Book Piracy: 63% of Kindle Bestsellers are Pirated

May 13th, 2014

Does book piracy affect sales?

There is a great dispute on book piracy whether it harms the sales or not. For example Springer, one of the larger book publishers, has informed its authors that the company has not seen any harmful effects from piracy. Authors, on the contrary, are apparently being annoyed and are fighting to remove piracy.

How many titles are actually pirated?

Book piracy
photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

The effect of book piracy on sales is unknown, and so is how many titles are actually pirated. To answer that question, PiracyTakedown has examined how many titles are being distributed over cyberlockers and torrent.

The statistic was run against bestselling books at Amazon Kindle store on May 12th. PiracyTakedown's search engine has searched each titles for piracy.

Book piracy: result

Its result is shown below. Among the top 30 bestsellers on Kindle store, 19 titles are being distributed over cyberlockers or torrent — in short, 63% of the bestsellers are pirated.

Kindle RankTitleAuthorCyberlockerTorrent
1The Fault in Our StarsJohn GreenFoundFound
2Balancing It AllCandace Bure
3Finding Me: A Decade of DarknessMichelle KnightFoundFound
4The One (The Selection)Kiera Cass
5Unlucky 13 (Women's Murder Club)James PattersonFound
6Field of PreyJohn SandfordFound
7The Target (Will Robie)David BaldacciFound
8Moving Day: A ThrillerJonathan Stone
9The Goldfinch: A NovelDonna TarttFoundFound
10Dragon's TriangleChristine Kling
11Sleep TightRachel AbbottFound
12Archer's VoiceMia Sheridan
13Havana LostLibby Fischer Hellmann
14Allegiant (Divergent Series)Veronica RothFoundFound
15Insurgent (Divergent Series)Veronica RothFound
16From the Moment We MetMarina Adair
17Pushing the LimitsKatie McGarryFound
18The Husband's SecretLiane MoriartyFoundFound
19Divergent (Divergent Series)Veronica RothFoundFound
20A Shade of VampireBella ForrestFound
21Paradise Valley Mysteries BoxedDebra BurroughsFound
22The Kindness of StrangersMike McIntyre
23The CollectorNora RobertsFoundFound
24Bender (The Core Four)Stacy Borel
25Orphan Train: A NovelChristina Baker KlineFoundFound
26Natchez Burning (Penn Cage)Greg IlesFoundFound
27Gone Girl: A NovelGillian FlynnFoundFound
28Dark and DeadlyJennifer Ashley
29Abducted (The Lizzy Gardner Series #1)T.R. RaganFound
30Monster in His EyesJ.M. Darhower

Below is the result for top 31-100 bestsellers. Among these 70 titles, 26 titles are pirated.

Kindle RankTitleAuthorCyberlockerTorrent
31The Fixed Trilogy: Fixed on YouLaurelin PaigeFound
32Chasing the Sun: A NovelNatalia Sylvester
33Rush Too Far: A Rosemary Beach Abbi Glines
34The Divergent Series Complete CollectionVeronica RothFoundFound
35Gorgeous Chaos (Beautiful Mess)T.K. Leigh
36Heaven is for RealTodd BurpoFoundFound
37I Am LiviaPhyllis T. Smith
38AlphaJasinda Wilder
39Beyond Desire CollectionJ.S. Scott
40Obsessed (The Obsessed Series)Deborah Bladon
41Twisted Vine (Lei Crime Series)Toby Neal
42Vatican KnightsRick Jones
43Home to Stay (An Anchor Island Novel)Terri Osburn
44NYPD Red 2James PattersonFoundFound
45Jailbird (Kurt Vonnegut Series)Kurt Vonnegut
46Capital in the Twenty-First CenturyThomas PikettyFoundFound
47Beautiful InkNicole Reed
48A Sweet Life Boxed SetBella Andre
49Top Secret Twenty-OneJanet Evanovich
50The Normans: From Raiders to KingsLars Brownworth
51Obsessed: Part Two (The Obsessed Series)Deborah Bladon
52I've Got You Under My Skin: A NovelMary Higgins ClarkFoundFound
53Cold Blue: Volume 1Gary Neece
54Obsessed: Part ThreeDeborah Bladon
55The Memory ChildSteena Holmes
56Missing YouHarlan CobenFound
57Never Been Ready (The Ready Series #2)J.L. BergFound
58Phenomenal XMichelle A. ValentineFound
59It Ain't Me, BabeTillie Cole
60George R. R. Martin's A Game of George R.R. MartinFoundFound
61Out on a Limb: A Smoky Mountain Carolyn Jourdan
62The Invention of Wings: With NotesSue Monk KiddFound
63Last Second ChanceCaisey Quinn
64The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Mark Batterson
65Legends of the FallJim Harrison
66SEALs Of Summer: Military Romance Sharon Hamilton
67Don't Let Me GoCatherine Ryan HydeFound
68The Broken PathCami Checketts
69Shame On Me (Fool Me Once)Tara Sivec
70Giving In (The Surrender Trilogy)Maya Banks
71KNOX: Volume 4Cassia Leo
72HiddenCatherine McKenzie
73Born to Ride - A Clubhouse CollectionKasey Millstead
74Shadow Spell: Book Two of The Nora RobertsFound
75It Happened One WeddingJulie JamesFound
76Her Highness, the TraitorSusan Higginbotham
77Merkiaari Wars Series: Books 1-3Mark E. Cooper
78Timebound (The Chronos Files, Book 1)Rysa Walker
79The Nazi Officer's Wife: How One Edith H. BeerFoundFound
80Communication Miracles for Couples: Jonathan Robinson
81A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice George R.R. MartinFound
82If You Can: How Millennials Can Get William J Bernstein
83Act of War: A Thriller (Scot Harvath)Brad Thor
84Little Girl Lost: A Lucy Black Brian McGillowayFound
85The Book ThiefMarkus ZusakFoundFound
86Bared: Club SinStacey Kennedy
87KNOX: Volume 1Cassia Leo
88Dead WeightT.R. RaganFound
89Ready To KillAndrew Peterson
90When We Met (Hqn)Susan Mallery
91Inferno: A NovelDan BrownFound
92Me Before You: A NovelJojo MoyesFound
93Chestnut StreetMaeve Binchy
94The Rosie Project: A NovelGraeme SimsionFound
95Say Goodbye to Survival ModeCrystal Paine
96The Maze RunnerJames DashnerFoundFound
97Carnal Curiosity (Stone Barrington)Stuart WoodsFoundFound
98The SelectionKiera CassFoundFound
99The Girl Who Came HomeHazel Gaynor
100Flash Boys: A Wall Street RevoltMichael LewisFoundFound

What's next?

We are not for sure for the effects on sales however, two tables above show undeniable facts that might make authors furious. It might not affect sales although, it clearly proves that e-book sellers and publishers are out of control over book piracy.