Readers Love Free Ebooks But Not Piracy

Readers Love Free Ebooks But Not Piracy

Bibliotastic co-founder Bernard Gerard noted, “As a survey of users on a free ebook website it is not surprising that most cited free ebook sites as their main source of ebooks in the future. More surprising though is that so few admitted to pirate ebook sites. Perhaps they did not want to admit to illegal behaviour, but it contrasts sharply with other surveys that have suggested a greater proclivity to ebook piracy.”

An online poll published as “The Digital Entertainment Survey” in May received widespread media attention largely due to its finding that one in eight women (12.5%) over the age of 35 have admitted to downloading a digital book illegally. That they have downloaded one ebook illegally does not, of course, mean that pirate sites are, or will become, their main source of ebooks in the future.

“While ebook piracy is definitely a threat to the publishing industry,” continued Gerard, “it shouldn’t lead to a decline in literary output any more than music piracy has stopped people from writing new songs. In fact the digitisation of books is lowering the barriers to entry in publishing, allowing authors to easily self-publish. The selling prices are lower, which benefits the consumer, but the writer gets to keep a greater share of the revenue which can often mean more money per book than in traditional book publishing.”

Bibliotastic survey: “Where will you get most of your books from in 5 years’ time?”

Free ebook sites 54%

Online book/ebook retailer 26%

Bookstores 9%

Library 8%

Pirate ebook sites 2%

The survey was conducted between 11 May and 11 June 2011 and involved 125 participants. Details can be found here:

via Book Publishing News: Readers Love Free Ebooks But Not Piracy.

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