08 September 2010

Why selling PDFs has nothing to do with piracy

Selling an electronic edition of your book makes it more more susceptible to piracy, right? No, it just means you’re sticking your head in the sand.

In the video below, the company that digitized The Macintosh Way includes a bit of footage of their book scanning machine. It demonstrates not only how that book was reborn, but how easily pirates can turn your printed book into a illicit PDF.

To me, PDF has always been a very limited e-book format. It was good for a fairly limited range of things. For good or ill, however, it is the e-book format that has had the most success.

The iPad has changed things for me, though. For PDFs, it rivals print. For role-playing game books, I now want an electronic copy. (Formats other than PDF are welcome, though PDF if the most common.) Now, I can carry my library anywhere and get to any book in a few taps. I’ll still buy the occasional paper RPG book. If I can’t get an electronic copy, however, there’s a good chance I won’t actually use it.

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