The following infographic from WhoIsHostingThis? provides some fascinating stats on eBook piracy, DRM, and other publishing industry efforts to combat file sharing.

But here’s the thing: you shouldn’t worry about Piracy.

It’s been years since Amazon’s first Kindle came out. Now that so much time has passed, I think it’s safe to look at the marketplace and say that the publishing industry will not encounter anything close to the level of piracy suffered by the music industry.

Either eBooks and digital music are completely different beasts (they are) or the publishing industry learned from the missteps of their music business counterparts — or a bit of both. But no matter what the reason, the data illustrates that, as always, OBSCURITY is the enemy of independent authors, NOT piracy.

Check out the infographic below, take some deep breaths, and then figure out how to better market yourself online, how to improve your craft, and how to take your writing career to the next level. Piracy is one thing that ISN’T standing in the way of your success.

Who's stealing eBooks: piracy in the digital publishing world

What do you think? Are publishers and authors getting worked up about the wrong things, or has piracy significantly hurt your eBook sales? Let us know in the comments below.

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Chris Robley

About Chris Robley

Chris Robley has written 571 posts in this blog.

is an award-winning poet, songwriter, performer, and music producer who now lives in Portland, Maine after more than a decade in Portland, Oregon. His music has been praised by NPR, the LA Times, the Boston Globe, and others. Skyscraper Magazine said he is “one of the best short-story musicians to come along in quite some time.” Robley’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in POETRY, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Beloit Poetry Journal, RHINO, Magma Poetry, and more. He is the 2013 winner of Boulevard's Poetry Prize for Emerging Writers and the 2014 recipient of a Maine Literary Award in the category of "Short Works Poetry."

5 thoughts on “Who’s stealing eBooks? (and why you shouldn’t worry about piracy)

  1. Wendy says:

    I’m not so much concerned with “extra copies” as I am with plagarists. I still recall an essay written by a poet that mentioned she was not only finding her poems illegally incorporated into other works, but in some cases, being attributed to a completely different author! (And yes, poetry is on of the genres I work in) With the increasing drive toward shorter “books” (publications they call “books” today, but wouldn’t have called “books” as little as ten years ago), it takes less and less of an excerpt to cross the line form “fair use” to “substantial amount.”

  2. The major Swedish eBook-sellers are using watermarks instead of restrictive DRM to prevent abuse. I’m glad they do, if I buy an eBook I want to own a book, not a “license to read”. I want to know that I can continue to read the books I’ve bought also in the future. DRM makes that doubtful and DRM-restricted books are thus clearly inferior products and should be marketed and priced as such.

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