Sweet…Pirate My Book Please
Guest post: Dan Morrill, Program Director at City University of Seattle
BitTorrent needs to do things to survive the lawsuit roiled atmosphere that is happening world wide. There is no argument; there is a lot of stuff on BitTorrent that literally belongs to someone else. BitTorrent however is part of the landscape; it is something that we all have to deal with, both in terms of a legitimate and non legitimate content distribution channel.
With the permission of my publisher, and in talking to some of the best people in the world when it comes to helping people generate buzz, I uploaded my book into BitTorrent to see what would happen. For me this is a marketing decision, and not something that I am overly worried about, because I am giving the eBook away for free anyways, this allows me to control the release and gather good stats on the process. Mininova offers that opportunity, so my marketing person and my publisher both agreed that this would be a grand experiment to see how well BitTorrent equates to additional sales if any.
I am not worried about the sales, what I am interested in is how the data is distributed using BitTorrent as a CDN (Content Distribution Network). For bands, for new publishers, for eBooks, using BitTorrent as a CDN makes sense, especially if you have marketing goals in mind. Does it matter if it generates additional sales? No not really. Does it matter if you want to build buzz around your book, definitely.
If you own the copyright, Mininova’s foray into using Bittorrent as a CDN can power a lot of good things. The biggest one is helping generate buzz, most small bands, most small publishers who are doing eBooks or music do not have a global network to distribute their goods. Access to the global network is going to be spotty; you have the choice of ITunes that has cross border licensing issues or Google searches, which are not always going to be effective. Here is how the data breaks out though:
The above picture is the global distribution channel for the book in the first 24 hours, with some 691 downloads. What makes me particularly happy is the picture below.
The reason this makes me happy is that Africa is one of those places where knowing how to run an ecommerce shop, or even in alliance with a larger ecommerce site can help a person raise themselves out of poverty. You can track all the stats on the book right here if you want to.
While the book is written in English, and aimed right at American business and business law, the basic principles apply universally. Have something that someone wants, and price in a range that people can afford to buy at. This works regardless of local or international borders, and seeing the book being downloaded in chronically economically depressed regions is very good to see.
The pie chart below also shows how the country distribution breaks out overall, while I am not surprised by the American stats, what is interesting to me is to see outside of the country. The book is not distributed globally; no one has global rights to the book outside of me. Seeing the UK, Canada, and Australia downloads coming in at 18.2% is also good. The book can help them out as well. India is the surprise at 5.2%.
Overall, with the number of downloads, this has been amazingly successful as a way to generate marketing buzz, and the potential to reach an international audience. The book is too pricy for people living on less than a dollar a day, but if sales should pick up internationally, or even locally that will be an interesting thing to see. Sales in the last 24 hours have remained the same as they have been since the book came out. It is at least a steady seller.
Overall I would have to rate my experience with Mininova over the last 24 hours as highly satisfying, and something that people who do not mind using BitTorrent to distribute their free eBook, or other digital good should check out. While it has yet to equate to sales, what is has done is build buzz, as a marketing process, this cannot be beat. As a survival mechanism for Mininova, this can be their saving reasoning, because they are offering a valuable service, not everyone has access to a CDN.
Download ‘Selling Books On Amazon, Tips and Secrets’ from Mininova, and please take the time to leave a comment for Dan.
Dan’s blog can be found here.