To DRM or Not?

When an author decides to self-publish an eBook a decision that must be made is whether to DRM your book or not. DRM (Digital Rights Management) allows an author to encrypt their book to prevent illegal sharing. A lot of authors worry that readers will steal their material so they enable DRM. This is counter-productive when the same author wants to get their name out there and become known. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising there is so use it to your advantage. So what if a small handful of readers acquire your book without paying for it. If the book is good that reader is more likely to check out what else you have written, buy other books, and tell their friends about the book they read. By enabling DRM readers can’t buy an eBook and convert it to use on their device.

Nook with OpenDyslexic

Nook with OpenDyslexic (Photo credit: Antijingoist)

For example, I know of an eBook that was bought on Amazon with the intent to read it on a Nook.The author had enabled DRM so the reader could not convert the eBook to work on the Nook.  Needless to say, the author lost a reader even if their book was good because they couldn’t convert the book and that reader more than likely spread the word that this author used encryption and spread their annoyance. As a new author the goal is to gain readers in any way possible, to get your name out there, not turn readers away. A bit of advice for up and coming authors, skip the DRM and let your name spread in any way possible. Readers will buy more if they like your book, regardless of how they received it.

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9 Comments

Filed under Self-Publishing

9 responses to “To DRM or Not?

  1. I think you should set an alarm to reblog this once a month. New authors just don’t seem to get it – spreading your book to as many people as possible is a GOOD thing!

  2. Pingback: And it’s all there | The "Professional" Blog of J. M. Brink

  3. Reblogged this on Jaye Em Edgecliff and commented:
    I rather agree with this.
    I honestly do not believe for a moment, that piracy loses sales. I know many people who pirate books, movies, games, music, software, etc. who wouldn’t have bought the item in the first place. The difference is, though, that they’re still a customer. Not a paying one, no, but one who may become enamoured with your work. This love could translate into future sales (movie pirates who then by fancy boxed sets of the blue rays, or a leather-bound hardcover edition of a book). They certainly will TALK. A lot.
    Example: Walking Dead fans. Do you realise how many people watch that by downloading whole seasons?! Know how many of THOSE people went out to buy the fancy Blu-Ray set with the zombie head case? Know how many of them told friends who got curious enough that they watched it on Netflix, or iTunes, or VOD? Guess what — THAT’s money back to the studio.
    DRM doesn’t do anything more, in my opinion and mind, than annoy people who purchased the product. The folks inclined to pirate will just break the DRM somehow, or will move on to something else while utterly ignoring you.

  4. I do agree with Jaye, good valuable books, movies and any work of art will still find their fans and spread around, even if it is pirated. Those people usually aspire notability and reputation and not the digital rights management. iTunes store did give the ability to the publishers to give a free sample to their readers. This sample could be a preview or the first chapters of the book, and if they liked it they will buy the book.

    • Yes, and some authors still use DRM. In my opinion, there’s no better form of flattery than someone passing on your work and telling another person they HAVE to read it. Both people will be back to buy more in the end.

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