My main hesitation about converting my book to Kindle is that people would be tempted to use free software such as "calibre E-book" to convert my book onto other formats and then give or sell it to others. I already gave one heads-up to one author telling him about someone selling his book in electronic form.
Publishing your book in print form is inviting people to use the public library and not pay you for the use of your book as well. Then there is also the possibility of having it scanned into a digital format from the print version, so that also means that if you do more than write your book down on scraps of paper you open yourself up to having your book stolen.
Even if you activate the DMR people will find a way around it if they want to steal it. If you are that concerned don't use smashwords because they offer the ability to offer your book in RTF as well as several other versions.
Seriously, I doubt there is a big demand for your book or mine on the black market.
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Is it an invitation? No. Does it make it easier? Perhaps. but the simple fact is that thieves are going to steal and pirates arrr going to pirate
The real question is whether or not you, as an author can afford to skip the medium. I suggest no. Ebooks are rapidly becoming the norm and have taken a huge market share. Since the beginning of 2011 over 80% of all books sold in the US were in electronic format and kindle holds nearly 50% (at lst check) of that market. That's a huge indicator.
Not publishing to ebook because of piracy would be like not moving from 8-track to cassette because tapes could be dubbed at home. Yes do what you can to protect your copyright but do not limit your distribution out of fear.
For casual infringement to have an impact on your sales, or for organized piracy to occur, there would have to be quite a few people who think this book is good enough to be willing to commit a felony to distribute it illegally. Suppose that actually happened . . . what would the marketplace (the readers who received those books) want next? Another book by you! It could, in effect, create more interest and demand (in advance) for your next book than you could ever generate through your own promotional efforts.
So unless this is the only book you're ever going to write, your worst fears about releasing an ebook edition might not be a totally bad thing even if they came to pass. Hope that helps. Best wishes.
Theft will occur whatever you do, whatever protective measures you take, but the majority of people are honest and trustworthy. Don't cheat yourself of sales by not offering ebooks.
My books are available as paperbacks and Kindles, and they're also available through Smashwords. Royalties from Smashwords have exceeded those from Kindle, so I consider it a good outlet.
This is an interesting stat as I know that last year Kindles market share was much higher than any other channel. That you are seeing better sales through Smashwords makes me wonder if things are shifting. I have heard that the select program has had a huge negative impact on kindle sales. I wonder if this is causing the difference.
I have no idea.
I think the difference may be that Smashwords offers various methods of downloading whereas, with Kindle, you have to have their specific program/machine, and it isn't free as far as I know. SMW also offers downloads to things like iphones, and Kobo is fairly widespread at retail outlets on line.
I see other information which completely contradicts what Amazon says about the volumes of Kindle sales relative to the world book market, so I have stopped listening to Amazon. Ninian is not the only person I've heard saying that even in eBooks Kindle is not the most popular format for their books.
My reaction to this is to move into all the other eBook formats as soon as my titles come out of KDP Select, which has turned out to be a bit of a flop. In retrospect, the audacity of Amazon, to attempt to monopolise the eBook market for just $500,000 a month, is jaw-dropping.
And there was a rumour going around that Smashwords was looking at acquiring the ebook field from Amazon.
Darn it! I wish I could find that article again. If I do, I'll post the link here.
I found this post: http://blog.smashwords.com/2011/12/amazon-shows-predatory-spots-with-kdp.html It's something I'll have to examine as I would prefer to leave my Kindle books with Smashwords.
Also, since there is still a sector of the market in which Amazon only pays the 35% commission, it can be a lot more remunerative to go with the other ebook channels.