In The News: DRM nightmare: After recent upgrade, Kobo customers report losing Sony books from their libraries

 In The News – Articles Of Interest For Authors

It is laughably easy to get around DRM in eBooks. Not only does it not deter would be pirates, DRM punishes those who purchase titles legally. Case in point – the most recent episode of legal users loosing purchases from their libraries after an upgrade courtesy of Sony and Kobo. This also brings up another issue with electronic goods. You don’t technically own them, you “rent” them. Again punishing the legal users. Sound off your thoughts in the comments below.  Chris Meadows at Teleread reports.

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DRM nightmare: After recent upgrade, Kobo customers report losing Sony books from their libraries

A reader’s manifesto

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Please read the full post on TheBookSeller website.

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You Know What You Can Do With Your DRM

This post by Greta van der Rol originally appeared on her blog on 9/7/14.

Okay, folks. You heard it here first. I’M NEVER GOING TO BUY ANOTHER BOOK WITH DRM ON IT.

Yes, that’s me shouting. Do I hear you asking why?

I’m so glad you asked. But first, for those who don’t know, DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. Essentially, it’s an attempt by suppliers to ensure that only legitimate purchasers of electronic content (books, software, music etc) are actually able to make use of their products. Wikipedia’s description is as good as any other. Or you could read this one, which describes the restrictions imposed by DRM.

You might think DRM is relatively new. It’s not. The acronym might be, but the technique has been around from pretty much the time when personal computers exploded onto the scene in the early eighties. Products such as dBase III, word processors, spreadsheets and the like were protected with licences. Without the licence key, you couldn’t run them or do anything else with them. Other software companies came up with dongles – a hardware device fitted to the machine running the program. The idea was supposed to be that pirates couldn’t profit from the developers’ hard work.


Two things happened.


Click here to read the full post on Greta van der Rol’s blog.


Writer Hopscotch

This post by Karin Cox originally appeared on Indie Chicks Café on 10/18/13. In it, she addresses the controversy surrounding Kobo’s decision to pull all indie titles submitted via Draft to Digital last fall.

It’s one step forward, and a jump to the left for self-publishing.

Two years ago, I decided to take my writing life in my hands and self-publish. At the time, I worked in the trade publishing industry and I saw the free-fall trade publishers were going into (either that or burying their heads in the sand) when it came to digitising titles. I also know how difficult and slow a process it was seeking out an agent and a contract and going through the mill. Frankly, I didn’t have the patience, and I saw the success others who had self-published were achieving.

Back then, in 2011, there was no Bookbub, Draft to Digitial, or Kobo writing life, and most international authors, like myself, were disadvantaged—receiving payment by cheque (or carrier pigeon) and unable to upload to some platforms. Since then, I’ve paddled through rivers of advice, both good and bad, trying to keep my self-publishing canoe afloat. Sometimes, I have found myself up the proverbial creek without a paddle. But one thing I have found is that, like most businesses, self-publishing is never static. It is very often a strange dance, or a game of hopscotch, leaping here and there in an effort to jump on the latest craze or publicity opportunity, or to avoid the pitfalls placed in your way.

Some of the advice I have received is purely commercial:

”Write in popular genres so you can make money and afford to write other books (like literary fiction or fantasy).”

“Upload directly so you get a better cut of the money.”

Some is more inspirational:

“Write what you love and the success will follow.”

“Don’t forget to live.”

And some is technical or logical: “Use smarturl and affiliate links to promote your books.”

“Ask for reviews in the back of your books”

“Change categories often using a list of popular keywords at”

“Price pulse to get on bestseller category lists.”

However, no matter whether you follow the advice or not, as a self-publisher you’re still at the mercy of the system, as many publishers of erotica and romance, and just novels in general, found out over on Kobo this week. In a knee-jerk reaction to some extremely questionable content published by a few unscrupulous authors, Kobo pulled all self-published titles that had been uploaded through the aggregator Draft to Digital—a simple-to-use and more efficient site for uploading as a one-stop shop to Apple, B&N and Kobo.


Click here to read the full post on Indie Chicks Café.


Book Publishing May Not Remain A Stand-Alone Industry And Book Retailing Will Demonstrate That First

This post by Mike Shatzkin originally appeared on his The Shatzkin Files blog on 1/29/14.

You are missing some good fun if you don’t know those AT&T commercials where the grown-up sits around a table with a bunch of really little kids and asks them questions like “what’s better: faster or slower?” There always seems to be an obvious “correct” answer. Those kids could answer some important questions about ebook retailing in the future like these:

“What’s better? Selling just ebooks or selling ebooks and print books?”

“What’s better? Selling in just one country or in all countries?”

“What’s better? Selling just books or selling books and lots of other things too?”

“What’s better? Having one way to get revenue, like selling books with or without other stuff, or having lots of ways to get revenue so that books are only a part of the opportunity?”

And the answers to those simple questions, so obvious that a 5-year old would get them right, explain a lot about the evolving ebook marketplace and, ultimately, about the entire world of book publishing.

Book retailing on the Internet, let alone an offer that is ebooks only, hardly cuts it as a stand-alone business anymore. The three companies most likely to be in the game and selling ebooks ten years from now are Amazon, Apple, and Google. The ebook business will not be material to any of them — it is only really close to material for Amazon now — which is why we can be sure they will see no need to abandon it. It is a strategic component of a larger ecosystem, not dependent on the margin or profit it itself produces. And the rest of their substantial businesses assure they’ll still be around as a company to run that ebook business.


Click here to read the full post on The Shatzkin Files.