Are You Afraid of Ebook Pirates? Don’t Be!

One of the concerns I had about ebook versus printed book is that someone who wants to use my book in a seminar can pay $8.95, print it out, and then make 100 copies to pass out instead of buying 100 books to use in the seminar. Is there any way to prevent that or are we at the mercy of whoever downloads my book? I would rather have someone buy many books instead of just paying a single price and copying.


Ebooks are great! They cost less to distribute, they save trees, and they provide your readers with instant gratification!

I always think it’s a good idea to give readers as many purchase options as you can. Some folks might prefer to pay less for an ebook and save on the shipping costs – by downloading the book. Other people may want the information yesterday so an instant download is perfect for them. And, others may insist on having the real paper version in their hands, and will be willing to pay more for it – plus shipping.

At, we sell a large number of ebooks each month. And, we very, very rarely hear about an ebook being pirated or distributed for free to someone. The chances that the recipient of an illegal copy would have purchased the book anyway are nil and most people are honest and follow the rules.

In addition, putting security on an ebook punishes far more honest buyers than it does deter thieves. In fact, would-be hackers can download a program right now that can instantly crack the passwords in pdf files. As soon as somebody thinks of a way to secure an electronic file, somebody else is about to release a hack for it. It’s a losing battle.

Hopefully, anybody who is speaking at an event would not be dumb enough to make copies for attendees. Doing so would bite speaker in the back-side pretty quickly. People would know it’s an illegal copy and chances are more than one person in that audience would report the speaker for copyright infringement. The speaker at the conference would instantly lose their respectability, and may even get sued.

Another thing to consider is the blind. If you put security on an ebook and a blind person can’t read it, they can sue you for discrimination. I’m not kidding. After we received a few complaints from blind readers, we removed security from our pdf files. Software for the blind must be able to read the files. It’s kind of like not offering a wheelchair ramp into your business. We’re very happy to make our books easier to read for those who need specific software for their individual needs.

Ebooks are a very lucrative business and, with each passing year, more people are buying and enjoying them. Don’t let the fear of the occasional dishonest person dissuade you from offering your readers this great option.

Like I’ve always said – if we didn’t offer ebook versions of our books, we’d already be out of business.