Plunder, pillage, and profit

By MIKE MILIARD  |  January 16, 2008

The answer to both questions, he says, is to think as openly and without preconceptions as possible. Mason, for instance, knows his book will be pirated. “It’s going to be all over the [BitTorrent portal] Pirate Bay. Of course it is.” But that at least means people will be reading it. And Mason accepts that “book sales probably won’t be my main revenue stream for the next year — most nonfiction authors make money by talking about their books. It’s the same model that music is approaching: live is everything, and CD sales or downloads are just another way to promote.”

Ultimately, he says, “you’ve got to base your decisions on what other people are going to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid in Boston with a new idea, or the CEO of Proctor & Gamble. You’ve got to think about multiple revenue streams, multiple business models, and what’s eventually going to turn into sales. Really, we’re all powerless in the face of piracy if it’s gonna happen. The pirates are gonna call the shots. And what we’ve got to do is just react in the most appropriate and most efficient way that we can.”

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