Cover image for Impact of P2P and Free Distribution on Book Sales

Book Description

Book publishers have long used free content as part of their marketing and selling efforts, with the vast majority of free content distributed in printed form. Digital distribution of free material, either intentional or via unauthorized availability through peer-to-peer sites and other Web outlets, offers a fast and expansive connection to consumers, but content can also be copied and disseminated without publishers' control. Some publishers are torn between the efficiencies digital distribution provides and concerns over piracy and print-sale cannibalization. This research report is part of an ongoing effort by O'Reilly Media Inc. and Random House to test assumptions about free distribution, P2P availability and their potential impact on book sales.

Table of Contents

  1. Impact of P2P and Free Distribution on Book Sales
    1. Challenging Notions of “Free”
      1. Project Structure
      2. Findings and Recommendations
      3. Characterizing and Assessing the Use of Free Content
      4. Segmenting Different Types of Book Marketing
        1. Examples of audience-specific promotions
        2. Examples of subject-specific promotions
        3. Examples of author-specific promotions
      5. Impact of Prior Work on Design of This Research Study
      6. Analysis of P2P Impact
      7. Establishing and Expanding Measures of Success
        1. Impact on hard-copy sales
        2. Digital sales
        3. Conversion from trialware copies
        4. Other measures
    2. Background on Piracy and the Use of Free Content
      1. File Sharing Outside Publishing
      2. Book Publishing Points of View on Piracy
      3. Some Previous Book Publishing Studies (Strengths and Limitations)
      4. O’Reilly Point of View and Supporting Actions
      5. A New Model: White–Gray–Back Channel, and Its Implications
    3. Background on the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Universe
      1. Precursors: Early File-Sharing Methods
      2. First-Generation P2P Networks
      3. The Growth of Decentralized P2P Sites
      4. How the Current P2P Sites Work (BitTorrent)
      5. How Users Work with BitTorrent
      6. A P2P Timeline
      7. Terms and Definitions
    4. About the Author