My recent concerns about protecting my books against assorted forms of piracy are increasing at more news of electronic innovations. First there were Google Books, somewhat restricted by publishers fighting to protect copyrights, then there was an outfit that libraries subscribe to for downloads of novels, next Kindle 2 added audio capacity (thereby cancelling an author's option to sell audio rights), and today I came across SCRIB'D, which appears to be a member web site where people can upload and download novels and other books for free.
Does anyone know anything about this and how it works?

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LOL, John your back to a debate.

The industry total sales are down 20%. Look at the billboard top 100 and every artist there has lost 20% of their sales or more. That's what the numbers mean, not one but all. If total sales are down, individual profits can't be up. I have been associated with the music industry since the late 60's, was in a few bands (none, produced a few records, toured, etc. Friends from long ago who are top name artists all agree the tours suck, but they are a neccesary evil to promote record/cd sales. The people who make money from tours are the tour venues, the promoters, the crew/roadies. The artists do make money, but nothing compared to royalties.

Actually, you're probably both right. I'm thinking of books and libraries here. For a relatively unknown author, having his books in the library where people can sample freely is a great advantage. But once he becomes known and people know he has a new book coming out, every person who puts their name on the hold list is a lost sale.
So yes, there is great promotional value in giving things away for free, but you surely can't run a business doing this forever.
Not necessarily. The library may order more copies. Or the next person to place a hold may say "gee whiz, there are 63 people ahead of me. I think I'll go buy the darned thing." Which honestly, I'd prefer because then the library could use the money to buy a wider range of books to sample that don't have lots of readers guaranteed. And probably the bestseller is going to be on discount at Costco, anyway. (I'm guessing - I've never actually been inside a Costco.)
That's so true, but when I visit the free download sites for music and the torrents where I can check the statistics, 97% of the downloaded material is bootleg top 100 performers. The other three percent consists of 2.5% old unknowns and .5% new and alternative music. I would agree to downloads (as you can find on napster now) of free artist material as promo for new artists, but I can't agree that downloading the top 40 from billboard today is good for any industry. My concern is, where music is consumed by the public at a high rate (10-20 songs a month), books are consumered much slower (3-4 a month). If electronic infringement on music ripples over to books (I have found hundreds of free current titles in just a few minutes searching) the impact will be 5 times the magnitutde of that the music industry is experiencing. In other words...death to revenues for books...even Stephen King will look elsewhere, because at 10 cents royalty per book sold electronically, he would make $300,000 per book. And the first timer who gets $10,000 to $25,000 will be down to $0 on 20,000 books sold and 10 cents a download after the first 20,000. People have to open their eyes to the reality that making electronic versions of books available is a forebearer of doom. Oh 10 cent royalty...yup, because in electronic form, the price competion will drive e-book prices to the 99 cent level...of which costs are 80 cents and the author and publisher/site provider split the remaining 20 cents.

What's worse the music industry has just caved in and has created the site Qtrax which will have 25 million songs available for legal download free. They are hoping advertising will produce the revenue. Yes EMI is part of this site. In other words, an even larger drop in revenues for the music industry has arrived.

You're just pulling that out of thin air. How can you possibly know that e-books are going to lower to 99 cents each and what makes you so sure that e-books equals doom? Any actual evidence for that?

Also, it should be noted that you have a conflict of interest here. Since you run a bookstore of course you don't want e-books to succeed. So it makes sense that you would say anything to make people think the sky is falling, that e-books are bad news. That may not be your intention, but without any evidence to support your claims, that's what I'm inclined to believe.
Back on track, the Kindle is the iPod of the book world, and Sony also has a book reader. This tech will grow quickly as will electronic versions of books to feed the new devices. Once electronic versions are available, the upload and download for free sites like Scrib'd will florish. Since the overhead on e-books is all prep (editing and e-covers) the cost to produce a book will be the only cost since server space and bandwidth are so cheap. This will drive the sell price down, the royalties down and the production of paper copies down. This is inevitable, since the industry has actually encouraged e-books. Unfortunate but true. The music and movie industries are the examples. I am a realist and it will impact my business, but there are always new things to do and sell. That's what writers will be saying in the near future.

And yes allowing a free read is a great promotion tool. But if 200 top selling authors each put one free book a year on the internet, you have 200 free top selling books to read free. Since the average reader reads 50 books a year, there will be no reason to buy a book ever. Just read all the promo's and keep adding the new ones to your list of hundreds yet to read.

Discouraging it is, my young ones.



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