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Books, productocracy, and the creator economy

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Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 4, 2020
Lately, the "creator economy" is "blooming", I mean: there is a handful of services to allow you to upload a PDF and get paid for people downloading it.

I want to share my opinion about it because I would like you to correct me in whatever I am wrong, perhaps not too much:

This approach to "PDF selling" does not work with a productocracy model, as the recommendations that allow organic growth in a productocracy model would be PDF-sharing recommendations, with zero revenue.

A two stage strategy may work, if suitable for the type of content. What do I mean with a two stage strategy?:
  1. Create the blog or content, which should better be good and addressed to a large audience, because we are in the information overload era. Use it to grow an audience, let it be recommended and consumed for free.
  2. Then sell something else, preferably something that your audience will not share with each other too easily. Books in the large platforms (with DRM), and paper, would limit (but not eliminate) the extent to which your audience may share among themselves your content without paying to you.
Which means: the original book in PDF is not a product, i.e. it is not intended to make money. It is marketing, intended to grow awareness (or an audience) for your products (current or future). Then the products give you money.

But these products are sold not because of a productocracy, but because you have already built an audience. Which closes the circle, to sell PDFs you do not need to do it with a productocracy approach and cannot do it with a productocracy

Notably this does not happen to the same extent if it is not a book but a video (streaming is harder to capture and share, but Hollywood is still fighting piracy...) because if you put your face on it, you know that at least you are going to get that visibility and credit for the video, while your name may notably remain unperceived in the PDF.

In a blog or newsletter the challenges are larger, e.g. anyone could use web automation tools to automatically post in their blogs anything you post, plagiarizing can now be automated. To make it more interesting, an automatic translation may be part of it in between.

In short, a productocracy cannot exist with content that users or consumers can share among them. It may be good for marketing, the kind of marketing that a productocracy does not need, because it has its own recommendations.

Am I very wrong?

Kelvin Fernandez

Some Profound Quote Goes Here
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Jan 26, 2016
Rice, Texas
To be honest not many people actually pirate PDF's. ISP's have been cracking down hard on torrenting. You need a VPN to torrent something. At least here in the USA. And other countries were torrenting happens more often like developing countries. Well those people that steal your PDF were not going to buy it anyways. So its a good way to spread the word is they torrent it. You still have complete control over your own PDF though. So you can contact the website where your content is been pirated to take it down.


Read Millionaire Fastlane
Jul 4, 2020
To be honest not many people actually pirate PDF's.
I was thinking of people just sending it by email, like "hey, I'm attaching a book, highly recommended".

Most creators are not going to get to torrent sites (or even to be read for free, TBH), that's not a problem.

Productocracy relies mainly on this word-of-mouth marketing, and makes email-attachable products not-so-viable.

These products may be viable after building an audience with people that don't know each other. Which is in theory possible with free content that pulls… but most of the time is in practice done by pushing.

But then that's a two stage process. Not described in The Books, IIRC.

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