In a blog post by Julie Crisp of Tor Books UK, we get a progress report on the decision to drop DRM from their e-books. The big take-aways are:
- There was no increase in piracy of their books from removing DRM. Julie says this could be because the SF community is close-knit, and authors and readers have a lot of contact. Of course, anyone who has ever gone to a Science Fiction convention knows how that works. I think what this reinforces for me is the idea that in this 21st century networked world, a relationship between the artist and the audience is a key factor in success.
- They found that their authors, even the most commercially successful ones (like Peter F. Hamilton and China Mieville) were completely supportive of the move, and saw it as showing respect for the paying customers. And given the piracy results above, ti might appear that showing respect for your customers is more likely to encourage them to show respect for you.
- They saw this as hugely positive, saying ” it’s helped establish Tor and Tor UK as an imprint that listens to its readers and authors when they approach us with a mutual concern—and for that we’ve gained an amazing amount of support and loyalty from the community.”
Now we need other publishers to learn from this, and maybe DRM in e-books can become a thing of the past.