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Thread: e-Book format and protection

  1. #1
    Gold Member daveob's Avatar
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    Question e-Book format and protection

    What is the accepted / normal format of an e-Book ? A4, A5, Word doc, pdf ?

    Also, have you seen any protection methods employed by authors to deter copying of their time consuming research and expertise ?

    Any advice from your experiences would be appreciated.
    Watching the ships passing by.

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    A Google search on ebook publisher produced quite a few relevant results. I found quite a nice little overview on eBook publishing here which touched on file formats and copy security.

    It would be interesting to hear from someone who has actually done this with any level of success.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    daveob (23-Oct-08)

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Dave
    An ebook protection is easily broken, just search PDF password decryption. Even if you have a 1 print policy you just print it to another PDF and then you have a clean PDF. The best way is to update your e book with new info on a regular basis.
    The profits in ebooks comes from volume and closing your eyes to the illegal prints.
    I would recommend a page size of A4 with a font size of 14 so it will still read if reduced to A5.
    Last edited by IanF; 23-Oct-08 at 09:58 PM. Reason: Page size added
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    daveob (23-Oct-08)

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    Full Member derrickm's Avatar
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    I agree with Ian - trying to stop people from copying an ebook is even more futile than trying to stop them from photocopying a regular print book - except without the cost of toner and paper.

    There are ways to protect your ebook, but most of them involve some level of inconvenience for the user - for instance, they generally don't work on Mac computers.

    If you're dead keen on stopping unauthorised access, you could try eBookPro http://www.marketingtips.com/ebookpro/, which lets you deactivate the buyers copy remotely (for example, if they claim a refund). But this means that legitimate users have to connect to the Internet every so often and re-activate their ebook.

    Another possibility is to set up a membership site and only allow the material to be read online (although there's nothing to stop people from printing it). If you add tons of value beyond the actual ebook, this might work for you.

    Derrick

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    Full Member Gaynor's Avatar
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    I think the only way to cheaply get some form of protection is to publish through a group like www.lulu.com, which provides some inconvenience of its own particularly here in South Africa, as it's based internationally - not so easy getting your payments.
    I've written an E-book "Working From Home as a A Transcriptionist in South Africa", and for now the simplest and easiest thing for me is to save it in PDF, A4 size and hope for the best. You can of course put a copyright on it, which I have done. But as Dave says, probably the best thing is to keep updating it with new info. Hope this helps.

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