15

I've created software to generate valid ebooks from HTML/XML and auxillary files (metadata, cover artwork, etc.) The software produces books in both the ePub and MobiPocket formats and does everthing except add DRM to the book.

My ebooks will be in Norwegian.

I am aware of publisher's arrangements, such as Kindle Direct Publishing. Unfortunately, they will not publish unless the book is in one of the following languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, or Japanese.

What options do I have to add DRM to books that I self-publish?

Assuming no free or near free option exists, if I were to purchase the necessary framework and licenses to do this myself for the ePub and MobiPocket formats, where will I get this software and what will it cost me.

I am also interested in learning about publishers that will accept books in Norwegian and will publish them on the Kindle platform with DRM.

  • How would you distribute your book? – James Jenkins Dec 23 '13 at 11:25
  • 3
    My plan is to set up a web-store to sell downloads of the ebooks my company publishes. My ebooks are in Norwegian, so channels such as Kindle Direct Publishing is not an option (Amazon requires your book to be in English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, or Japanese). – Free Radical Dec 23 '13 at 12:36
  • 2
    You should add these details to your question. They will be important in getting a good answer. – James Jenkins Dec 23 '13 at 12:39
  • I was under impression that Mobi software allowed DRM to what it published, but I didn't pay enough attention to be sure. – DVK Dec 23 '13 at 13:30
  • Though I haven't worked with DRM'd ebooks, I have worked for companies who produced protected videos and who have also made video DRM solutions. The short and skinny of it is this: the only winner is the company selling the DRM. If their solution is bypassed, they still have your money and not only is your book comprimised, but you've lost additional money paying for the DRM. DRM is akin to buying diet books, or exercise videos - it ultimately doesn't matter if it works! If your book is great it will be pirated no matter what you do. However, regardless of whether there's DRM or not, the vast – user3791372 Aug 9 '14 at 14:30
7

Per your comments I have read on EditionGuard that offers an extension for WordPress sites. There is a fee associated with content but my understanding is you upload your content to them, you can sell through your CMS and they will send a DRM ePub. I have not tested this yet, but I had planned to in the future when I had time. Also, note this is for only .epub and .pdf files NOT .mobi files yet.

8

If you are only selling through your own web store, I suggest looking into 'social DRM' - that is, adding information to each individually sold ebook that identifies the purchaser. There are some providers who will add encoded info invisibly throughout the book.

But personally I'd recommend a pretty 'ex Libris' page after the title page giving name of the buyer, when bought and price paid, along with a 'signature' of the author/editor.

Otherwise you're pretty much restricted to Amazon and Adobe DRM added by retailers for you - any other DRM scheme won't work with the vast majority of ebook readers.

7

The easiest thing to add DRM to your e-books is to publish via a publisher who will add the DRM for you.

The DRM enforcement schemes normally rely on a set of keys being available in the consumer device, in order to decode the encoded data. The number of such keys is limited and they (or their private counterparts, depending on the scheme) are therefore normally sold/licensed for significant amounts of money due to the scarcity.

(I have only done DRM for DVD related materials, where the amounts involved for my company where in the 5 digit USD range. I have not done this for e-books, so the prices might be lower for that)

  • @GisleHannemyr, No thanks necessary. I don't know any publishers that support DRM for Norwegian publications, and I don't really understand why Kindle limits the languages (maybe they only have proofreaders for the ones you listed). – Anthon Dec 23 '13 at 12:55
3

It is in fact possible to manage DRM on your products directly through Adobe. For pricing, you would need talk to Adobe sales.

Unless you are planning to market ebooks on a large scale, it's probably much cheaper to go through one of the companies that adds the DRM for you.

But if your company is setting up it's own web store in Norwegian, this may then be the better option for you.

2

Allow me to offer a more modern answer from the perspective of a programmer. To answer your question, solutions may exist, but it's often a cost with no return.

DRM is intrinsically useless. It makes people feel like they're protected, but it provides no actual protection. Every DRM ever created has been broken and every DRM that will be created will be broken. This is because there is nothing about software that cannot be modified or changed at any time. Even the highest security encryption is only valuable until the key to unlocking it is released — and that assumes the encryption itself hasn't been broken (as every form of encryption eventually will be, which is the reason new encryption algorithms are periodically released).

Regrettably, the world is full of programmers who will break DRM simply for the challenge. Once they do, instructions for the programmatically inclined and simple software for those who aren't quickly find their way to the Internet.

In conclusion, DRM (not unlike most gun laws) serve only to keep the basically honest people honest. It will never stop the dishonest from being dishonest. If you sincerely believe your book is or will be both (a) popular and (b) valuable, then your best solution is to publish only in print. DRM will not stop a determined person from duplicating your book.

  • Publishing in print will not protect you either. What can be read can be copied. DRM is technical nonsense, intended only to discourage cheap copying for a while. It also discourages people like myself from buying the book, because I hate inviting cops in my living room to check on my readings. – babou Oct 20 '17 at 14:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.