Should I Encrypt My Ebook?

Hi Angela,

First, great work on the Writers Weekly site, it’s a very valuable resource.

I am working on some ideas on e-books. One question I had was, if it is produced in PDF format, how can it be prevented so that one person can’t buy it, download it, then send/email to a couple other people, and so on and so on, etc. Is there a way to make it so that the only person who can read it is the person who bought it?

Any help/info would be appreciated.



The more you try to encrypt/secure an ebook file, the most difficult it’s going to be for honest customers to open and read that file.

And as soon as they come out with a new way to encrypt/secure a file, somebody comes up with a way to crack the code and puts their tool online for free.

Adobe used to offer software that provided what you’re seeking, but it cost a lot of money and you then also had to give them a percentage of each sale. I wouldn’t recommend doing that.

I, personally, would rather make purchases easy for my regular customers than to make their book-buying experience a pain just to ward off the very occasional buyer who might be tempted to share one of my books with his/her pal. The chances that the “pal” would have purchased my book anyway are nil.