What is DRM? DRM stands for Digital Rights Management and according to KDP it is “intended to inhibit unauthorized access to or copying of digital content files.”
This is one of the decisions you must make when your first upload your Kindle book via the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) dashboard. It is important to note that once you publish your book, this decision regarding DRM cannot be changed.
Now that we have covered the basics of what DRM is, let’s discuss the pros and cons of DRM and enabling it on your Kindle eBooks.
Pros of DRM
The main advantage to enabling DRM on your eBook is that is adds an extra layer of protection to prevent unauthorized sharing of your copyrighted work. However, enabling DRM will not stop all piracy.
There are ways to strip the DRM from the eBook. Therefore, the “bad guys” you are trying to keep out can still find a way to remove the DRM.
For some authors, enabling DRM on their eBooks is one way they can protect their copyrighted work. They do not like the thought of someone stealing from them and will do anything they can to prevent it from happening.
Cons of DRM
Unfortunately, what often happens with DRM is that it penalizes the customers of your book. Many readers like to have access to their digital books on multiple devices. However, DRM can prevent them from having access to the book they bought on non-Kindle devices.
This can be annoying to the customer and may even result in lost book sales as some readers will refuse to buy books that are DRM enabled.
I heard this analogy about DRM and thought it made the point well. Enabling DRM is like placing a lock on your book. However, this “lock” keeps the honest people out (i.e. paying customers).
It does cause anyone who is dishonest to work harder to remove the “lock.” But in the end, it does not truly stop piracy.
Personally, I do not enable DRM on my Kindle eBooks. I want to make it as easy as possible for my customers to access and read my books. Choosing to not enable DRM may also help the messages of my books reach more people and positively impact more lives.
[pullquote position=”right”]And ultimately, piracy is not the problem for most authors…obscurity is![/pullquote] Therefore, if your book does get shared by your customers, consider it as one form of marketing. Who knows….you may even develop some new readers and fans as a result.
Ultimately, as the author, the decision is up to you.
You must do your own research and decide what options will work best for you and your books. If enabling DRM helps you sleep better at night, go for it. But ultimately, the disadvantages appear to outweigh the advantages.
What about you? Do you enable DRM on your Kindle eBooks? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
This article was originally published on The Future of Ink and is reprinted here in its entirety for our Magnolia Media Network readers.