Like many industries today, the book sector is deep into its transition towards a mainly digital forum. eBooks have been all the rage over the last few years, ballooning to about 20% of the book market over that time. With the convenience, eBooks offer to customers and the ease with which authors can now self-publish through larger platforms like Amazon, FairPlay, or Google, it’s easy to see why they’ve grown in popularity so much.
Of course, there’s a catch, which is that eBooks also come with some glaring flaws. While it is indeed easier to disseminate your product out to the world through digital channels, those channels are also extremely vulnerable to pirates looking to steal copyrighted material. That’s why if you’re an author or small business looking to get an eBook out on the market, you should be thinking about how to keep your intellectual property safe.
Knowing how to secure eBooks should be one of your top considerations once you’ve finished all the writing and insufferable editing, and you’re ready for publication. There are many different techniques and tools one can use to keep their eBook protected, and we’ve outlined some of the best ones below. They’re also not too complicated and are relatively simple to implement, so we know everyone out there can make good use of these tips to get the security they need for their work!
Tips And Techniques To Help Secure eBook
PDF Is Your Friend
One of the simplest ways to give yourself a leg up security-wise is to convert your files into PDFs. This type of document format supports data encryption and is one of the most secure approaches to transferring data over the internet. With PDFs, you can also customize the user access level to your specific preferences.
Not to mention that viruses and malware will not affect the protection your content receives when in PDF format. If you have any illustrations or other kinds of visual elements included in your content, they will also render in high-quality in a PDF document. And it’s worth mentioning that interactive functions are almost always available when dealing with this format as well.
Watermark Your eBook
Even though it is not bulletproof that it can protect your eBook on its own, but it’s a big step in that direction. You can make it virtually impossible for others to take credit for your hard work by splashing your customer's name and/or email in watermark form on every page of your document.
Digital watermarks are hard to remove or change by would-be pirates, the more the pages or pictures the harder it will be, so they’re a great start to your eBook’s cybersecurity strategy for preventing the illegal use of your copyrights. These watermarks allow paying customers to enjoy your product with no problem while providing a strong deterrent for people who would pass your work off as theirs.
A watermark can be both in the form of an image or flat text, visible or invisible. “Invisible,” you say, “doesn’t that defeat the purpose of it?” Whether visible or not, the watermark is embedded into the code of the content when someone buys it. This can include the user’s name and email address, as well as that of the publisher or author. If you ever found your work online you can send it to us and we will determine who is the buyer.
Dynamic Watermarking is a more advanced level of watermarking, it works by putting the buyer’s information in the code of your eBook, you’re making people think twice about distributing your product without your consent. If their name and info are embedded in the product they’re trying to sell illegally, it won’t be too hard to trace it back to the source, right? And once you find the culprit, it’s up to you to what extent you want to enforce your legal rights against them.
Get Your eBook Registered
This is a critical step in getting your eBook the protection it needs and deserves. Getting your eBook registered creates an official public record of your copyright over that content. Depending on your situation, you may get notification of copyright infringements, but you may also need to keep tabs and check for any occurrences yourself. If you do encounter some illegal activity, the best course of action would be to get in touch with your legal team and look into your options for bringing a suit against the guilty party.
Acquire Official Copyright Notice
If you’re looking to get published, it’s essential to understand the copyright law that holds weight wherever you are. This is especially true if you’re self-publishing on your website. Registering for copyright protection helps prove that you are, in fact, the actual creator of the content in question.
Going even further, you can also put together a legal notice with all of the boilerplate, ‘all rights reserved’ language that you need to protect yourself and your product, and have it checked by your lawyer. This way, no one can play dumb by trying to say they weren’t aware that it was yours because it’s all right there in the legal notice. If you do catch someone copying, altering, or reselling your content after that, bringing a successful suit against them will prove easy.
Find Yourself Some DRM Protection
If you’re truly serious about securing your eBook, looking into some trusted digital rights management (DRM) protection software would be a smart move. Not only can DRM protection software ensure that only the people who paid can view your eBook, but it can also determine what those buyers can do with your content, which is arguably just as important. You can control everything from how many days they have to read your eBook to how many devices they’re allowed to view it on.
DRM protection software is a more all-encompassing technique for securing your eBook, including watermarking tools, as well as more advanced encryption technology. However, it also annoys your readers since they can't read it freely. If they purchase it on kindle, there's no way for them to read it on mobile, PC, etc. They're bound to use kindle and this is exactly where the pirating begins. It begins when they felt they purchase it, why can't they read on whatever devices they like? Then they search for a way to crack it and further with anger they just spread it.
This is why we recommend using a watermark against traditional DRM. It does not annoy your reader and they don't need to crack any DRM. The watermark is just there so they know this is what they purchase. They can copy it and read it on any device, but not post it on the internet since there's their name on it.
We hope after reading through these five tips and techniques, you now feel prepared to protect the copyrights of your eBook content. Now it’s time for you to get publishing – bon voyage!