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Inhibiting “Sharing” of eBooks

Ann Wylie

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Here are the responses I received to the question: I’m getting ready to turn my physical handbooks and manuals into eBooks for online sales. What do you do or avoid in the eBook itself or in the message with the download to avoid or mitigate “sharing” of these books?

-- Joan Stewart

Acrobat lets you choose from several different security options when you create the ebook. You can password protect it, which is a huge hassle for the customer and for you if they lose their password and contact you months later. (In Acrobat, click on “File” then “Document Security” to see the options.)

My personal feeling is I really don’t sweat it if someone shares my ebook. Why? Because all my ebooks are loaded with links to product pages and promos for other services such as my mentoring program. If the person who got the freebie likes what they see, they will probably sign up for my newsletter, or buy products.

-- Stephen Tweed

Here’s the wording we use:

License Agreement: The information contained in this manuscript is published as a digital document or “eManual” by Leading Home Care. It is licensed for use by the original purchaser within the purchaser’s own organization. You are permitted to retain one copy of this eManual in digital form on your computer, and make one printed copy for your own use. Any further duplication or sharing of copies by any means, either print or electronic, is prohibited. By purchasing and downloading this digital document from the publisher’s web site, you agree to abide by the provisions of this licensing agreement.

Unauthorized duplication of this document is a violation of U.S. Copyright Law.

(Footer on all pages)

(c) 2004 Leading Home Care ... a Tweed Jeffries company
This eManual is licensed for use by the original purchaser only. Duplication by print or electronic means is prohibited.
Call 888-668-9333 for additional copies or log on to www.leadinghomecare.com

-- Rebecca Morgan

On Larry Winget’s download page it says:

For your convenience, the online audio files are in *MP3* format (.mp3)... absolutely the best and easiest way to listen the material because the free software should already be installed on your computer!

You can listen to the audio files or save to your computer hard disk.

You MAY NOT resell or redistribute any of these materials.

-- Fred Gleeck

Are you nuts?

Make it easy for people to “share” your book! Don’t EXPECT people to be HONEST, you’ll be disappointed. Expect the opposite and use it to your advantage.

If you’ve got a line of products related to the book, use the book to upsell them to any and everything else.

If I make money on my books I consider it a bonus. Make MONEY on your back end products that cost more.

-- Evelyn Clark

I use payloadz.com, which enables you to offer an address where someone can download an e-book or other document for up to 48 hours after they order it. After that, they need to pay again for access to it. This underscores the value of the product and limits people from sharing the download site.

Of course, if they want to circulate a document to all their friends after they download it, that’s possible, and I’ve heard some speakers say they don’t mind, figuring that any circulation is good for spreading the word. I tend to agree. There’s only so much you can do to limit file sharing, and since it costs virtually nothing to create an e-version of something you’ve already written for another format, you aren’t losing much if a few people choose to share.

-- Tag Goulet

Here is the wording FabJob.com has on page 2 of our FabJob guides. We realize that people may forward a file to others, but we aim to prevent widespread distribution:

Copyright Notice: Revised edition (c) 2004 by FabJob.com. All rights reserved. The free sample portion of this FabJob(R) guide (found at www.FabJob.com/speaker.asp) may be reproduced, copied, or distributed provided that it includes the author and publisher information and the web address to purchase the guide. No other part of this work may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means (including photocopying, recording, or electronic) without the written permission of the publisher.

Because of the number of titles we have with popular appeal (we publish guides on how to break into fabulous careers) we have a staff member who regularly monitors the Internet to determine whether any of our copyrighted publications have been posted online illegally (as a university career center did) or are being sold illegally (eBay will immediately stop an auction if you discover someone reselling your material).

SpeakerNet News is produced by Rebecca Morgan and Ken Braly. It is not affiliated with the National Speakers Association. Send comments or suggestions