Wednesday, July 01, 2009

What Can Be Done to Avoid Piracy of e-books?

Along with marketing and selling e-books online comes the issue of piracy—or folks passing them on to people who have not purchased them. If you market e-books, how can you be sure that the e-books aren't pirated?

If you want to sell e-books that others have written, be sure to deal with people you know. By establishing a network of people in your industry, you can help one another succeed. Your network will have or know of products and e-book you can sell; and because you have earned one another’s trust, you have peace of mind that you are offering quality content that is produced legally.

If you don’t have a network, you could choose products from an affiliate program that has a good reputation. Many e-books are now listed on and they have an affiliate program. If an e-book is listed there, it has been through a selection process that requires a registered ISBN. No ISBN; no listing on Amazon.

If you write and sell your own e-books online, you may be concerned about other people stealing your material. It’s certainly true that many copyrighted PDFs and e-books are passed around illegally. So, what can an author do? While you have a right to pursue legal representation to recover your losses, you may have a difficult time trying to locate all the places and people who are violating your copyright. In your e-book, you can request that the purchaser not forward your e-book to others who have not paid for a copy, but unfortunately this request can easily be ignored.

I recommend that you put your name, URL, or some type of identifying or marketing text throughout your book. That way, if someone does get your e-book by pirated means, they at least have a way to: 1.) report it to you, 2.) check out your site to see if you have other e-books or services they need. You never know, they may actually purchase your next e-book.

Do not offer the same e-book you sell as a give-away or prize in a contest or promotion. People may think that if your e-book is free, then people should not have to pay for it. Create other products to offer as freebies or as incentives, but let the e-books you sell be reserved only for that purpose.

Yvonne Perry, is the owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services—a team of highly qualified writers and editors with many years of experience in writing for articles, books, ad copy, media releases, PR kits, Web text, biographical sketches, and newsletters. Editing, proofreading, book review, and book evaluation services offered individually and as packages. Find us online at

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