How Can I Protect Digital Books from Piracy and Illegal Sharing?

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copyright symbolIt’s been observed that piracy is the greatest problem that most publishers and authors often face as far as the book publishing industry is concerned. Here, I would like to share with you my expert opinion on this issue and also suggest how you can protect digital books from piracy.

3 Simple Ways to Protect Digital Books from Piracy

If you wish to protect your digital books from unwanted distribution, you can opt for any of the following, depending on the publishing tools or services at your disposal:

PDF Security: here, you can use the security feature of a PDF converter or that of Mac’s NeoOffice to create a permission password so as to disallow the printing of, and the copying of text from your ebook.

PDF Stamping: some online services that offer digital file delivery to buyers of ebooks can help you to ‘stamp’ the personal profile of a buyer at the footer area of the PDF. The application will automatically add the full name and address of the buyer to the book. This would naturally prevent the buyer from distributing the file so as to avoid sharing his/her details with strangers.

Digital Right Management (DRM): this is a feature that also helps to prevent unwanted sharing or distribution of your digital book.

Why These 3 Options May Not Be Necessary

Is it a really good idea to protect digital books from piracy. In my personal opinion as an author-publisher, I wouldn’t go for any of them. I strongly believe in building a brand around my writing career and building a follower base of readers that would take a special interest in my genre. Branding is a function of trust. I would always assume that my readers (existing and news ones) are reasonable and trustworthy people that value ‘the sweat’ and ‘the blood’ it takes to write a good book.

It’s expected that they would honor my copyright and license note on published e-books. If the product is, for instance, for private and personal use only, buyers are expected to play the game by the rule, though they might be tempted to share the book with someone. As of today, I have several e-books from authors that use this kind of license notes, and I have NEVER, for any reason, share them with another person.

Another reason why it may not be advisable to protect or secure your file is that there are readers that may get pissed off if they find any of the digital book protection mechanism on a book they would like to purchase.

What If Your Book is Shared with Others…?

Realistically, if you don’t secure your digital content, you would find that there are people that would still go ahead to share your book with people (in their circle of friends). May be, 1 of 10 buyers would do that. Don’t consider it as a loss. In order to save yourself from mental agitation about illegal sharing of ebooks, just assume that it’s a way of selling your brand to myriads of potential followers. Some of these people, after reading your book, might become your followers, and then go ahead to buy other books you advertise in the content. That’s why it’s good to publish more than one book.

What Authors Expect from Buyers

I want to appeal to ebook readers out there that they should respect the hard work that authors have put into their literary work. It doesn’t cost you so much to appreciate the expertise, resources and time put together to write and publish the literary masterpiece. After all, an ebook goes for as low as $0.99. With just $10, you can purchase 10 copies of such a product for 10 people you know. It’s even a bad idea to take another person’s work, either in part or in full, and pass it to others as your own ‘work’. Let’s respect the culture of excellence and ingenuity.

Dear indie author, if you still prefer to secure your product as a way to protect the digital books from piracy, illegal sharing or distribution, you can now decide on what you can do to achieve that aim. Just find more info on the three options mentioned earlier on. Is this content helpful? Kindly post a comment below.

One Reply to “How Can I Protect Digital Books from Piracy and Illegal Sharing?”

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