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Old 02-08-2012, 12:34 PM   #1
Trewaters
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Question Adding DRM to an eBook?

I have a client that wants to add DRM. I have only worked with customers that don't want DRM on their books. Now I am trying to figure out how to add it and how much the software/and or licensing will cost. This is a pretty involved question but does anyone have advice on...

How to add DRM to ePub and mobi/KF8?

Thanks in advance for the help. I will share what I learn with the community.
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Old 02-08-2012, 12:44 PM   #2
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DRM can be added when you upload to a distributor (ie: Amazon, OverDrive, LightningSource, etc.) you don't do anything differently on the creation side of things.

Distributors and bookstores that also act as distributors run their own DRM servers such as Abobe's Content Server 4 or Amazon's own Mobi style DRM.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:49 PM   #3
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Thanks!

That sounds great to me. I was hoping things worked that way.
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:28 PM   #4
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another thought

Okay so I am not trying to beat a dead horse but... My client will be distributing their files from their own website. How would I go about adding DRM to Mobi and Epub files since my client won't be distributing through the normal channels?
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Old 02-12-2012, 08:53 PM   #5
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You can't do it yourself. You'd have to subcontract with Mobipocket, and it would probably be expensive. DRM doesn't really prevent piracy. Also, the vast majority of the market for mobipocket format would be Kindle owners, and Mobipocket DRM isn't compatible with Kindles - only Amazon DRM is. Just distribute through Amazon if you want to use DRM and Mobipocket together.
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Old 02-12-2012, 09:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trewaters View Post
Okay so I am not trying to beat a dead horse but... My client will be distributing their files from their own website. How would I go about adding DRM to Mobi and Epub files since my client won't be distributing through the normal channels?
For Mobi you can't. Regular Mobipocket is all but dead and the Amazon version can only be DRM'd through their site directly as they run the only DRM servers for the format.

For ePub they'd have to buy a copy of Adobe Content Server (about $6K IIRC), pay a per download DRM fee to Adobe ($0.08 per IIRC) and pay an annual maintenance fee ($2K ish IIRC). The content server would add the DRM keyed to the customers Adobe ID when the file is downloaded. I could be off on the costs as I researched them a few years ago, it might be more now.


All that money (and extra tech support they have to provide if something goes wrong for the customer doing the download cost $$$/time) seems like a big waste. Especially since it takes less than 30 seconds to remove the DRM.
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:25 AM   #7
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Thanks for the response AnemicOak & susan_cassidy.

That really helps a lot. I don't agree with DRM myself. But I only get paid if the client is happy with my work. So if they want DRM I will give them the best options I can find.

I wonder if my client feels DRM is worth the investment I will keep you posted...
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:05 PM   #8
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Update: My client feels that her technical book is worth DRMing. We are planning to use Amazon for the Kindle files and Cyberwolf (CyberWolf Publishing Technology Specialist, 1596 Pacheco St. Suite 203, Santa Fe, NM 87505). Cyberwolf has a cheaper solution than buying our own Adobe Content Server. Cyberwolf is only marginally cheaper than buying our own $10,000 US dollar ACS software. But my client can see the payoff with this second solution so that is where we are going. I am still in the middle of setting everything up so this story is not over. But we have moved pass the comparing products stage.

Keep posted for the final Act in this DRM saga.

My own opinion is don't DRM your books. It is not work the cost or P.I.T.A (Pain In The Ass)! And we haven't even dealt with customer complaints from DRM issues after they purchase the product.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:15 PM   #9
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My own opinion is don't DRM your books. It is not work the cost or P.I.T.A (Pain In The Ass)! And we haven't even dealt with customer complaints from DRM issues after they purchase the product.
Yes, plus the DRM can be removed in about 30 seconds and little computer knowledge is required to do so.

Still if it's your customers choice to buy snakeoil so be it. All you can do is educate them to their choices and go from there.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:38 PM   #10
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So how much is your client going to charge for this ePub? If it's cheap enough, maybe we can all buy it, strip the DRM and send it back just to let them know how much of a waste of time, effort & money they've spend on the DRM.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #11
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@AnemicOak - LOL! I agree DRM is no better than SnakeOil for whatever ails you.


@JSWolf - It's a $25 dollar book that is in its 14th Edition. She expects to get more customers with this approach. Our publish date is tenatively for April 30th.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:22 PM   #12
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@JSWolf - It's a $25 dollar book that is in its 14th Edition. She expects to get more customers with this approach. Our publish date is tentatively for April 30th.
Too expensive. But the DRM is going to hinder and not help sales.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:39 PM   #13
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"My client will be distributing their files from their own website."

Unless she already has significant traffic to her site, sales from her own site would probably be minuscule when compared to the sales through the big boys. DRM would kill even the small sales that she might have gotten otherwise. DRM "works" on the sites of the big boys because the purchase process is seamless.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:23 PM   #14
rahulbhadikar
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I've created ePub using XHTML/CSS manually without using any conversion program. How to make it DRM protected or encrypted?
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:37 PM   #15
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How to make it DRM protected or encrypted?
Read the rest of the thread. In summary: the only way is to spend about $10K for Adobe Content Server or a similar amount from a reseller. If you upload to an ebook store, either directly or through a distributer, they pay for the DRM but you only get a fraction of the selling price and you can't typically sell directly from your own web site (you can link to the ebook store).

Since DRM can be removed in about 10 seconds, the best approach if you want to sell from your own site is to go DRM free.
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