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Writers and Editors (Pat McNees's blog) RSS feed

EBook basics for authors (part 2: DRM, or copy protection)

Can authors self-publish eBooks from their own website?
Technically yes. In real life, says Josh Tallent, no. ePub is a great open-source format that several firms use. The problem is DRM (copy protection), for which the bookseller pays a sizable fee. So you can sell your own eBook from your website, but you can’t sell a locked-down copy-controlled version of your eBook.
This is part 1 of a 3-part report on a talk eBook experts Josh Tallent and David Rothman made to the Washington Biography Group, May 2, 2011. Some of the details may now be out of date, but the broad explanation may still be helpful.  <a href=""target="_blank">Smashwords</a>, for example, boasts of "producing DRM-less ebooks" on its About page.

Should you copy-protect your eBook? That depends.

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