Books that are popular on BitTorrent are usually not the same as bestsellers in book stores. The top 10 list of most pirated books of 2009 thus far is populated by geek literature and adult exercise handbooks.
Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol is one of the rare exceptions to this rule. The book appeared on several file-sharing sites just hours after its official release and has been downloaded by more than one hundred thousand pirates scattered across the globe.
For some people the ‘pirate’ route is the only way to get their hands on the much anticipated book, simply because it is not yet available in their country.
“Thanks a lot for sharing the book so early with us. I was eagerly waiting for this because it is still to be released in India. Now I can read it before anyone else,” a downloader of the high quality PDF version of the book commented.
Since it was uploaded two days ago the eBook has been downloaded by approximately 40,000 BitTorrent users. The unabridged audiobook copy is even more popular with close to 60,000 downloads since its release.
This most downloaded audiobook torrent currently has well over a thousand seeders, which is quote unusual as one commenter noted. “It’s really amazing to see thousands of people downloading and seeding an audiobook torrent because usually I see only a few hundred people downloading an audiobook torrent.”
Alison Barrow, associate publicity director for Transworld, the book’s publisher in the UK said that they are asking sites to take down links to pirated copies. “We are not being complacent about this,” she noted.
Whether or not the availability of unauthorized copies will have a negative effect on the book’s sales remains to be seen. Bestselling author Paulo Coelho has shown that giving away free digital copies of book can actually boost sales to quite an extent.
Coelho, who is an avid BitTorrent user himself and a passionate supporter of The Pirate Bay has encouraged many of his fellow authors to share their work. “A person who does not share is not only selfish, but bitter and alone,” Coelho told TorrentFreak. Perhaps Dan Brown took Coelho’s advice?