyone To Say YES – The Science Of Influence

9. Nude Photography – The Art And The Craft

10. Fix It – How To Do All Those Little Repair Jobs Around The Home

7 Comments on Most pirated books of 2009 – publishers shouldn’t be worrying

  1. The list makes me wonder if book 8 was often downloaded along with books 9 & 3 at the same time…

  2. Showing that porn is pirated more than bestsellers is meaningless. A lot depends of actual and relational numbers. The site said from between 100 and 250 times per title. If Twilight was stolen by downloading only 250 times, then what is the estimate for in store shrinkage, i.e., Shoplifting. I’m guessing, purely out of nowhere, that the number is higher than 250 across the country over all bookstores, but I don’t really know.

    Also, I don’t visit pirate sites, so can’t truly judge, but does 250 for Twilight seem kind of low to anybody? Maybe the actual number gets higher when other sites are included.

    So are more books stolen by downloading or shoplifting? And what is the percentage per title?

  3. All these numbers prove is that pirating reflects the popularity of the paper version of the title, and they certainly aren’t justification for stealing.

  4. That’s 100 to 250 thousand copies.

  5. It’d be interesting to know what percentage of those who grabbed pirate copies of Under the Dome did so because they didn’t follow any bookbiz blogs, never heard the news about the delay, and on publication day they saw that the p-book was available but no e-book. Don’t know how you’d get that number, though.

    What I’d love to see would be a publicly accessible site performing for ebooks the same functions as Books in Print and Forthcoming Books in Print. How many people download pirate editions because the books they want are apparently unavailable through legit sources, with no word as to whether they ever will be? How many would bother with pirate sites if they knew for certain that a legit ebook of the title they want was scheduled for late April, with notes on available formats and price range?

    Bests to all,

    –tr

  6. I don’t think the Kamasutra is copyrighted. If it is not, how does one pirate a public domain book. Is that not an oxymoron?

  7. A translated version of THE KAMASUTRA is copyrighted to the translator or publisher.

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