Protecting your eBooks: A Look at DRM and DRM Alternatives from the Publisher and Consumer Perspectives

by Laura


When talking about eBook protection, Digital Rights Management (DRM) is the buzzworthy term. While seen as both a positive and a negative by many across the industry, the reasons for its use by publishers are as diverse as the publishers themselves.

Discussing DRM and DRM alternatives from both the publisher and consumer perspective, Sheridan eCommerce Manager Brian Nordyke explains to a group of publishers during a customer event what it means to sell protected content to consumers in eBook form.  Below are excerpts from the talk to help guide you through the options of eBook protection.

Protecting Your eBooks Video 

A look inside DRM

“DRM is applied at the time of purchase, not at the time the file is converted to an eBook. It is not something that happens to the file itself, but is rather an option that you can turn on and off.”

Software is needed to read a DRM-protected eBook. If a consumer does not have the specific software installed on the device they want to read the book on, they will need to download it first and then download the book they want to read. Essentially, “a DRM-protected eBook creates an ownership between the person that bought the book and the book itself.” While files cannot be shared with other users, a consumer can download the file on up to six different devices.

Are there options that allow me to protect my content other than DRM?

Sheridan discovered an alternative to DRM through Online Reading. “It’s protected in the same fashion as a print book is—only one of them exists—it just exists in the cloud rather than on a physical shelf.”

While offering more robust tools and features beyond the typical eBook reader—such as note taking, highlighting, the ability to create flashcards, and more—with Online Reading customers do not need software to access their purchased content. “Online Reading allows your consumers to read a book immediately after purchase without having to download a file or software—they access the eBook on the cloud when logged in to your site.”

Deciding which eBook protection option is right for you

“Deciding if you want to protect your content is a very individual decision to make.” Sheridan will be glad to review the options available to allow you to make the best decision for your needs.

Learn what it means to sell protected content to consumers by watching the short video.