On DRM and A Net of Dawn and Bones

Mea culpa.

Okay, what you may not know about self-publishing your first book? You do it – or at least, I did it – in a state of blind panic. A blur of “Ohmigosh what am I doing no one’s going to read this I must be insane-”

Ahem. You get the idea.

I had a book on self-publishing, a bunch of web articles, a checklist, and a pen. I fumbled my way through the whole process; I didn’t know anyone who’d done this before, and at the time I was still reading up on how exactly blogs worked. (Still working on some of the details. The “More” tag is a helpful beast.)

So when the Kindle site advised enabling DRM, that’s what I did. I simply didn’t have the information at hand to know how annoying some people find it. I did learn enough over the past year that I did not put DRM on Count Taka, at least.

I have contacted Amazon, and they’ve officially called back to say the only way I could get DRM off of A Net of Dawn and Bones would be to go back and republish the book. I’m not entirely sure what’s involved in that yet. I’m looking into it, but for now I’m going to have to go with, “Argh, mistake due to serious lack of info, do not repeat.”

 

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15 thoughts on “On DRM and A Net of Dawn and Bones

  1. I will admit I didn’t even realise there was a DRM – I use Calibre to organise my ebooks and I have it set up to strip DRM automatically ^_^;

    Though I would have ended up stripping it anyway as I use Aldiko for ready ebooks and use epub as my preferred format.

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    1. No. DRM = Digital Rights Management. It supposedly keeps the Kindle version from being illicitly copied, but in practice it’s apparently annoying to people who want to read on more than one device. Won’t affect paper at all! 🙂

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      1. From the computer side, as opposed to the political side, it is like most fixed security systems: Not really sufficient to protect against anyone who is actually determined to break it… while being at minimum a minor nuisance (even for the least obtrusive forms) to anyone legitimately trying to use the thing that is “protected”. And if it is poorly designed or the unintended consequences of the design are not properly accounted for (as in most DRM…), it can actively prevent legitimate customers from using the “protected” thing while still only being mildly difficult for someone dedicated to break it.

        Common unintended consequence flaws with DRM include:
        1) “you can only install it once” so if you get a new computer/reader/etc (or have to reformat your old one, or in some cases even just upgrade your old one), you suddenly find that the DRM thinks you don’t have the right to use the thing you paid for.
        2) “you need a continuous connection to our server to verify this is the only copy active” so if your connection goes down, or is too slow, or is a type they don’t like (like a home network), or is obfuscated for security reasons, it doesn’t think you should have access to your stuff.
        3) “you need fancy-schmancy passwords/identifiers/etc” which is just one more thing to forget/lose/etc, and we’ve long since passed the point where increasing complexity of passwords (and even alternatives using images and other visual setups) makes it so that humans cannot reliably answer correctly… while computers not only can regularly achieve higher reliability on them, but can do it significantly faster.

        So, while there’s good arguments for some sort of method of protecting the stuff (and good arguments against it), in practice it is never really successful at its intent while it does tend to at least inconvenience (if not worse) legitimate users. A nearly textbook case of “in theory, there’s no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.”

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  2. Well i downloaded it onto both my phone and my Fire so no complaints. Granted at first i had some trouble(just downloading onto my Fire). I came back to it and now it works fine.

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  3. Huh. I’m ever so glad I just bought the physical book.
    I’m one of those people who start reading on the computer, then continue on the phone, then maybe on a random moment sneak a glance on a tablet. And repeat.
    I didn’t know DRM was a thing. Thanks for the heads up!

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  4. Just a comment with respect to (only) Amazon Kindle format…. You can register (all) machines/apps under your Amazon account, and have it sent to all of them that way. I have my computer and my e-reader registered, and I’ve got Net on both.

    Admittedly, that doesn’t work if you want to change it to e-pub, but if Calibre strips out the DRM, that’s fine. 😉

    Anyway. That’s how to send it to multiple devices.

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