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Old 01-06-2009, 11:51 AM   #1
Richard Maseles
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eReader sales and DRM questions

I'm looking to sell books in eReader format, but bypassing eReader's convoluted rules regarding titles they'll accept (the rule that sticks out is that they say they'll only do business with publishers who have 25 or more titles-- I'll have 7 at most). Since they've waived their charges for using their conversion software and for royalties, I assume that they're making it possible for people to make and sell books without going through them at all.

1. Is anyone doing this? I mean, not giving books away (nothing wrong with that per se but that doesn't fit my business plan), but selling eReader format books outside eReader?
2. If you are doing this, can you describe something of your e-commerce infrastructure-- do you use off-the-shelf e-commerce modules (or better still, go through a provider who has this)? Die you have to acquire the software/module/whatever for easy sale of intangible products elsewhere, and incorporate it into the e-commerce site? What was your experience?
3. eReader lets me build in some DRM password protection even without going through their site. Does anyone do this? How's it working? Conversely, is anyone out there putting out books for sale without DRM, and tracking what our Asian friends migh tbe doing WRT pirating your product?
4. Back to the eReader site-- is anyone doing business with them even though they don't have 25 titles? What sort of cut do they take? There is a certain attraction to just letting them deal with the e-commerce (and maybe conversion) hassles, but I want to know what the cost is.

All responses appreciated, either on thread or to my e-mail as shown below.

Richard Maseles
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:25 PM   #2
llasram
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Maseles View Post
3. eReader lets me build in some DRM password protection even without going through their site. Does anyone do this? How's it working? Conversely, is anyone out there putting out books for sale without DRM, and tracking what our Asian friends migh tbe doing WRT pirating your product?
As I said in the other thread you started, I'm not a publisher, but I'd skip the DRM entirely. Three notes on that:
  • Heavy e-book readers as a general rule hate DRM. It means tying a book to a particular device, or at least a device which supports that format. This is especially bad with eReader because absolute none of the current generation of dedicated e-book reading devices support the format.
  • The eReader, Mobipocket, and MS LIT DRM schemes have all been broken, so it doesn't actually provide any protection for your books.
  • Fictionwise (which acquired eReader, actually) sells tons of books DRM free. Every one of their "multiformat" books, which they sell in just about every e-book format under the sun, is free of restrictions. If they're having piracy problems, I haven't heard of it.
Out of curiosity, why are you planning to (primarily?) use the eReader format? At least as represented by the users of this forum, it seems to be among the least popular e-book formats for us e-book readers to actually use. Especially if you go DRM-free, there are free tools available which will let you provide your books in almost all current e-book formats.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:29 PM   #3
Richard Maseles
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Why eReader? First, it's not the only format I intend to use, only one of two or three.* I think eReader is the best format for Palm Treo overall, but I could change my mind. Also, it's pretty tied in with Palm itself, and a lot of my market uses Treos. FYI, that market is lawyers, which should explain why I'm not that focused on what the e-book community's preferences are-- most of my potential customers aren't savvy e-book users like this forum, but more likely just lawyers a little more tech-oriented than their peers. I've tested eReader books on lawyers in the past with positive results.

And I have to at least look into the possibility of DRM, although I am prejudiced against it, solely on pain in the butt aspects. But because I'm not giving my products away, I have to assume that there will be some theft, and it's only prudent to look into minimizing that theft.


*The other formats would be those I choose for reading on BlackBerry (looks like Mobipocket at this point) and iPhone (Stanza? eReader?).
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:07 AM   #4
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eReader DRM, Mobipocket DRM and Microsoft .lit DRM provide no protection against copyright infringement. Simple scripts that will remove the protection from the files are readily available. And it only takes one person to remove the DRM and post the file.

Seriously - DRM provides no protection.

Adding some text to the book emphasizing that the book is not free but must be purchased, giving the URL of your web site, will help. That way if a copy does get passed along, you might well make a sale in the end. It's amazing how ignorant many people are about what's the right thing to do.

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Originally Posted by Richard Maseles View Post
And I have to at least look into the possibility of DRM, although I am prejudiced against it, solely on pain in the butt aspects. But because I'm not giving my products away, I have to assume that there will be some theft, and it's only prudent to look into minimizing that theft.
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