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[Idea] Protect your e-books from getting shared

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by bryanon, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. bryanon

    bryanon Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Hey there,

    If you're into product creation and/or sales then you know exactly how 'great' it feels to discover your $47 product being freely published to the net hours after your first sale, hurting your sales bigtime.

    I am, I've experienced it on several occasions and don't even want to think about how much money I have lost because of it.

    Let me first say that I've seen a lot of different methods being used to track each and every copy of a product (seamingly meaningless watermarks, a certain number sequence that is different for each copy etc. etc.) but seriously - would you take legal action against someone who shared your $50 book? Doubtful. What we need is a way to prevent the leaking of your books.

    I thought a little and I think I've figured out a way.

    What if we add a watermark to each and every page of our e-book,and have it say something like this:
    The watermark can be very light grey so it wouldn't disrupt the readers.

    Now, doing this obviously won't eliminate the chances of our product being shared (simply because it's pretty easy to OCR the pdf, put the text into a new word document and then puhlish it) but it does accomplish two things:

    * Most people simply won't bother sharing your product if they see that doing it would mean sending their name and email to the whole world.

    * It will take longer for your buyers to share your product, as those who really want to share it will have to first play around with it quite a bit to get the watermarked removed (or, well, the text copied into a new 'clean' pdf), effectively giving you more time to sell your product without having to fear that potential buyers will google for it and find a pirate copy.

    The only downside to this is that I know no easy ways to automate this process and it takes a considerable amount of time to change the watermark / compile a new pdf every time an order comes in. Also it will prevent an instant download possibility which, in my opinion, is almost a must (nobody wants to wait 24 hours for their book).

    However, if you're selling a product that's priced higher than average (say $60+) then you can easily hire a freelancer (or even two - to get a 24-hour service) $5 per piece and have them do the watermarking for you! (really, it takes something like 10-15 minutes to go through the whole process but it's simply too damn boring to do it yourself over and over again).

    I came up with this idea literally minutes ago so I haven't tested it on any of my own products yet but I surely will in the very near future!

    I hope some of you will find the idea useful :)

    Bryan
     
  2. SHOwnsYou

    SHOwnsYou Registered Member

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    Pretty interesting idea.

    If you had a VPS or a dedicated server, you could get a program to watermark the ebook on the fly and still deliver it nearly automatically.
     
  3. xziler8r

    xziler8r Regular Member

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    Do you know of a program? I have a VPS and am about to come out with 2 products that I dont' want to be leaked.. thanks

     
  4. Raevinn

    Raevinn Regular Member

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    Isn't there a way to password protect the file for editing. Like obviously that would be easy to break through as well, but this would also cause a bit more of a delay for the guys that upload it to warez sites
     
  5. bryanon

    bryanon Executive VIP Premium Member

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    @SHOwnsYou, that's a very valid point! I've been thinking about it some more and it seems to be pretty easy to automate it. We just need a script that can compile the pdf based on some custom values given to it (I believe scripts like that exist - just need to do a little research) and then generate a unique download link (which we'll remove after 2 download attempts / n hours) - also pretty easy to do. I'll look into this a bit more and possibly have a freelancer put together this script.

    @Raevinn, you can always make your PDF show up as image and not as text (and I suggest doing this with all books anyway), making copy-pasting to another word processor impossible. As for OCR, nothing will stop people from copying. As long as a person can read what you've written, so can a computer.