How can I protect an ebook?

15 replies
I'm working on ebook. I'm wondering how I can distribute it in a way in which it's at least somewhat protected. I know it's impossible to protect 100%. Maybe just a password protected PDF. might be an option. Anyone else have any stronger solutions? Please let me know. Thanks.
#ebook #protect
  • Profile picture of the author Exire
    Depending on the niche, a simple password protected PDF could work. The internet marketing niche is full of tech-savvy types who will just share the ebook and the password so it won't do you a ton of good. Other niches with less tech-savvy consumers will probably not even consider sharing your ebook to begin with for the most part, particularly if you clearly state that they can't do so within the ebook itself, so it should be relatively safe. You could even send the password via email through an autoresponder and state that the password was generated for and linked to their account to try to convince them not to share it. But, again, if it's the internet marketing niche that probably won't actually scare anyone.

    I believe there are also software solutions that will allow you to "wrap" PDF files--and other types of files--and allow you to "disable" them if the file is shared. These can be pricey though and probably require a monthly fee. If you want to go this route I would suggest checking software developer forums as they'd probably know of a solution you could use or, if all else fails, you could ask one of them to develop it for you if you wanted to outsource it.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    Yes there are ways to protect the pdf from being copied or printed. Is that what you mean?
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
    It's extremely hard to distribute a PDF with protection. I've been selling eBooks in large amounts and have had a lot of trouble securing my eBooks at the time that I was selling them. I'm not too sure if there are some secure options now, but if there are, I know that they will cost a load of cash! Moreover, I'm sure people have developed loopholes against almost every one of them. The best thing to do is either create video courses (which aren't very secure but a LOT of secure than eBooks) or software which can easily be secured.

    Personally, what I did earlier was search up my eBook on google mentioning keywords such as "GET" presuming that my eBook was downloaded illegally. Then I simply sent DMCA notices to every one of the websites threatening legal action and they took it down in a buzz!
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Chicas
      When I first started writing I was very concerned of being ripped of when sharing my work, ideas, ebook. With time I've learn to let go. Just put your work out there without being afraid, give value, and sooner or later you'll rip the rewards.

      What I also like to do is make the work more personal so it will be harder for others to say it's theirs. Within your writing talk about your website, background, experience - that way it will actually require work for someone to break apart and steal.

      I am also looking into having Google alerts and other software running to notify me of any duplicate work on the net.

      Hope this helps. Best of luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    An effective way is to change the format of your ebook into a one-time fee membership website. You can put some protections on the webpages and if someone asks for a refund you can disable their access. It takes some additional work, but once you have your first template, it gets a lot easier.

    A password protected PDF gives you some protection, but it is very little. There are also ebook compiliers that allow you to disable the ebook in case of a refund (Ebook Generator is one of them).

    There are also software programs that will code each PDF with a serial number or an additional picture and so on and so forth.

    My experience with most of these solutions is that they offer a very thin layer of protection (I'm talking so thin that it would make Trojan blush.....lol). The reality is that people that don't believe in paying for things know how to get these things for free no matter what you do. Is the effort worth it? Only you can decide that.

    After examining hundreds of infoproducts in dozens of different markets it would leave me to believe that the answer is "no". Luckily, the majority of purchasers are honest people.

    RoD
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    "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out."
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  • Profile picture of the author david carr
    Use WP PDF Stamper Plugin | Tips and Tricks

    that way if anybody shares your ebook you will know
    regards
    dave
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    @Dave, Have you used that and how does it actually work? I know it says it stamps info at the bottom. but how does that prevent copying?
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    Cheers, Laurence. Writer/Editor/Proofreader.
    Visit my site for more info

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  • Profile picture of the author HarrisonJ
    Just don't worry about it. Keep producing good content, products, and if someone steals something from you go after them but they likely won't.
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  • Profile picture of the author tampaprogrammer
    I would just make sure you have some important links linking about your products/services/websites throughout the PDF so even if it gets stolen, you at least have some viral exposure from it.
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  • Profile picture of the author webmazter
    Can some one say Snagit!

    lol with so much screen captures out there its almost impossible to get around it.

    Passwords only work for buyers but buyers who use snagit can simply make a boothleg version without any problems.........
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    If you build it they will come! The LSI Specialist
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  • Profile picture of the author Exire
    tampaprogrammer is actually on to something here. You could just put a few affiliate links in the ebook with the expectation that it will be shared (since it probably will be). This can actually generate you quite a bit of affiliate sales if the book is popular enough.

    Instead of trying to prevent piracy, embrace it!
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    An ebook cannot be protected no matter what anyone tells you. If the content can be read by someone then the content can easily be copied and re-distributed. Stop worrying about people stealing your work and just concentrate on selling your work. You will make more money that way.
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    • Profile picture of the author JustVisiting
      Once opened any pdf can be copied and edited no matter how you try to secure it.
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      "...If at first you don't succeed; call it Version 1.0"
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin_Hutto
    I would worry more about getting it to sell than someone sharing it.
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  • Profile picture of the author nm5419
    Why not sell it as a Kindle ebook?
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