E-books: from publishing to pirating

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

If you’re curious about, or baffled by, the myriad options and advice out there in cyberspace on how to self-publish your e-book, here’s an update in GalleyCat that may help. Jason Boog has collected links to free guides that will explain how to format your book for all the e-book platforms, from Kindle to Kobo. Choosing which route you want to sell through is still up to you. I don’t think there’s a single best answer and you should go with the bookselling site that seems comfortable to you to use.

GalleyCat has also gathered a list of the most popularly pirated e-books. Interestingly, all but one are some kind of how-to guide, ranging from two titles on Photoshop to one featuring explicit sexual positions. The accompanying article quotes a blog post from PirateBay, a site where users use torrent software to trade materials. The quoted author suggests that proposed firewalls to block pirating in the EU amount to censorship. There’s no doubt that pirating is stealing, but I am also a staunch opponent of censorship. The question, perhaps, is how and to what extent governments should define censorship. And there are those who think pirating only increases reading and ultimately legal purchasing. Please comment if you have any wisdom to share on this issue.