Digital Rights Management

Digital Rights ManagementIf you have set out to publish a book on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) then you have no doubt come across the question of do you want to select “Digital Rights Management?”


I’ve published quite a few of my own digital books and assisted other authors in getting their digital books ready for distribution on Kindle and each time I have to research about “Digital Rights Management” to see if it is something I want to do or would suggest to my clients that they do.


Digital Rights Management or DRM is a decision you must make knowing exactly what you are doing... Click To Tweet because once you make a choice, you cannot reverse your decision.


“Digital Rights Management” was created to deter the copying of your digital contents (e-books, Kindle books, etc.)

Enabling “Digital Rights Management”

Choosing to use DRM gives your e-book more security to keep unauthorized sharing of your copyrighted work. But we have to be realistic in this modern age of technology, this will not stop it completely. The bad guys seem to always find ways to get around a road block. Even though it is not fool proof, some authors decide to enable “Digital Rights Management.”


One thing you need to understand is that DRM will hinder the person who has purchased your e-book through legal means and they will not be able to sync and share on their other devices like I-Phones, Androids, etc. I know I like to have the books I’ve purchased available to me on my phone or tablet when I’m out; maybe when I’m waiting for a doctor appointment or other parents who are waiting on the kids after school or from baseball practice or dance lessons.


Choosing “Digital Rights Management” in this case just “may” lose you a book sale if customers are not able to access their purchases when they want.


I came across this great comparison about DRM while researching for this post.  


Enabling DRM is like placing a lock on your book.  However, this “lock” keeps the honest people out (i.e. paying customers).  It causes anyone who is dishonest to work harder to remove the “lock.”  But in the end, it does not truly stop piracy. This analogy is from Shelley Hitz at Magnolia Media Network. 

Disabling “Digital Rights Management”


Digital Rights Management for e-bookEach time I am working on publishing another e-book, I have to look up the definition of “Digital Rights Management,”  I can’t seem to remember from one time to the next but maybe this post will help.  In the end, I always choose to “NOT” enable it on my e-books but this is a choice you need to decide for yourself.


My reasoning is and yours might also be to make your work more available to people, even at the potential loss of a few book sales in order for your e-book to be seen by many more people.


Consider it another form of marketing that your buyer is doing for you. I’m not encouraging copying and sharing of anyone’s work but look at it this way…


Let’s say Mary buys your e-book and she likes it so well that she tells Linda about it and Mary lets Linda read the book. If Linda likes your writing, she may very well go searching online for other books that you have written and you have another reader looking to read anything new that you write. Do you think Linda will probably tell some of her friends about this new author she has found?  You bet your bottom dollar she will.


So as an author, the decision you need to make is whether you can justify enabling DRM to save some sharing of your book vs. disabling DRM with the strong possibility that your book is going to reach many more readers by word of mouth.


I trust that I have explained “Digital Rights Management” a little better for you and the next time you go to publish a digital e-book, you will have already decided what option is best for you.


question-mark-460863_640Just out of curiosity, what have you decided concerning enabling or disabling “Digital Rights Management” on your next e-book and why?


I would be interested and I’m sure others would also be interested in knowing if you have different reasons for or against DRM.


Leave your comments below and sharing is appreciated.

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