Brian O’LearyAs e-readers and e-books gather momentum in the early days of 2010, some book publishers find themselves on the horns of a marketing dilemma. Do they join the new e-book club to capture sales, or do they stand back to keep their content safe from online “pirates”?

In a conversation with Chris Kenneally at the recent Digital Book World in New York, media industry consultant Brian O’Leary discussed his firm’s research on the effect on sales when a title finds its way into an unsanctioned online market. The findings – a significant jump in sales – have surprised many in the business.

Magellan Media Partners Logo“When people hear what we have to say, [they think] I might be saying … I don’t worry about piracy when in fact, what I’m saying is, I don’t worry about piracy that helps sell more books,” O’Leary stressed. “I just don’t know the difference between the piracy that hurts, and the piracy that helps,until we study it.”

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