Originally Posted by Steve Jordan
This is obviously not helpful to anyone if there IS no printed edition... or if the purchaser is perfectly satisfied with an electronic edition, and doesn't want print. How will you profit from those who get their illicit copies... and are done with you?
I think the bottom line is that there is nothing you can do about theft. It happens to brick and mortar stores, it happens to digital assest... no matter how much you do whether it is bars on the doors and windows or DRM... stuff still gets stolen. I think you have to maximize the amount of people that pay for your book and accept that theft will happen, it is a fact of life.
Clearly you can't do what Doctorow suggests in the introduction to Little Brother. Since you ONLY publish electronically you have no source of revenue other than sales of ebooks. So, I think his ideas are a little nieve and also short sited. Certainly today the majority of books are still bought as paper books (see Amazon only selling 6% as ebook which means 94% were still bought as paper books.)
However, there will come a time, I don't know when, 20-30 years or more, that paper books will stop being printed. It happens with VHS tapes, 8-track tapes, vinyl records, etc. Once the medium is obsolete people stop using it. In that case, giving away ebooks so people know about you as an author and will by pbooks will not be a viable model, just as it isn't viable for an ebook only author today.