Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Libertarian Books: Sales vs Downloads

I recently came across a web page listing libertarian books in order of their rating on; my Machinery of Freedom was number 70, not surprising given its Amazon rating.

The book is also available as a free pdf from my web page, so I checked the download statistics and was pleasantly surprised to find that it is being downloaded at a rate of almost two thousand downloads a month, plus about 300 more of the .prc (ebook) version. That got me curious—what would the list look like if it was restricted to books available as free downloads, ordered by the rate at which they were downloaded?

The Mises site has a lot of libertarian books on it. Are there any of my readers who are connected with that site and willing to report download rates, or who know of public information on the subject?


James Leroy Wilson said...

I have a book (Ron Paul is a Nut, (and So am I)) that WOULD be #92 on this list, but is apparently unknown to the person who runs the site. That suggests to me that there are dozens or maybe hundreds of books that are similarly omitted.

In any case, congrats on the downloads for Machinery of Freedom. Glad it is still influencing so many people today.

DerekL said...

I'd be careful with those statistics... Since a physical book or a paid download costs money, one may presume the reader intends to read it. It's strictly anecdotal, but I know many people who hoover down every free download they might ever possibly being interested in - but read/listen to/watch almost none of it.

Unknown said...

Right, and if we did catalog those statistics someone would inevitably have bots downloading targeted, specific free downloads repeatedly from different ISPNs to artificially boost apparent popularity. Although it would still be interesting to see, if it could be pulled off.

Unknown said...

I see your book is now 28! I recall reading it way back in the 70s.