“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.
The multi-billion-dollar question, though, is this: When does piracy work to a publisher’s benefit, and when does it work to its detriment? If Go the Fuck to Sleep weren’t a children’s book of sorts, would parents be so eager for hard-copy versions? Or if it didn’t have its irresistible illustrations? Books with artwork have a tactile, archival appeal lacking in the latest Grisham potboiler, say.”
The party line on piracy is that it’s bad for business. But what to make of the case of “Go the Fuck to Sleep,” the “children’s book for adults” whose viral-pirate PDF launched the book to the number-one spot on Amazon.com a month before its release?
How Viral PDFs Of A Naughty Bedtime Book Exploded The Old Publishing Model