A bedtime story of eBook piracy

So, chances are that if you haven’t had your head buried in the sand, you have probably heard about Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach. The provocatively titled, 32-page children’s book for grown-ups is racking up Amazon pre-orders like nobody’s business. The thing is, all of this buzz has reportedly been generated by the spread of a pirated PDF version of the book that went seriously viral.

The book’s publisher describes it as follows:

Go the F**k to Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing blissfully off to dreamland. Profane, affectionate, and radically honest, California Book Award-winning author Adam Mansbach’s verses perfectly capture the familiar–and unspoken–tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. In the process, they open up a conversation about parenting, granting us permission to admit our frustrations, and laugh at their absurdity.

With illustrations by Ricardo Cortes, Go the F**k to Sleep is beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny–a book for parents new, old, and expectant. You probably should not read it to your children.

The book’s path from viral to commercial success was probably spurred by a particular confluence of factors. For one, many people have had a chance to ‘try before they buy’, so to speak. For another, the book’s central concept is strong, simple, and resonates with the real-world experiences of many parents. As such, the book makes a great present for parents, partners and friends. Best of all for the author and publisher, it’s terribly bad form to gift a pirated eBook.

The book will be released on June 14, 2011, and is currently available for pre-order from Amazon.com. Be prepared for a bit of a backlog, though!

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About the Author: Dan Shea

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