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Does it harm sales of a picture book to show the entire book on-line?

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#1 - April 01, 2020, 03:21 PM
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 07:47 PM by sarah-perry-2 »

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Hi Sarah,

What do you mean by book-line?
#2 - April 01, 2020, 06:16 PM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, BUSY BUS series, EMERGENCY KITTENS, and more!
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I'm guessing this means having the entire book online. The answer is maybe.  If a child sees it and loves it, the parent might one day buy it, but there's also the old "why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" question. Having the book up for a short time is different, but anything posted online could be saved by someone else by screenshotting the pages.

It would be hard to track statistics for this because there is no way to rule out other variables in either direction.

You do need permission from the illustrator and author to do so though. Otherwise, it's potentially copyright infringement.
#3 - April 01, 2020, 06:31 PM
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Hi Sarah,

What do you mean by book-line?

Good thing I'm primarily an illustrator- I had meant ..."book, on-line."
#4 - April 01, 2020, 07:53 PM

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Thank you for that advise. The book in question (If...) has already been seen by about 25 ,000 on youtubes unbeknownst to me until I looked today! I guess that cat left the bag a long time ago! Good advise for the future however as I will try and limit every single page from being exposed from the next book. Thank you Debbie, for your time! My first time posting and it is a relief to know there is help out there! All the best to you!
#5 - April 01, 2020, 08:01 PM
« Last Edit: April 02, 2020, 04:14 PM by dinalapomy101 »

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Just adding, if you look on Amazon books, some books have a Look Inside option. You can see how much Amazon allows readers to see before they are required to buy if they want to see more. Just an idea. : )
#6 - April 02, 2020, 05:19 PM
Odd Bods: The World's Unusual Animals - Millbrook Press 2021
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Just adding, if you look on Amazon books, some books have a Look Inside option. You can see how much Amazon allows readers to see before they are required to buy if they want to see more. Just an idea. : )

That is a good reference. Seems like 4-6 images would be enough to whet the appetite for a book without giving everything away. The Getty is planning to read the book in it's entirety on-line next week. It's been done so much already that it probably doesn't matter now. I'll be more alert for the next book however. Thanks for your advice!
#7 - April 02, 2020, 05:52 PM

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Right now, everything is different. Many publishers are putting books up for free to help teachers and and parents and waiving the copyright aspects as long as it's taken down after a time period. The Getty may be reading legally. But it is a good idea to Google your name and book titles regularly to be sure no one is infringing your rights. Some people simply aren't aware that posting your work affects your income. And right now, no on is going to happen upon your book in a library or store, so maybe they'll see it online and buy it.

Happy sales to you.
#8 - April 02, 2020, 06:17 PM
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