Okay, so you’ve written an outstanding ebook and you are now anxious to start selling it across the web. Before you leap into action, however, have you taken precautions to protect your ebook from piracy? As a lot of authors will tell you, unless you take additional steps to secure your ebook, it is highly likely that your profits will be greatly impacted by thieves distributing your work on the Internet.
If you thought that piracy was just for ships at sea, think again. Every day, people purchase ebooks and then freely share them with friends and family members. Some do not realize that this is wrong while others just don’t care. While it may seem insignificant for a book to be shared between one or two additional people, think of those one or two sharing it with a few more of their friends and so on and so on. As time progresses, the popularity of a book may surge while the loss of income on these freely distributed copies can be pretty significant.
Aside from people freely sharing ebooks that they’ve purchased, others will pass it on to interested parties with a price tag attached. That’s right. Unless your ebook is properly protected, some unsavory person can purchase it from you and then repeatedly resell your book to others. Usually these conniving resellers offer your book at a lower price, which pulls customers away from your sales, thus affecting your overall profits.
Other times, ebooks are stolen because authors do not obtain an official copyright on their work. As many are aware, once something is written down an assumed copyright is automatically attached. However, an assumed copyright is quite different from an official copyright in that the latter goes a step further in actually registering the work with the U.S. Copyright Office showing the original author as the copyright owner. In so doing, the owner has added protection, which is more easily enforced by the courts should a dispute ever arise concerning a work’s true ownership. When it comes to ebooks, authors are particularly vulnerable to copyright infringement, as there are some who will plagiarize the information contained in an ebook and sell your book with their name on it, instead.
Early Ebook Protection is Best
To protect an ebook against either of these scenarios, attention must be given to protecting your work as soon as it is completed. To protect against free redistribution or reselling, specially designed computer software programs and Internet services do exist that will track IP information in order to monitor who is accessing an ebook or will require a unique registration code in order to access it. The costs of these programs vary and, in general, they work very well for their intended purpose.
A Few Cons About Ebook Security Software and Services
However, as an ebook author, you should be aware that many such programs and services require you to log into a control panel and regularly check the status of the ebooks you are tracking. The more popular your ebook is, the more time-consuming this can be, albeit worth it in most cases. Also, careful attention should be paid so as not to accidentally flag an ebook for removal from a person’s computer after they have paid. These days, most people own more than one computer. Therefore, noticing several different IP addresses attached to the same book may or may not be a case of thievery. It could very well be that a paying customer has simply downloaded the book on multiple computers for their own access.
Copyright Your Ebook
To protect an ebook from plagiarism, it is highly recommended that ebook authors take the time to visit Copyright.gov in order to register their completed works. For a minimal fee, works can be registered online or via a hardcopy form with the United States Copyright Office. Afterwards, should anyone steal your work, proof exists that you are the legally registered owner. Also, by having an official copyright, should litigation ever ensue, this protection provided may also result in legal fee reimbursement, as well as statutory damages.
Many would-be ebook authors shy away from publishing electronic materials, as they fear the ease in which their work can so easily be duplicated, resold or freely distributed. However, as more and more consumers turn to ebooks to satisfy their information cravings, it is clear that the ebook industry is one that is enormously popular and not likely to wane anytime soon. Those who have concerns about ebook piracy needn’t let that concern stop them. It is far better to turn that concern into investigating opportunities and educating ones self on the many, very good options which are available to them for better ebook protection instead.