6 Best Tips to Protect eBook Piracy in 2023

| | March 24, 2024

eBook piracy is the act of illegally copying eBooks and distributing them to the public either for free or at a very low price. It is a problem because it prevents writers and publishers from getting paid for their work.

There are many reasons why people pirate eBooks, but one of the main reasons is that they are available for free or at a lower price.

It has become a huge problem for authors, publishers and readers alike. In fact, in the last few years, there has been a huge surge in online eBook piracy. This is due to a number of factors including the easy availability of pirated books online and the lack of enforcement from publishers and distributors.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why it matters and what you can do to stop piracy of eBooks.

Let's get started.

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6 Best Tips on How to Protect eBook Piracy

There are many reasons why people create eBooks. One of the major reasons is to help them grow their blog or business or make money by selling eBooks online.

Ebooks are an excellent way to share your knowledge with the world, and they can help you grow your blog or business. They also give readers the ability to learn more about a topic and reference it later on.

Some popular ways in which an eBook can help you grow your business are:

  • It provides more traffic to your website and improves conversion rates
  • It helps you get more subscribers
  • It helps you get more customers
  • It helps you build your brand name
  • You can make money selling eBooks

With the advent of technology, eBooks have become a more popular form of reading. In fact, people are now more likely to read eBooks than print books. In 2020, eBook revenue in the United States reached 1.1 billion U.S. dollars, up from 983.3 million in the previous year. However, this popularity has also led to an increase in eBook piracy and illegal downloads.

This article will discuss some of the most common security measures you can take to prevent this from happening to your publications.

If you're looking to create eBooks for your business or blog, you can check out our article - Software for Creating eBooks, where I have compared some of the best tools (both free and paid) that you can use to create eBooks.

1. Choose The Right eBook Format

Different eBook publishing platforms have different format requirements for your eBook. For example, if you want to publish your eBook on platform like Amazon Kindle, you need to convert your eBook in the AZW or MOBI format.

However, if you're planning to sell eBooks from your own website, PDF format would be the best option for you.

As PDF files supports data encryption, it is one of the most secured file formats that you can use for your eBooks.

Plus, security features like password protection and PDF stamping makes it much more viable options to prevent online eBook piracy.

2. Password Protect Your eBook

One of the easiest way to protect illegal download of your eBook is password protection. This method works best when you're selling eBooks to your users.

Before you make your eBook live for selling, you can set up a password for it.

When a user purchases a copy of your eBook, you can email them the password. This will ensure that only genuine buyer of your eBook can download and access your eBook after entering the valid password.

Though your users have the option to share your password with others but this method is still very useful to prevent online piracy of eBooks.

Thus, password protecting your eBook must be on your radar if you're looking to sell your eBooks and prevent illegal downloads.

3. Set Up Google Alert

If you want to find whether your eBook content is being used illegally elsewhere you can now easily track it using Google Alert.

By setting up Google Alert you can easily monitor whether the content from your digital publications including eBooks are being used online.

To set a Google Alert you need to follow this steps:

  1. Go to this page - Google Alert.
  2. Under 'Create an alert about...', enter the words or sentence you want to track.
  3. Click on Create Alert to complete finishing the set up.

You can also configure additional options under Google Alert like language, region, email address to get alert, frequency of alert and more.

As soon as you get any alert from Google regarding your content, you can track the sources and contact them to remove your content.

Thus, Google Alert helps to protect eBook piracy by tracking content from your eBooks that are used without your permission.

4. Restrict Editing of Your eBook

Earlier in this article I have highlighted why you should consider converting your eBook in PDF format. The other advantage of using PDF format for your eBook is that you can restrict users of your eBook from making any changes to it.

So, the idea is to secure your PDF files by restricting editing and copying the contents even before you starting to sell it online on eBook selling platforms.

You can use tools like Adobe to restrict editing of your eBook by following the steps mentioned below.

  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat
  2. Select File and click on Properties
  3. Select the Security tab in the Document Properties dialog box
  4. Select Password Security in the Security Method drop-down menu.
  5. Check “Restrict editing and printing of the document” in the Password Security dialog box.
  6. Choose the printing option you want to allow: None, Low Resolution (150 dpi), or High Resolution.
  7. Choose the changes/edits you want to allow:
    (i) None
    (ii) Inserting, deleting, and rotating pages
    (iii) Filling in form fields and signing existing signature fields
    (iv) Commenting, filling in form fields, and signing existing signature fields
    (v) Any except extracting pages
  8. Enter your password, then confirm your password and finally select Ok to complete the process.

Though you can't prevent your eBook from illegal download or distribution, but using the above method you can prevent users from making unwanted changes to your content.

5. Add Digital Watermark To Your eBook

Adding digital watermark to your eBook is another great protection feature that you can use. Using watermark on your eBook you can protect your eBook from illegal sharing or reselling.

How it works?

When a buyer purchases your eBook, a watermark gets embedded into the eBook. The watermark may include the buyer's name, email address and other details. This process is also sometimes called PDF Stamping.

The buyers of the eBook will not be able to edit or remove the watermark which makes it almost impossible for them to make any changes or resell it as their own.

Online eBook selling platforms like Sellfy offers this feature to watermark the buyer's detail automatically on the eBook once the purchase it. You just need to enable PDF Stamping and you're good to go.

Make use of this watermark or PDF stamping feature to discourage your users from illegal sharing and prevent piracy of your eBook.

6. Set Up DRM Protection

DRM is a form of Digital Rights Management, which is a system that helps to protect the copyright of the work by restricting access to it. The DRM software encrypts the eBook and then locks it with a password, ID or an authentication code.

DRM ensures that your publications like eBooks or any other digital documents are only accessed by people who have the secure access key.

Using DRM you can secure your eBook or other digital documents in one or more of the following ways:

  • Restricts access to a single customer
  • Customer can download files to limited devices
  • Downloaded files cannot be copied or transferred to other devices
  • Files cannot be shared with other users

There are many online tools that you can use to secure your eBook from piracy, copying & sharing. Thus, to ensure that only authorized users have access to your eBook, you need to secure it with DRM. To know more you can check this article - eBook DRM.

If you want to write eBooks for your business or blog but don't know how to start, check out our article - How to write an eBook, where I have detailed all the important steps that you need to follow to publish your first eBook.

Wrapping Up

eBooks are one of the best ways to grow your audience and make a passive income online by selling it on platforms like Amazon or Payhip.

Website owners can also use it to build their email list in no time provided their eBooks provide content that is valuable to their readers.

But they also need to take care that their content are not being abused by your unfaithful customers who distribute it online without your permission.

You can take advantage of the all the solutions mentioned above. Start implementing these techniques to secure your work online.

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Deepak Choudhary

Deepak Choudhary is the founder of Technicalwall.com. He is a Blogger and an Affiliate Marketing Expert. He publishes useful articles for newbie bloggers related to the following topics - Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, Software Reviews, Software Tutorials, Blogging, WordPress, SEO, Passive Income, and more.