E-Books: Could “Drifting Copies” Be an Author’s Best Viral Marketing Tool?


The current, drastic rise in gross sales of “digital books” (eBooks) and the convenience of self-publishing and advertising them has made many individuals contemplating changing into an writer with the intention to change their present job or to extend their common earnings.

One of many main issues publishers face (both massive, medium measurement or “self” publishers) is against the law copying as it’s broadly believed that it considerably reduces each the authors’ and writer’s revenues. Consequently, the variety of “Digital Rights Administration” (DRM) software program and providers has exploded, all claiming to have one of the best answer towards illicit copying of 1’s eBook.

This text will introduce you to the novel idea of “drifting copies*” and the way they may really be your greatest viral advertising software ever!

My Background

I’m an digital paperwork professional with over thirty years’ expertise. I’ve researched “digital studying materials” copyright safety and potential options for the final seventeen years. Just lately, I wished to self-publish a enterprise “how-to” eBook, so I revisited the state of {the marketplace}, solely to search out that my previous saying (circa 1994) of “If it may be learn, it may be copied” nonetheless holds true.

The Solely Approach your E-book might Not be Copied!

There is just one method for an eBook (or perhaps a hardcopy e book, for that matter) to forestall it from being copied: do not publish it – interval!

What are “Drifting Copies”?

In response to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, one of many definitions for the verb “to float” is “to range or deviate from a set course or adjustment”. It is a good definition for our functions.

A drifting boat is carried alongside on the waters with no steering or management. However, it nonetheless carries its distinctive id: its title, its vessel identification quantity and its explicit options. Anybody who finds such an errant ship might both “seize” it and use it as if it was his or (rightfully) report his discovering to the right authorities.

If the one that “discovered” the drifting boat decides to maintain it as if it was his personal, he faces two selections:

– Use it because it was discovered, for so long as he isn’t “stopped” by some authority and a verification is made on the vessel identification quantity; by which case he must render the vessel and justify why he didn’t report the discovering earlier. He could encounter penalties, fines and even be sued by the professional proprietor. The important thing level is that this individual is aware of he’s an illegitimate person and faces some stress due to it.

– Attempt to “erase” all identification marks so the vessel can’t be traced again to its authentic proprietor. This requires extra time and probably some funding; in spite of everything, who is aware of if one (and even many) World Positioning System (GPS) or different fancy identification “chips” have been implanted on the vessel?

Below my idea, an eBook “drifting copy” carries related and important options:

– It nonetheless exhibits the copyright and “proper to make use of” info; making the recipient conscious that he’s an illegitimate person.

– It maintains “info” in regards to the authentic, professional shopper and shows utilization info, as soon as once more making the recipient of the drifting ad copy completely conscious that he isn’t a professional person, probably making him considerably “uncomfortable” about utilizing or having the fabric.

– It “carries” some particular monitoring options that considerably allow the discovering of unlawful posting on the web.

These sources of stress might very nicely entice the illicit recipient to purchase the e book, particularly if he feels the worth is suitable.

Professionally pirated copies, however, have been knowingly and skillfully modified in order that these important options are gone. They aren’t “drifting copies” anymore: they’re “nameless copies” which can be extraordinarily laborious to trace and, usually occasions, it is extremely troublesome to cease their distribution.

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