Now here’s an interesting thing: a new children’s book, Go the F— to Sleep, has be catapulted to number one on Amazon’s best seller list, and has garnered a film option from Fox 2000 – all before the book has even been published. It’s due out on June 14. How? Piracy!
… What seems to set this book apart, hypothesizes The Bay Citizen, is the pirated PDF copy of the book that has gone absolutely viral.
Piracy, any publisher will tell you, is bad. It’s the scourge of the music industry. With the rise of e-reading, booksellers now fear it to a similar degree. Akashic has been fighting the rampant piracy of its best-seller, almost reflexively. As Ahmad told The Bay Citizen: “As the publisher of this book, our responsibilty is to tackle instances of piracy when we become aware of them…That’s just doing a service to our authors, ourselves, book sellers, distributors, to everyone involved in the successful making and promotion of a book.”
But in this particular case, fighting piracy may not be doing a serivce to the book. Piracy, it seems, is what has driven the book’s real-world, money-making, flying-off-the-shelves success. The bootleg copy hasn’t replaced the actual artifact. It has only served as a sort of free advertising. Piracy can hurt publishers, but it can also help them. Call it the double-edged cutlass.
“I’m not sure we’d think it’s a bad thing,” the publicity director of McSweeney’s, Juliet Litman, told The Bay Citizen, of this instance of rampant piracy. May other publishers be so fortunate as to have their booty (profitably) plundered in the same manner as Akashic’s.