I wanted to spend a little time this month discussing ebook protection, because it seems to be a hot topic. Concerned authors often ask me how they can be sure their work will be protected from unauthorised copying and redistribution.
Digital Rights Management (DRM) is a system available to prevent just that problem. Normally it is offered as an option when submitting your ebook title to certain online stores and distributors, and can be as simple as ticking the appropriate box at the time of submission.
'So if it's that simple, what's all the fuss about?' I hear you say, rolling your eyes to the sky.
There are a couple of things to consider when choosing DRM in your distribution model. The obvious advantage is the one I've already mentioned above: protection with just a few easy steps. There are a few disadvantages, however, and they are outlined as follows:
It is up to the author/publisher whether to choose DRM or not, and I can see both sides of the argument. Last year one of my students brought a copy of my first novel, The Tiger Chase, to class. She told me she had purchased it from a second hand bookstore. I didn't make any royalties from that sale, but to me it didn't matter - I was quite flattered!
If you're selling millions of digital copies, then yes, DRM may prevent the loss of royalties due to unauthorised sales. At the end of the day you'll need to decide wether the risk of anyone going to the trouble of copying and distributing your ebook will outway the disadvantage of missing out on having your title in some stores and earning a smaller royalty.
Until next time, write on...
|Tags:Andy McDermott / Director|