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Author Encourages PDF Pirates

October 16th, 2009

Today’s post will provide a little more information related to the whole free vs. paid content debate. Most authors would love it, of course, if people gave them quadrillions of dollars per copy sold, but Peter Cooper took a practical approach when he recommended that individuals pirate PDF versions of his book.

Cooper wrote, “I believe free electronic copies can significantly increase mindshare and print sales. With a book like Beginning Ruby, the majority of readers want a print book, so it seemed a no-brainer to keep sales strong in a market with growing competition.”

However, that’s where he ran into a problem: his publisher didn’t want to make the ebook free.

So Cooper suggested (or for legal reasons, at least sort of put forth the idea with a wink) that people pass his book around different Pirate-type sites and RapidShare. His publisher might sue, he warned, but he won’t. Which seems like a pretty swell thing to do.

Whether this changes how you feel about giving stuff away is completely up to you, of course. Maybe there’s an anti-Cooper out there who can prove he lost money due to piracy and is none too pleased about it. This is just something writers should take under consideration.

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