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II. Publishing & Marketing Tips > Amazon DRM - yes or no?

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message 1: by Jody (new)

Jody Kihara (JodyKihara) | 18 comments Hi everyone,
When I published my first few e-books, Amazon applied DRM across the board. Now I see there is an option when you upload that you can select DRM or not.

Which do you prefer? And what is your rationale?

thanks,
Jody K


message 2: by Jay (new)

Jay Howard (jay_howard) | 87 comments If you look on Smashwords, Mike Coker argues the case very well against DRM. I tend to agree with him - I'd rather a few were pirated than none read. Even the pirated copies help spread the word.


message 3: by Jody (new)

Jody Kihara (JodyKihara) | 18 comments I've read his article but I completely disagree about pirated copies "helping" - everyone I know who's had their work illegally file-shared, it's just resulted in less sales. Those are people downloading it illegally instead of buying it.


message 4: by Michele (new)

Michele Brenton (banana_the_poet) | 64 comments There are lots of ways for people to get free copies of books. They can borrow ebooks via ebook libraries and that is supported by the Nook and Kindle systems or via the actual Kindle library available to premium account holders. They can get free books when the authors give vouchers for Smashwords or put them on the Kindle free offers. They can borrow paper copies from local libraries or enter Goodreads Giveaways.
Most indie writers are easily contactable online and if someone geniunely wanted a free copy to read for review purposes or simply because they were a fan and had no money - I bet most indies would oblige.
But there is a huge difference between receiving a gift happily given in a controlled way and just helping oneself.
I like DRM - I think it is a professional businesslike way to proceed.
"I'd rather a few were pirated than none read. Even the pirated copies help spread the word."
That isn't the choice - if you are writing good books - then people will read them and tell others about them.
Pricing them properly - offering them free in 'proper' ways that mean the book rises in rank tables and therefore gets seen by the correct bunch of readers in its genre. Taking part in twitter, facebook communities and making sure the book turns up on relevant groups - properly tagging your book so it gets picked up by the many thousands of online ebook sellers who then provide you with a 'shop window' - all these things will get your book in front of people who read and share. And more importantly pay - even if it is just a token payment of 77p/99c


message 5: by Steph (new)

Steph Bennion (stephbennion) | 179 comments I opted to not have DRM on my Amazon KDP titles. This was largely because of the problems I had in setting up Adobe Digital Editions on my Mac, including a time when the Adobe service went down and it refused to recognise my ereader to transfer ebooks. The Amazon service is possibly more robust, but DRM does seem to complicate matters unnecessarily.

It does little to stop piracy (I've never tried it, but am informed that DRM protection can be removed easily using the free program Calibre and some sort of plug-in), though I suppose it would dissuade friends from borrowing each other's ebooks. It's worth bearing in mind that the music industry got rid of DRM some time ago and the oft-threatened spectre of piracy hasn't affected digital music sales.


Michael Cargill Cargill (MichaelCargill) | 217 comments I went with the DRM-free option.

It's counter-productive, and doesn't even perform the job that it's designed to do: prevent piracy.

In fact, I boshed my books up on some torrent sites myself.


Michael Cargill Cargill (MichaelCargill) | 217 comments Jody wrote: "I've read his article but I completely disagree about pirated copies "helping" - everyone I know who's had their work illegally file-shared, it's just resulted in less sales. Those are people downl..."

Sorry, but there is no way that those authors have any credible evidence, that their sales dropped due to piracy, or that DRM helped to prevent it in the first place.


message 8: by Jody (new)

Jody Kihara (JodyKihara) | 18 comments Interesting... what I find puzzling is that when you select either option, you're then stuck with it; so my books that were uploaded back when there WAS no option will always have DRM. If I wanted non-DRM versions I guess I'd have to delete the old ones and start over, thus losing sales rankings etc? I wonder why Amazon doesn't let you switch?


message 9: by Barbara (new)

Barbara G. Tarn (BarbaraGTarn) | 61 comments I'm anti-DRM. https://readersbillofrights.info/ (it's also for authors, I have their author's badge on my blog)
A good post on piracy - OK, deals with games, but it applies to e-books.
http://go-critic.com/piracy-is-it-rea...
People who wants free ebooks are not readers, but downloaders. I don't think the "free" days on KDP Select help overall sales. Even the free downloads on Smashwords don't really help until you have quite a lot of titles up.
Jody, I don't know about Amazon, when I went on KDP there was already the option and I always opted for no-DRM. If you open your book's dashboard, do you see that option or not? As there's no way to delete books on KDP (I know because I had them block a duplicated book I couldn't modify), there must be a way to modify existing titles. Not by unpublishing them. Try ask their support for help!


message 10: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg (yzabelginsberg) | 262 comments My opinion as a customer is that DRM is awfully annoying, and totally useless (anyone who's a little more savvy with computers than just checking their emails knows at least 2 ways of removing DRM anyway). When I buy a paper copy of a book, nobody demands that I buy extra copies to put in my kitchen or in my bedroom on top of my living-room. I don't see why I should buy extra copies of an ebook just to have the dubious privilege of reading it on my computer on top of reading it on my tablet.


message 11: by Jody (new)

Jody Kihara (JodyKihara) | 18 comments Hi Barbara,
When KDP first existed, the only option was DRM. Amazon later decided to give the authors the option.
I've never had any luck getting through to anyone helpful, but I will give it a shot again...!


message 12: by Jay (new)

Jay Howard (jay_howard) | 87 comments I too am stuck with my first novel with DRM (no option then) and my 2nd one without (chosen option). I don't fret about the DRM 1st book, though, as I know it can be removed by those who want to do so. They are both also on Smashwords (no DRM through their policy).


message 13: by D.M. (new)

D.M. Dutcher  | 14 comments I'll probably go without DRM on future works. What convinced me was Amazon's MP3 store, which is completely DRM free and allows multiple downloads to any device. I don't really buy pro-piracy arguments for increasing or lost sales, but it's simply more convenient for customers who do buy.


message 14: by Cassandra (last edited Sep 08, 2012 06:20PM) (new)

Cassandra Giovanni I have the books I purchased that DO have DRM on them in my cloud drive, and I can open them on my laptop, my kindle and my iPhone. All of those are registered under my name, so maybe that is why I have no issue reading the books on multiple devices.
As for my own published works, I use DRM, and I haven't encountered any sort of issues with it.


message 15: by D.M. (new)

D.M. Dutcher  | 14 comments Yes, Cassandra, the cloud drive aspects eliminate a lot of the truly legitimate arguments against DRM-you can transfer them easily among devices, and can even loan them. But I think I liked that they would trust us to not abuse it, and I might as well extend that trust to my readers. (When I develop them, lol)

Thankfully with ebooks there's a combination of low price point and portability that makes a lot of piracy not needed. I'd hope our readers would act honorably, and I think many would.


message 16: by Cassandra (last edited Sep 08, 2012 06:41PM) (new)

Cassandra Giovanni D.M. wrote: "Yes, Cassandra, the cloud drive aspects eliminate a lot of the truly legitimate arguments against DRM-you can transfer them easily among devices, and can even loan them. But I think I liked that th..."

I see--I was a bit confused by the whole thing, as I knew I had no problem with it! I, maybe in naivety, believed it only prevented people from forwarding it to others illegally.
A paperback novel of my book is currently being circulated through multiple hands at a workplace, and I don't mind them sharing it, but it seems as though the internet would be a much larger "sharing realm", like hundreds of people instead of ten in a book club.
I've given many free copies out via email in faith that those people would not forward them, so I am hoping the same as you DM.


message 17: by Jody (new)

Jody Kihara (JodyKihara) | 18 comments D.M. wrote: "Thankfully with ebooks there's a combination of low price point and portability that makes a lot of piracy not needed. I'd hope our readers would act honorably, and I think many would. "
I would hope so, but I had one of my books pirated... I did manage to get it taken down from the sites but it was a big hassle; and disappointing that someone would do that.
I don't *think* ebook piracy is big right now, simply because music and movie piracy is huge! - but I certainly hope it never goes there.


Natasha (Diarist) Holme (natashaholme) | 104 comments I was totally pro DRM until I read a Goodreads author saying he had uploaded his own books to a file-sharing site himself for the exposure. I thought that was wonderful and feel much more relaxed about people gaining illicit copies of my book now.


message 19: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 491 comments haha I always believe that stuff like that is only meant to hinder honest people because nothing can stop crooks and thieves if they really want something.


message 20: by A.W. (new)

A.W. Exley (AWExley) | 470 comments As a reader, I hate DRM. I have paid for the book, why should Amazon control what device I chose to read it on? I buy my books through Amazon but read them on my Kobo, DRM takes me about 30 seconds to get around.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Nooooooo!


message 22: by Isis (new)

Isis Sousa (isissousa) I agree with A.W. I think that readers should be able to read as they want and where they want. Also, if someone comes across your book accidentally (via a pirate copy), if that person likes your work, you have gained a potential costumer and fan :)


message 23: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (LorettaLivingstone) | 130 comments I can read my ebooks on anything, iPad, Kindle app, Kobo app. Why is the DRM a problem?


message 24: by F.T. (new)

F.T. Moore (FT_Moore) | 13 comments Here's a funny story that may describe a relevant analogy. I once had a hunting cabin, deep in the woods. To prevent "trespassing" I pulled a chain across the dirt driveway and stuck a padlock on it. That meant every time I visited the cabin, I had to park the car in a precarious position, get out in the dark, and trudge through the brush to unlock the chain.

One day, a tree fell on the electric wires, which served many other people, not just me. The electric company came out, and found the chain. They unscrewed the screws holding the lock together, and removed the chain.

This is when I realized that a lock only inconveniences the person who did the locking. My lock was a placebo all along.

So, no, I don't do DRM.


message 25: by C.B. (new)

C.B. Pratt (CBPratt) | 42 comments I think it won't be long before they do away with DRM all together. I think big-time publishers like it because as F.T. points out, they *think* it's doing something. Most publishing companies are not particularly savvy about e-publishing. They may believe that DRM is protecting them.

This doesn't mean someone won't come up with an improved DRM (or whatever they may call it) some day soon.


message 26: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 491 comments I opted out. If someone wanted to pirate it, they would find a way.
Also, Smashwords don't have DRM, so why limit only Amazon's customers? They pay the same price.


message 27: by F.T. (new)

F.T. Moore (FT_Moore) | 13 comments And as Mark Coker says, "The indie author's enemy is oblivion, not piracy."


message 28: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Moss (CrissyMoss) | 69 comments Absolutely not!

DRM does not help with piracy. The publishing industry (games, movies, and books) keeps trying to say that it does, but it doesn't. It never did. If you put DRM on your book it just takes a few more minutes tothe crack it then it would otherwise. it doesn't stop it.

DRM does not make you look professional, as someone else suggested. It makes you look annoying to most consumers.

Think about it from the customers perspective.
I just purchased a book, I have it in my kindle library, but I want to read it on my tablet that doesn't support kindle. Why shouldn't I be able to run the book through calibre, change it to a PDF, and read the book I just bought? Why shouldn't I be able to read the book I bought in Calibre, or other ereaders? I bought it. I gave you money for my book, let me read it!

Music, and now game developers are learning that the best way to get people interested in their work is to NOT have DRM on their product. For games it often opens up the world of modding. for music it allows them to switch the MP3 to all their devices, and then they come back for more music.

DRM is a waste of time, energy, and a hassle. It blocks users from using the thing they have purchased legitimately, and sometimes adds region locking so they can't cross some boarders and keep their data.

I hate DRM, I won't use it on any of my books, ever. If it means a few people get a free copy a bit easier oh well. I'm not going to cry about it cause it just means I may have gotten another fan for my writing that I didn't have the day before. And I still have 10 more books they can come buy.


message 29: by Crissy (new)

Crissy Moss (CrissyMoss) | 69 comments I will give everyone a lovely idea of how well DRM works.

Steven King released a book as print only, and said he refused to put it up as an ebook because of piracy.

TWO DAYS after the print copy came out an ebook pirate version was already making it's rounds.

People want to read your books. They want to pay you for them. But they don't want to be hassled because you add DRM, or refuse eBooks. They will get around it, and it won't take them long.

So give them what they want. stop worrying about pirates. Embrace the fact that people love your stuff enough to share it. AND WRITE MORE GOOD BOOKS!

The more books you have, the more chances for someone to find you and buy a legitimate copy.


message 30: by Justin (new)

Justin (JustinBienvenue) | 2072 comments Crissy,
Thats definitely a dfferent way to look at piracy..by embracing it. Not too many people like the whole idea of piracy because people are getting your book for free and that doesn't count toward sales or royalties and they may not leave a review. Also the elephant in the room is the whole fact that they didn't pay for your book and they didn't receive it from you.

I myself marked my book with the ole DRM. I just didn't see the need for people to reach out and snag it for free. If some do fine but thats what the option is there for.


message 31: by James (new)

James Head | 2 comments Well its a very interesting discussion above - but each comment has nailed me more firmly on the top of the fence. HeHe - I am uploading my first book tonight - to click or not to click DRM - that is the question :)
Sounds like if your well established - there's good sense in going for DRM - but for newbies it does not look so important either way. (?)


message 32: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg (yzabelginsberg) | 262 comments As others have said... Pirates will always find their way around. DRM's nothing but (indeed) a placebo, an illusion. Might as well not bother your customer with this.

I can remove a DRM in about 10 seconds tops. Already done. Will do it again. (On ebooks I buy; I don't do distributing pirate copies.) Whatever is needed to fight piracy, it's not DRM or any other thing that will bother customers first.

It's like those annoying 'ads' on DVDs you buy, telling you that piracy is bad, yadda-yadda. Well, guess what, I bought the frelling DVD, yet I (not the people who've grabbed a Xvid copy for free) have to wait for that crap to be over? I mean, seriously, WTF?


message 33: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Kaplan | 140 comments I used DRM because I worked quite hard on writing and publishing the work and I intend to run specials, giveaways etc. Especially with the way Amazon has set things up around this. They now put your book in the library system if you so choose. Someone who purchases the book can actually loan it out to a few people (actually not sure if this has changed recently). And if someone breaks the DRM and starts giving the book away I won't lose any sleep--it suggests that someone wants to read the book enough to put the effort into pirating it.


message 34: by Jeru (new)

Jeru (auxbreak) | 22 comments Piracy shouldn't be tolerated even in the slightest way but unfortunately, we'll just have to deal with it. The good thing, if there's any is that those developing countries, that has no means of buying a Kindle to read(people aren't as popular in some countries) or paying by credit card will somehow get a chance to read your book in PDF format. If it's available for download on the internet, they wouldn't bother finding out if it's being distributed illegally. There's just a lot of authors giving away books for free.
If it's any consolation, you've probably inspired more people than you already knew. On the other hand, sad to say that even if your book is out there, being pirated and no one reads it, that's a different story. So i think we shouldn't think about it too much. I wasn't always fond of reading but when I come across a book that people buzz about, I try to find out more about the author and more of his writings.
Pirated books are free books. If no one reads it, then we need to pick up that pen and write something worth reading.


message 35: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (AndrewLawston) | 223 comments I don't bother with DRM. I want people to be able to read my books as easily as possible, and DRM is a potential barrier to that.

Piracy is a separate issue. But look. I'm an obscure writer of short fiction who got drunk enough and pompous enough to self-publish an anthology one rainy weekend in 2012. Absolutely no one cares enough about my work to 'pirate' my book. And I suspect that applies to most of the other authors here.

If a couple of people *were* so keen on reading my work as to go to the trouble of acquiring it in a morally/legally dubious fashion, then I think I'd be flattered. And amazed.


message 36: by Ken (new)

Ken Doggett (kendoggett) I used DRM on my novel and first collection of short stories. My second collection, two novelettes and a short-short, is DRM-free. The reason? One of the novelettes is a small part of my novel, and, although a complete story in itself, refers the readers to the novel if they want to know more about the character. So it's part entertainment, part advertising, and any pirating of the book just spreads the word.


message 37: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Karl wrote: "I remember when Terry Pratchett was the most shoplifted author in the UK; he was asked about it in an interview and his answer was that he was proud of the title because it meant so many people wan..."

A) DRM only bugs the legal buyer of the e-book. Piracy websites have no problem getting around it, so why bother?

B) You don't lose sales from e-books being pirated, because the people who visit piracy website are not interested in paying for e-books.

C) On the off-chance that someone finds one of your books on a piracy website and likes your work, they can either wait for the rest to be pirated or simply buy your books. Either way, you don't lose sales, but you stand to gain sales.

I don't condone piracy, but I know when it's fruitless to waste any effort on countering it. Especially using worthless protection like DRM.

Pick your battles.


message 38: by A.W. (last edited Jan 23, 2014 05:48PM) (new)

A.W. Exley (AWExley) | 470 comments You will lose sales if you book is only available on Amazon. Absolutely. Not everyone has, nor wants, a Kindle.
I buy from Amazon, strip DRM (takes about 10 seconds) and upload it to my Kobo to read. Is that theft? I have paid for my copy of the book, does it really matter what device I read it on?

Judging by your comment, you don't want people with other devices reading your book? In which case please tell us the name of your book, so I can make sure I don't bother purchasing it and *gasp* reading it on a Kobo...


message 39: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Kelly | 4 comments Colorworld by Rachel E. Kelly People who pirate books will continue to pirate and those who insist on paying for content will continue buying books. I love that the information age makes so much available to me to read, learn, and grow. As an author, I write for myself. If my work benefits others for the better, then my writing has done it's job two-fold. If someone wants to pirate my book and read it, then they are welcome to do so. Popular books, no matter how they got that way, are still the most popular books!


message 40: by Martyn (last edited Jan 24, 2014 01:12AM) (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Nameless wrote: "This is idiotic! B) You don't lose sales from e-books being pirated, because the people who visit piracy website are not interested in paying for e-books."

People who frequent pirate sites will not pay for anything, least of all an e-book by an unknown writer. Explain to me again how that is 'idiotic'?

Nameless wrote: "What??? If my story is stolen and is on a pirated website and a person is not interested in paying for my e-book? Yes I have lost a sale! Yes I have lost money for every stolen/pirated ebook that I wrote and published and is posted and downloaded! Whether a person reads it or not! That is my personal property and it has been stolen from me!"

How do you lose a sale? If your book would not be pirated, do you think the person who cannot download your book from a pirate site would go to Amazon and buy your book? Not likely.

People who like free stuff don't like to pay for stuff, unless they have a good reason to do so. If you check my profile, you will see that I have three books and three short stories for sale. Two of the short stories are available for free. They cost me just as much as the paid short story (writing, editing, formatting, cover), but I give them away free.

Why?

It's called a 'loss leader'. I accept the loss of income on the free stories so people can sample my work. If they like my free stories, they might read the samples of my paid books, decide that I'm worth reading and buy my books.

For the same reason I offer free review copies of my first novel, Reprobate: A Katla Novel, so if someone spots my book and wants to review it anyway, they can read the book for free.

Why?

Because the value of a well-written review far outweighs the price of the book (I don't work for 3.99$, do you?), and giving away an e-book doesn't cost me a sale. Instead, the reviewer might get interested in the other books and buy them, and their reviews might bring me new readers.

That's called marketing. If you call that 'idiotic', you clearly have no idea about the difficulties of getting noticed with 40,000 new books being published every week.

Nameless wrote: "I want my story sold on Amazon, and only available on Kindle. (I could careless about other ereaders.) OR publishing on Smashwords. The DRM bugs the people who want to steal the story. I wrote it, I own it, I published it, I will DRM it... "

If you only sell on Amazon, you're losing sales. You might not care about other e-readers, but that means you disregard readers who don't want to read on Kindles.

It's your prerogative, but by offering your work only on Amazon and putting outdated ineffective digital right management software on the ebooks, you're only screwing yourself.

And you might want to notice something about my post: I can reply to your insults with a civilized response. You might want to try curbing your outrage and exclamation marks. Your strident posts only show your immaturity and lack of business acumen.


message 41: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg (yzabelginsberg) | 262 comments "The DRM bugs the people who want to steal the story."

Uh. No. DRM bugs people who actually bought the story. Those who want a pirate copy know how to make one easily, or where to get one easily. Or they're just not interested, and wouldn't buy the book anyway.

Martyn V. wrote: "It's called a 'loss leader'. I accept the loss of income on the free stories so people can sample my work. If they like my free stories, they might read the samples of my paid books, decide that I'm worth reading and buy my books."

I admit this is exactly what I do as a reader. A lot of "to review" books on my GR account are here because I could get them for free (mostly through R4R groups, NetGalley or 1-day offers on Amazon/Smashwords). If I had had to pay for them, I probably wouldn't have done it, not knowing the author, his/her writing, the kind of stories s/he puts out, etc. It's unfair, but my bank account doesn't care about that. (I wish my bank account were more understanding. I really do. Alas, this shall not come to pass.)


message 42: by Martyn (last edited Jan 24, 2014 05:43AM) (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments "Nameless wrote: "This is idiotic! B) You don't lose sales from e-books being pirated, because the people who visit piracy website are not interested in paying for e-books."

"Nameless wrote: "Who insulted you? You just don't like being classified as a thief?"

You call me an idiot for having business sense.

You call me a thief while I stated that I don't condone piracy. Perhaps you don't know what the word 'condone' means, so I'll put it in simpler terms. I don't like people who steal ebooks and distribute them illegally. I don't frequent their sites, so, yes, I don't like being classified as a thief. I don't steal.

However, I'm aware that I live in a world filled with thieves. That's why I lock my car, my bicycle, my motorcycles, and my house. However, if the only lock available to lock my book only hinders the readers but not the thieves, I prefer not to lock my book. Sure, thieves might copy my book, but at least I won't irritate my readers by putting DRM on my books.


message 43: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Nameless wrote: "No reviews needed if a person writes well enough. Word will get around."

Really? Pray tell me, how? I'm always open to marketing tips.


message 44: by K. (last edited Jan 24, 2014 06:01AM) (new)

K. Raveendran | 4 comments Many of the ebook distribution companies like Smashwords advise its authors not to opt for the DRM feature. However,depending on the type of subjects covered in the book and sales on Amazon, it is in your own interest to opt for the DRM feature, which you can choose at the time of uploading you ebook.

In case the book is not so unique, better not to opt for the DRM option.


message 45: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (GGAtcheson) | 491 comments I think we know by now Nameless. It's an interesting statistic but you reposted the same info three times already. :(


message 46: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments If you really don't want your book to end up on a piracy website, don't publish any e-books, but publish only in print.


message 47: by Shannon (new)

Shannon Pemrick | 55 comments Nameless, you're coming across as someone who is very thin skinned, which isn't good as an author. You're going to be criticized and your opinions are going to be challenged and you're going to to need to be able to handle those situations well, which, from what I'm reading, you're not doing. It's okay to have an opinion that you're going to stick to, but to be belligerent about it and not have an open mind to understand where other people opposed to your opinion are coming from, you're not going to get yourself anywhere. From what I've gathered, from your opinions on DRM and about your readers (which seems to be very poor), and your lack of ability to handle a debate without getting angry with others who are against your opinion, you're not an author I want to buy a book from. You're the type of author readers avoid because they come across as awful people to know and they don't want to support those kinds of authors.

As for my opinion of DRM, I use to not have an an opinion either way. I had never had an issue with it when it came to books and I didn't see how it hurt an author. Course, being a gamer, I should have known better. DRM with games is terrible and causes issue and I should have known just because I wasn't having issues with books I read, others weren't so lucky.

I've come to learn DRM really only hurts those who are true readers of an author's work. It punishes them and not any of the pirates because everyone know if a pirate wants something, they're going to do whatever it takes to get it for free. If you go onto google you'll find it's just that easy to strip DRM off a book. Is stripping DRM right? Well it depends. If you're doing it because you purchased the book and want to have it on another device you own as well, then I can't say it's wrong. You rightfully purchased the book and should be able to put it on whatever e-reader device you own. If you're doing it because you want to pirated it, distribute it for free, and the works, then obviously that's wrong and it shouldn't be condoned, but it's not all that easy to stop either. If it were easy to stop thieves and eliminate it, then we'd get to the point where we wouldn't know what a thief was.

Is pirating really all that bad? Legally, yeah, it's an issue. Marketing/business wise, not so much. If someone is going to go through the trouble of getting your book for free when it has a price tag, then more than likely they were never going to purchase it otherwise. There are some people who pirate then buy if it's worthwhile. I'll admit, I did this in my teen years because I didn't want to waste money on junk. If it was worth my money I went out and bought it. I also knew people who didn't like to pay for anything. But back to the point, if they're going to pirate it, it's safe to assume they were never going to buy it in the first place so you can't say you were losing money, because they weren't going to buy it anyways. BUT it's possible they will talk about it to their friends if they like it. If they like it, even if they don't buy it, might tell someone about it and that person might buy it and if they just pirate you're still not losing a sale because they weren't going to buy anyways. So on a business stand point, you don't lose any money, but you can gain readers and a fanbase and that's important for those who want to make writing a job. The money is great aspect to look at, but you need a fanbase to support you. And in the end, if you're good at what you do, you're going to find more people buy your books than they steal.

I made the mistake of putting DRM on my book. Amazon and Nook don't allow you to take it off once it's applied, while Kobo does (though their system is a hassle to work with) so there's nothing I can do about the Kindle and Nook versions. All future releases I'll be keeping it off because I want to be kind to my real readers. I want my fans to be able to have the book they paid for without any hassles for fear of a pirate that will just get his/her hands on it anyways. That's why when my hardcopy comes out this next month I'm opting into kindle's feature that allows them to download the books for free if they purchase the hardcopy through them.

Some people will think I'm dumb for making this choice, others won't. I used to think it was good for authors but when I asked around for opinions from readers (going in with an open mind) I was given information that I could use to fully understand what DRM does to people (and ultimately authors) and make a concrete decision of a side I'd choose.


message 48: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg (yzabelginsberg) | 262 comments Martyn V. wrote: "Nameless wrote: "No reviews needed if a person writes well enough. Word will get around."

Really? Pray tell me, how? I'm always open to marketing tips."


Yes, I admit I, too, would like to know how "word gets around" if people don't bother reviewing the book. Reviewing is, after all, a way of "talking about" it. I don't really care when someone tells me "yo, this book's the bomb-shiggity!" I care much more when they let me know why they liked it (=review).


message 49: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg (yzabelginsberg) | 262 comments Nameless wrote: "You go on Amazon or some other store and you pay for a story/book. You do not own that story/book! You are just being allowed to read it! "

To be honest, THIS is the problem I have with DRM. When I buy a paper copy, I "own" the book. Not the copyright, of course, not the story itself: I mean the book as an actual item. I can read it wherever and whenever I want. I can read it in my living-room, on the train, in a coffee-house, etc; I'm not limited to an either/or, to reading either in the kitchen or in my bedroom.
So when I buy an ebook, sure, I'm not going to pass illegal copies around, that'd be just nasty on my part. However, I still paid for it, so I at least want to be allowed to read it on, say, my phone AND my tablet. (NB. My former tablet ran a version of Android on which you couldn't install the Kindle app. Any Kindle I bought, I couldn't read on it, and had to convert to EPUB to read with another app. Sometimes you just don't want to read on a small Smartphone's screen, is all.)

If I pay a ludicrous sum for an ebook (some sell for almost the same price as a paper copy), I want to "own" it in the way I mentioned above. And if I can't, well, why should I bother buying it at all? I could simply shell out my 15 euros/year for a library subscription—and authors wouldn't earn any money from me anyway, only royalties on the one copy bought by the library.

There's the problem. DRM as it is isn't the right solution IMHO, since—again—the ones it really annoys are the honest buyers, not the ones who never planned to pay for their books. Annoying the buyer =/= good marketing technique.


message 50: by Martyn (new)

Martyn Halm (amsterdamassassinseries) | 916 comments Yzabel wrote: "If I pay a ludicrous sum for an ebook (some sell for almost the same price as a paper copy), I want to "own" it in the way I mentioned above. And if I can't, well, why should I bother buying it at all? I could simply shell out my 15 euros/year for a library subscription—and authors wouldn't earn any money from me anyway, only royalties on the one copy bought by the library."

You can back-up your Kindle on your Mac/PC. You can then read all the files on your Kindle for Mac/PC app. That would take care of the horror stories of Amazon remotely wiping libraries.

Libraries pay 'royalties' - every time you check out a book of a living writer, the author receives money. Not much (0.05-0.20$), but it can become a sizeable amount if your book gets borrowed a lot.


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