Publishing a book is a wonderful achievement, and you probably want to protect it from being pilfered. But protecting your book using digital rights management tools may not be in your best interest.
Digital Rights Management, or DRM, is designed to protect your content online by “locking content into an account, requiring a password to open a file, making use of a hardware key, or applying digital watermarks,” according to American Libraries blog e-Content.
I would argue that rights are liberating, but DRM is, in fact, restricting. Consider this, DRM “controls what you can do with the digital media and devices you own,” according to Defective by Design. So, it can prevent people from sharing your work. In other publishing, such as the magazine industry, relies on the pass along rate, the rough number of times a magazine issue gets handed off to a non-subscriber. When friends share an issue with other friends, people can taste the content and may decide to purchase that magazine. With DRM, pass along is eliminated, and so goes your chances of finding new readers using that method.
The same idea is important for books too. Recently, I purchased a book, not because it was recommended to me, but my friend gave me a copy to borrow. I read the first chapter, was hooked, logged onto Amazon, and that author made a sale. Continue reading