Just as software companies want to protect their intellectual property and monitize it, many authors want to do the same. To make this possible, online retailers, such as Amazon, Apple, and Barn & Noble, have created DRM (Digital Right Management) software that allows readers to buy and transfer ebooks from the internet to special devices or to desktops that run their software.
While some people point out that this software can be hacked, most consumers use the software legally and authors are able to receive a royalty payment for their work. And some authors have done very well making money from ebooks.
DRM for ePub and Mobi
In order to use the DRM systems made available by Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, and many other, you must create ebook editions in either the ePub or Mobi formats. The usual practice is to create both.
The Mobi format is used for Amazon’s Kindle software.
The ePub format works for Apple, Barnes & Noble, and just about every other online retailer.
When people want ebooks, they go mostly to these retailers. In fact, these three retailers sell over 90% of all ebooks. This means you must be in these two formats if you want to reach this market.
DRM for ePDFs
For DRM, ePDFs can be distributed via Apps, such as Snapplify and YUDU, or online subscription services and stores such as Scribd.com, Payloadz.com, Issuu.com, Docstoc.com, and many others.
ePDFs cannot be sold as ebooks on Amazon for Kindle, nor through Apple’s iBookStore (yet). So if you are trying to reach the largest number of readers using DRM, the ePub and Mobi formats are better options.