• Just bought it off amazon.com after reading this post. It was recommended to me by a friend a while ago but it wasn't on my list.

    If I downloaded the illegal version I probably would not have read it, let alone bought it. I prefer lying in bed reading a physical book over reading an ebook off a laptop any day.

    Best of luck and I hope you don't let this deter you.

  • I have a habit of reviewing the book before buying. I have downloaded a copy from somewhere before and reviewed it. Review is not reading from end to end. Liked it and got two copies for our team members (my review is clear about what I think of the book).
    IMO you did the right thing, after all who wants to have the "free" version only will manage to get it, but those who will recognize the potential in the book, will get it.

    PS: again, talking for myself only, an ebook is not a replacement for a printed one...

  • Just asked work to order a copy from Amazon :)

  • Roy,

    It is not a good idea for you to put your book's link (of illegal copy) on your blog. Considering that the publisher will also get to see it.

    The only thing I think should be done to avoid piracy is to have a fixed number that you would like to make (and your publisher would like to make). Once that is achieved, it should be OK for people to download it for free.

    The idea of unlimited royalty (till the time the product is sold) is not proper.

    Having said that, there will always be people who will buy it (whether or not there is illegal copy available) & there will always be others.

    The idea should be to make PDFs cheap & accessible that people wouldn't want to spend their time searching it & downloading it OR distributing it.

    I think this is how the movie rental industry is surviving the piracy of movies.

    The same idea should be applied to software. i.e. make a fixed amount on a product. Once that is achieved in sales, make it available free.

  • as for me, not gonna grab the pirated copy. i'll buy it when i have room on my reading list.

  • You only get $2 per print copy sold???!!! WOW! I'd rather download the illegal version and then donate $20 to you through PayPal or buy something for you off your Amazon Wishlist (if you have one).

    Do you make more off the legal digital version?

  • Guess I'm a little late in this since I purchased the PDF last week. Now to start reading it...

  • I just want to encourage you, and tell you that I'm following your blog and lectures, for some years (somewhere before you post your first born here) I'm appreciate your work, love your ideas, and bought your printed book. And yes, from time to time I received or download a pdf, review it and if I'm in to it I buy it.

  • I already have this book on my wish list, but there are lots of others on there also and I can't afford to get them all so I intend to read the illegal PDF and bump the priority of your book on my wish list depending on what I read. I much prefer a paper version anyway.

  • It is the distribution of illegal PDF's that prevent some publishers using it as an eBook format, restricting their titles to DRM infected systems. Both Manning and SitePoint got my business precisely because they offered PDFs, especially early editions. This allows me to use a netbook (not some overpriced eBook reader) for reading them.

    As for the print versus PDF debate, I like printed books for reference, but a duplex printer can print in booklet form for that. However, if I need to 'search' for something in a book, a PDF demolishes most indices, and that's why I buy the PDF where possible.

    Moving onto morality, I once talked to a fellow programmer who spent a day a week at an external client charging £300 per day. He was using an illegal version of Visual Studio from an MSDN pool licence from his employer. He appeared to have no concept that he might want to pay for a Visual Studio licence given the amount he was earning from it. Considering he was charging for the software he was writing, the irony appeared lost on him.

    So, anyone thinking of illegal PDFs please consider the following;

    1) Will the cost of the book be outweighed by an increase in your earning power? If so, buy it.

    2) Apply the 'beer as currency' principle. I live in London (UK) and a PDF of 'The Art of Unit Testing' comes out around the same as THREE pints of beer. How easily would I find it to spend money on three pints of beer? Exactly. Pay for the book.

  • I actually have two copies of the print version. I bought the first one before I took the TDD masters course here in Norway with you, and we also received a book at the TDD course.

    Haven't read it yet, but so far it's a good read.

    As for pirating books as pdf, or just reading books in pdf, YIKES!!!. Why would any sane person sit in front of the screen and read a book, when they can read it on paper? Much easier on the eyes. I'd only use the pdf copy as a reference, when I need to search some something in the book.

  • Why would you encourage people to buy the book from third party, which brings you < 2$ instead of making a donate button or just putting a simple shopping cart?

    There are people living out of "free" publicity gained by the books they write for free.

  • Writing books for money is unrewarding. (Not to say that -you- did it for the money.)

    Since the book author only gets like 5% of the price of a sold book, it's useless to think in terms of money. I wouldn't buy the book to do you a favor. If I wanted to give you a financial 'thank you' I would just donate you some $$.

    But I won't, sorry. I did download the book from rapidshare, but glazing over it I didn't get the feeling of 'I must read this'.

    Ah well, I haven't read a book in years anyway, so please don't be too disappointed :)

  • If I 'steal your book', can I consider it to be a legal trial copy?

    If it isn't, then I'm not going to do it ;) .

  • Compliments for this great approach. This will be a great turnaround on the situation, I will definitely buy it.

    Everything has a value, and we should recognize and reward it.

  • Don't be dishearted. A lot of people will benefit from your efforts- I'm sure you didn't write it solely for monetary gain.

  • I don't like reading pdf books, I prefer the old good paper, so i can't steal your book ;-)

    I've already flip through your book in a bookshop and i'll sure buy it. But before i must finish Kent Beck book "Test Driven Development: By Example".

  • I spent over EUR 700 on about 20-25 technical books this last 18 month. I'm at the beginning of my career, so consider it a necessary cost. I'm about 3/5 of the way through reading them. I have downloaded a (virtual) tonne of technical books and have not read one cover to cover, a few I've read a few chapters. mostly I'm glad, as the ones I buy tend to be recommended classics or necessary for a new technology that I'm learning / meant to be expert in, and the ones I download are mostly the technical book mill dross. I was unable to afford or convince my company to get to your training, so I was looking forward to the book, which I was going to buy, but now I know there is free version ... ;-) ... only kidding ... does it effect you which site I buy it from? because naturally I will buy it from the one that is cheapest for me (BookRepository works for me here in Holland as I don't pay shipping, but it's slow to come) ... ordered now, so I'm off to get the illegal copy whilst I wait for it to arrive. consider yourself 2 dollars richer.

  • I regularly download ebooks. I would say I buy more physical books than most people in my office.

    Ebooks are to Internet shopping what going into a book shop and thumbing through a copy of a book before you buy it is to the high street. People may think this is wrong but I can hand in heart say I would not have half the books in my library if I hadn't have got the ebook first to sample it.

    As for your book, I will download it maybe read a couple of chapters and if I think it is well written, relevant and useful I will buy it no question about it.

    I have been stung too many times in the past to buy books online any other way.

    Authors do get a bit of a raw deal. I remember when 37 signals released Getting Real they put the book online for anyone to read, I think that is why the book was such a success.

  • This is not only the case with books but also with blogs...and blog writers have to suffer....

  • >Apply the 'beer as currency'
    thats nice principles, as for me this book would cost 12 litres of good beer, considering amazon cost of the book is 60$ with shipping.

    And I'm still will buy paper version if I find that the book is good. But I will never spend these money without trying full pdf version.

  • Donald and I had a discussion very early on about whether or not just to release our book for free in the form of a constantly changing wiki. Which would remove things like looming (and long-gone) deadlines, contracts, and rigid editorial standards. In the end, we decided that having a publisher would give it more legitimacy and would have a broader reach. I don't recall money every coming into the conversation.

    My guess is that Manning is losing more financially than you are with piracy (assuming that piracy leads to lower sales which some might argue against). At least you've still got a day job.

  • I won't steal your book. I fully intend to buy it. FWIW, unless the author is also the publisher, I don't think the author has the right to advocate theft of his work either.

    Generally speaking, I am prepared to spend $300-$500 a year on technical books and/or training. I consider it a professional obligation. Just as I expect to get paid for my work (unless I willingly offer it for free), I expect to pay for the work of others. I don't need a litmus test for the quality of your book because I already have one--your blog.

  • I admit to downloading ebooks through a search on Google (it's THAT easy).

    If I like the book, I purchase it usually through amazon. If I have no use for it, I simply discard it in the recycle bin.
    I do the same with music. If I like what I hear, I purchase the CD.

    IIRC, the book comes with a free PDF download offer from Manning, so I now have both the book and the PDF all legal :)

    On a side note, if all the gratitude towards the author sums up to $2, then a download & donate button on the author's site is my preffered way. As it was with leaving a nice tip during the Radiohead CD download.

    I hope your experiment succeeds

  • I actually legitimately got a free copy of your e-book. NxtGenUG gave me a code to download it from Manning free if I promised to do a book review. (book review coming soon - I've just got the appendixes left to read).

    I've asked my manager to order a print copy though, as I would like some of the rest of the dev team here to read it.

  • To echo Liam - Manning's DRM free pdfs have become a major factor in me being a repeat customer. I hope they don't let piracy change their eBook / MEAP policy.

    For what it's worth, I purchased your book a couple weeks ago through Manning. It's very good.

  • It happens to everyone but you are the only one that throwed buzz around that stealing. Don't get me wrong, I think you are the best in what are you doing, I watched your sessions from ndc09, and everything was clear to me about unit testing and tdd. In short, I think you are an expert and honestly, I am your fan.

    And when I saw your comments on twitter and now this blogpost, you somehow manage to down my picture about you, if you know what I mean. I think you are above this nonsense about stealing and cheating and how it is not fair. It is how it is, I think that most of people WILL buy your book, anyway, so stop complaining about it.

    Hope everything will be ok with book selling.

    Your fan

  • Hi Roy,

    This sucks man!

    I know there is NO way to stop this sort of stealing but can you contact the person and tell him to remove it. Although that time has now passed since many people have already downloaded it and uploaded it again on different websites and P2P networks.

    Also, try contacting to the websites where the book is uploaded and tell them to remove it.

    It is a shame that people steal someones hard work just in a second!

  • I feel for you. The book has been on my wishlist for quite some time and it may find it's way to my personal shelf during this christmas.

    I just wonder if you didn't just get yourself in trouble by posting the link to the download on your blog. I mean, it's not only you loosing money by piracy but also your publisher etc.. (And they may not be as cool about piracy as you)

  • By doing this little experiment of yours, you're just encouraging (making it a lot lot easier) guys to download the pirated copy. The only way you can win (make people download less pirated copies) is to make it real hard for people to find a pirated copy. And you're doing just the opposite.

    If you give people an option to download the illegal copy, they'll do it.

  • I downloaded your last book, the art of unit testing, liked it and bought the hard copy, if I didn't get the ebook I would never have bought it.

  • I paid for the EAP version as soon as it was announced. Since it was finished, I've downloaded my copy but haven't had a chance to read it. Can you point me to where I can download some free time?


  • No I will not read a illegal copy. Please do not tempt me. And I prefer my author to not challenge my code of ethic.

    I would love to read your book, but not illegally and well, my budget is spent elsewhere, so I will wait until I can borrow it.

  • Although it is very tempting, I am not going to get the illegal version. The fact that you now know about the author, makes one not to get the pirated version, I guess. Online can be very non-personal, and your experiment connects each reader personally with you.

    On the other hand, I would like to ask for a free copy from you (legal copy) in lieu of a honest review on my blog and on Amazon. I work for a big company and I can recommend the book to my fellow colleagues.

    Let me know if that makes sense.

    Rupak Ganguly

  • Hi Roy,

    I'm an author too, and feel the same way you do - if I think your book would be useful for future client work, or just out of curiosity, I'll pay hard cash for it, and you'll get your $2 worth ;-). Actually, I think I'll do that right now :-).

  • I am unemployed IT for more than six months. How can I get your ebook free?

  • There are always people in this word that will take stuff illegally. We have prisons full of law breakers.

    Don't cave in to that. Don't give out your book for free.

    Stay valiant, and even if it's just $2.00 well - that is $2 more than you had before right? :)

    Chin up - and let's hope more people buy your book!

  • Dear Roy,

    I do not understand what is your book about from the 30 secs that I have dedicated to read the amazon's page of ur book.

    To begin, I am writing you from a third world country, Venezuela. Where the average salary is 160 bucks. So to begin with, that 40 dollars price for the book seems to high and might work only in US. You are loosing a lot of oportunities outside. However, to read that you make about 2 bucks for everybook sold, that is impresive. Most of the people here will declare it low cost if they give you 4 bucks plus the cost of the paper or the electronic transfer in the case it would be in Spanish. I am thinking about writing a book too, but not for 2 bucks or 5% or 10% of the revenue.

    Have you thought in publishing your PDF for a low price and having the printed option or those that need it or just because it easier and healthy to read from paper? You might be getting more revenew?

    This thing might be a new start in book content publihing as well as getting people closer to the author.

    You have the balls to publish those sites that take away your revenue. What would happen in the future with so many electronic devices that we are attaching our lives on?

    Marco Hawrylak

  • I think you did this out of anger and it was a spur of the moment thing Roy. It is true that these things happen. By providing this link, you are encouraging people to download the pirated copy. This will only hurt you and your publisher. I hope you remove the link and request rapid share to bring down the illegal copy.

    I have seen worse. I know a person that published an API that is used by many organizations / developers. The idea was to release a book related to the API, which was supposed to bring in money. Illegal versions of the book were rampant on the internet and that hurt the author a lot. The author finds it difficult supporting his family, despite being very talented at what he does.

  • As Java developer, I'm not very interested in .Net book, but the problem you covered is the same to me.
    I always try to get free book first. Not because I'm poor or I like pirates, but because I need to protect myself from unfair writers. Actualy more than half of books are really crap. Why to buy book if I can't get something useful from it? It's like robbery. But if I found amazing book, I always buy it. I already bought almost all books from O'Reilly's "Head First" series. "In Action" series from Manning is amazing (but, sadly, not all books).

    Anyway, you can let it go. It's fact, that you can't stand piracy. 10% of people will always steal, 10% of people will always buy. And other 80% will do things in most simplest way.

    The best, you can do - place link to pirated version and "Donate" button from PayPal near. You'll see amazing results - a lot of people will click it and pay you directly.

  • I wish it could be more easily acquired in Poland, but even though i won't steal it.

  • Wrong in all ways, a book is an investment in your own future, from reading books like this you hope to one day be in a position similar to that of the authors. This is a disrespectful and unfair, the authors of these books are in general not multi-millionaires like their counterpart in the music or movie industry. If you want to progress yourself and career get some morals learn to respect others and yourself by doing the right thing.

  • I have illegal electronic versions of books that I have in print but couldn't find an electronic version for sale. (think of the GOF book). In general books are cheap especially considering the knowledge they offer you.

    I will buy your book as I hear some good critiques about it.

  • Roy, seriously, don't post a link to the pirated copies of your book. It might seem like you're being the "better man" for doing it but I still think it's wrong for you to go that route. I purchased your book flat out on Amazon because I read a number of your blog posts and liked what you had to say. Just keep making solid blog posts and never mind the people that try to bring you down. Keep your head up.

  • I also purchased it and the book a year ago through MEAP.

    Sorry to hear you didn't get more money.

    Joe Feser

  • Distributing content on the web is not an easy issue. If you use "open" formats as PDF, everybody can transfer the file quickly and freely. If you use a format that protect digital rights, then it is more cumbersome for the buyers. As far as PDF is concerned, editors like Pragmatic Books make a special copy with each buyer (the buyer name is part of the PDF), so at least you can know which copy is traded and who is guilty of this situation. This could help limiting the copy of the books.

  • I almost bought it at NDC-09, but then I heard you sing.. HEH, just kidding, I took with me 7 books from here, but somehow, I missed yours.. bummer!

    Anyways, it sucks! So, being the avid pacifist that I am, I hope you catch the guy and bleed his thumbs so hard that he'll need a nose-extender to press the space-key :D

  • I have a simple rule: I pay for good software/books/music with my own hard earned pay. Why?

    First of all, because I support people who work hard and offer me an opportunity to grow for a small price.

    Second, this is an investment in my personal growth. There is no excuse for doing this at the EXPENSE of someone else.

  • I purchased the print + ebook bundle from Manning (with a discount code) and it was money well spent--but I approached your book with several solid reviews from peers, so I wasn't hesitant about giving up some cash for it.

    However, I have in the past--and will likely in the future--pirated copies for a full "preview" of a book I'm considering; the majority of the time I end up purchasing, but it's saved me from a few duds that appeared to have relevant content--or had their only well-written chapter advertised as the free sample.

    In short; it does happen--but not every illegal download translates to a lost sale. Many downloaders probably never even open the PDF, let alone even considered buying the book. They're doing the equivalent of perusing a book store and picking books off the shelves--but putting them back down without reading a word.

    ...and finally... thanks for your work on the book. Your book combined with Uncle Bob's "Clean Code" turned on the light that showed all the things we were doing that were untestable and unmaintainable.

  • I'm comming from a country, where the average monthly income is about 400-500$. Spending 50$ for a book is too much for most people in my country and there are also countries out there, where 400$ is the income for a year ...

  • "Download the FULL Illegal PDF of the book from RapidShare"

    And I, for one, come from a country where the copyright law explicitly states that, with the exception of software, obtaining a copy of a copyrighted work for one's sole personal use is not illegal, be it downloading an MP3 from the Internet for one's listening pleasure, photocopying from a book or just jotting down some notes in a public library. Simple, clean, unambiguous. Where does that put me?

  • I had already finished reading an "illegal" copy of your book I found somewhere before you posted the link.

    Usually I don't buy technical books if I can find them for free. As someone said before, downloading music, videos or books for personal use is not against the law.

    By the way, publishers and writers have had better luck than their counterparts on the music world, just because the experience of reading a book on paper is better that on the computer. But that is changing rapidly with electronic readers. So then even more people are going to download the free versions.

    Which benefit do you get from writting the book then? Well, publicity. Now I have attended many Typemock webinars and I am cosidering buying it for my company. And if you happened to give a workshop on testing for companies, I would definitely consider it.

  • Why the heck does anyone steal the book while they can buy it for something around 10€ using the discounts that are available from manning every other day???

  • I bought your book when I first heard you on Hanselminutes. I read it from cover to cover and I think it's the book that has opended my eyes more than any other book, lately. I resently convinced my boss to purchase a print copy for my colleagues to read and to spread your word.

  • You don't mention in your post what the book is about so I'm not going to be bothered stealing it :>.

  • $2 per book. WTF. I paid like $50+ to get this book imported to NZ. Gotta be a better model than this...

  • Well, the real price of any book/article can be measured only by those who actually *creates* or *writes* someting (like books, articles) not only *consumes*.
    So its the question of honor for me to give several bucks to the author. Thank you Roy! Good health to you and your family!

  • Just bought it in lieu of Kent Beck's TDD as his is now quite old. How fair is that when his is the seminal work??

  • +1 on wanting the PDF and donating money directly to you :)

  • I don't know anything about the illegal copies, but I was already considering buying the PDF version, and this situation pushed me to buy it from Amazon.

  • +1 on wanting the PDF and donating money directly to you :)

  • Baen has already been mentioned, it would be interesting to see whether this causes any increase or decrease in the sales numbers as they (and others) have found that free access increases sales of the paper copies. If rapidshare is in the US, you still might want to DMCA takedown the illegal ones you notice, but put up a version watermarked with (Purchase at ) and see how many do grab it from there.

    I purchased my paper+ebook copies after you'd mentioned that the book was done and in pre-release -- an excellent book, showing where I had been going wrong in my attempts to start. Many thanks, and good luck!

  • Hello,

    I just bought your book on amazon.co.uk but since that may take a week to get here, I also downloaded the illegal PDF!


  • "A book that I started with zero kids, and was released with me having two kids." - this is the reason I'll just dw the pdf from rapidshare. The world is already overpopulated :D

  • I was recommended your book and just dropped in here after ordering at amazon. ;)

    My point of view towards this kind of stealing is kinda ambiguous though. At University, being really low on budget, I "stole" alot (software and literature), because I wanted to learn, try everything out and could not afford to buy all I was interested in. I think that's what many young people do, just for that reason.
    Today I work for a software company and buy the stuff I need because I can afford it and, epsecially when it comes to sharing knowledge, very much appreciate the work of others. And by the way, I hate ebkooks. ;)


  • Hi there,

    here it is how it went for me: first I downloaded the PDF for free, read quite a few pages (about a third of the book), and then decided to buy it.

    I bought it for two reasons: first, it's really good material. Second, it's much more comfortable to study it on paper than on the screen.

    I can't afford to buy every book under the sun, obviously, so I always try to download them first to check them out. If I consider them worthy enough, then I will buy them. It's not perfect, but I do not feel guilty, I'm willing to pay for what I like and I think it's valuable. There will always be those who NEVER pay for anything, but they shouldn't bother you: there's not much you can do about it.

    I've already finished the book, by the way... great stuff.

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