What authors and creative artists fear more than piracy

Wired editor and author of the business best seller The Long Tail, Chris Anderson expresses little regret that his book (presumably an audio version) is available for free download via BitTorrent:

In his post, Chris expresses little regret that a form of his book — he figure the audio version — is available free via BitTorrent.

“My publishers want to make money, and I like them so I usually do what it takes to keep them happy, but in truth I just want to be read/listened to by the largest number of people. Leave it to me to figure out how to convert that reputational currency into cash–just get me in front of the biggest audience and I’ll do the rest. As Tim O’Reilly puts it, “Obscurity is a far greater threat to authors and creative artists than piracy.”

Okay, class. Memorize that one.

Bonus: If you didn’t read a link I made to Chris’s site last week on a similar topic,

  • mike

    I received Chris’s Book on Tape as a Christmas present. I also have the book. This is the way you would expect him to react after reading/listenig to him and it just adds a lot of credibility to his message that he actually is practicing what he preaches.

  • Rex

    Mike, I paid full price for both the hardback and audiobook — and have bought several copies for others…and have recommended it to even more. I started blogging about it a year and a half before it came out and have served as an unofficial “evangelist” for it within the magazine publishing industry. All for free. All because I just read the book. Chris knows this. He’s even e-mailed me to thank me for it. He’s even suggested me a few times when he was asked for someone who could speak about his book with a specific slant on the magazine publishing world. I’ve done all of that for free. Gladly. While sales of his book, no doubt, place it in the 1% of books that make money (again, that’s a statistic I could debate, but won’t), the ancillary value to Chris far outstrips any direct compensation he is receiving. The value of “his brand” has sky-rocketed. From the places he speaks, it appears he has the potential to generate significant revenue from those appearances. Heck, he could probably start selling Long Tale merchandise and have a decent revenue flow. However, I think he’s going to the Malcom Gladwell route and keep his day gig while being a rock star on the side.

  • Hudge

    Somehow the image of LongTail merchandise that immediately popped into my mind was like this: