“Go The F— To Sleep”, a humorous book about, well, getting children to sleep, has shot to the number one bestseller on Amazon incredibly fast, and Fast Company thinks it’s because a pirated PDF of the book went viral.
“Go The F— To Sleep” is a “children’s book for adults”, a funny book for parents absolutely exhausted by their children who don’t want to go to sleep, and it struck a chord with many people.
Fast Company goes on to make the case that this shows that piracy can be great for book publishing, because it seems to be the case here. We wouldn’t go so fast.
First of all, “Go The F— To Sleep” is a picture book, not a novel, so the value of the physical object is higher than for a book which is just text.
Secondly, as Fast Company notes, this is the kind of book that many people are going to buy as gag gifts for baby showers and the like. So someone might read the pirated PDF and buy the book, not for themselves, but for a friend. Again, this isn’t applicable for most books.
So we’re not prepared yet to say that “Go The Fuck To Sleep” “exploded the old publishing model.” But it’s certainly a great success story for viral and online marketing. And it also sounds like a hilarious book.