E-books are an increasingly popular alternative to all types of physical books. Although e-books are promising, there is a struggle with online piracy.
Digital Rights Management (DRM) is the restriction placed on e-books. DRM can limit who can use an e-book, for how long, and on which devices.
What is the need for DRM-protected e-books?
Although digital content is much easier to use, the risk of copying and sharing copyrighted work is higher in e-books. DRM protects e-books from unauthorised downloads, printing, and sharing. From a business perspective, DRM keeps control of the distribution of e-books and secures sales and revenues. It ensures that people keep paying to access the content. DRM controls how you share your e-book from user to user and device to device.
DRM is what keeps you from being able to share your Kindle purchases with your friends. If your ideal reader bought an e-pub version of an eBook from some random place online, he could read it on several devices like Apple. However, if she purchased an e-pub version of an e-book via iBook, Apple’s own DRM would restrict her from reading that e-book on any other device.
DRM systems currently used are Adobe DRM, Amazon Kindle DRM and Apple FairPlay DRM. E-books in any one of those DRM systems are incompatible with the others.
You need to decide at the outset if you will use DRM, as some distributors will not support it, and others have their own.
It is that the cons outweigh the pros for most self-publishers. For one thing, it can be expensive to implement on your own. There are no extra costs to “turn it on” as an option when you publish directly through such outlets as Kindle Direct Publishing, however.
Creating an e-book requires hard work, dedication, and resources. Therefore, as a publisher, you must take extra steps to protect your e-book from theft.