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eBook hosting and DRM

Old 17th May 2024, 11:01
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eBook hosting and DRM

An organisation I volunteer for is thinking about producing a downloadable eBook for sale via their website. They are currently scanning the material to become a large pdf file. So fa so good. Anyone have any experience or just hints about low cost places to host the book, file format for download and how to control people just copying it, digital rights management I believe it is called?

The book will have both text and lots of colour pictures. It has aviation content.

We don't have a big budget and don't expect a tsunami of sales, but hopefully just a steady trickle.
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Old 17th May 2024, 16:00
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Iím afraid I donít have a solution for you but a simple pdf does not really enable any DRM or other control of access to the content. You can set it to require a password to open the file but this can be easily overcome and is more of a nuisance than anything else! Adobe does offer a product that does proper DRM but itís expensive. You might find a program called Calibre useful - I think it will convert PDF to your choice of e-reader format (epub seems to be the most popular) and it might do some form of DRM.

i donít know much about hosting either Iím afraid but maybe selling through Amazon would include other useful facilities as well as storing the file.

Just thinking on the DRM thing again, if itís a book that is not likely to attract pirates it might be more trouble than itís worth to protect it. I publish a small magazine and we take rudimentary measures to limit access to those who have subscribed - I have tried to get at it using freely available tools and workarounds and been successful but Iím not aware of any cases of it circulating in the wild as it were. Hope some of that is helpful 🙂.
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Old 17th May 2024, 19:12
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Amazon offer a self publishing option called Kindle Direct Publishing. Amazon will take 30% of their royalties but other than that there is no cost to the organisation & Amazon will take care of DRM.

To prepare the book you need to use their Kindle Create software. The standard Kindle format needs to be imported from a doc(x) file, the print replica format can be imported from a pdf but interactive elements such as video, audio, hyperlinks won't be available on iOS, Macs or PCs.

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Old 21st May 2024, 12:13
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Thanks for the responses. It appears we will now go down the traditional printing route as our first project, then look again at downloads.
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Old 22nd May 2024, 09:41
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Just a quick note: If you're scanning to PDF you are basically producing large images. The text will not be searchable. After that you will need to use some sort of OCR or editing software to get the text back and you will need A LOT of proofreading and editing to get it to a clean DOC format again.
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Old 27th May 2024, 02:21
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To create a proper, compliant epub ebook, I use Jutoh. Works a treat. I did the initial draft in Word, then imported that into Jutoh. It has styles and table of contents. Bit of a learning curve (as with any new program) but well worth it in terms of compliance with the epub standard. I used Kindle Create only to check the epub was compliant.

For publishing/sales, use:
-Draft2Digital.for most of the ebook publishing houses including Apple books (using Apple direct was too hard from an admin POV).
-Kindle Direct Publishing for Amazon
-Google Play Books for Google Play

You can set the DRM for each. Whether or not to is the $64,000 question. Are people really going to pirate your book? Will be cheap enough that people are happy to pay?
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