Monday, August 29, 2011

To DRM or not to DRM that is the question. Or is it?

I get asked all the time about DRM and is having your work out in eBook form safe? Will someone copy and steal it and ... and... and what?

Is it really a question anymore? Do we really think that protecting our work is even worth the effort?

I will start off with a question of my own, this goes to you the author. Are you important enough to steal from?

See, the DRM question all leads to this thought. If you are Stephen King yeah I might take some extra steps and maybe put the DRM on my eBooks. But are you Stephen King? And if you are, don't you make enough to not have to worry about it?

Many authors have tested this theory and all came to the same answer. The more people that read your book the more you make. Even if it is stolen you will still get new fans as maybe the next book they but cuz they got a virus from the site where they stole your first book from. Maybe they have friends and the thief talks all about how great you are. In all it is one more person that knows who you are.

Now I am not for stealing but I am not going to stop it by myself. Might as well not worry about it and move on. J.A. Konrath put one book up for free one month and gave the Word doc away so it could be stolen and his sales went up 60%.

What is easier? Cutting the spine on a print book and scanning it in, or trying to get the thing off of a Kindle or Nook?

Is it worth the time and virus you might get to steal it when you can buy it for about 4 bucks or less? Sometimes it is just easier to buy the dang thing. Besides they were never going to buy your book anyway. People who steal are going to steal, just be glad you got another fan if they like your book.

What about free books? If you gave away 100k free books and half of them became fans you would make a good living. How is this different? Yeah, it is wrong but in the end you got your work in the hands of a person.

So, it will not hurt sales
It will not hurt your growth
It will not hurt anyone really... so what was the question again?

Oh, that's right, you are so in demand that everyone is stealing you book! I forgot... lol

I hope this help you sleep a little better at night. I am going to go steal your book now... cuz I'm cool like that! =)

Author Aaron Patterson: Blog: The Worst Book Ever.


  1. I don't think ANY of the serious readers I know would even think to try and score a pirated copy of a book. I mean, seriously, it wouldn't even occur to them. Paying for books doesn't bother them (there's always the library, too) and they don't have the attitude that they should be getting that content for free.

    Like you say, piracy doesn't seem worth worrying about unless you're one of an elite few. And regardless of the steps taken to prevent it, it will still happen anyway!

  2. Find "steel", Replace "steal"


    Otherwise, good post :)

  3. Proof that you don't need to done spell good to be a writer. Lol Thanks for the heads up.