Tag Archives: Calibre

DRM IN BOOKS

Many of us love to read on e-book readers or on our telephones and tablets. I love taking my entire thousand-book library with me inside my purse when I travel. My one small Kindle can hold thousands of books and weighs only a few ounces.

You can get books in Mobi, Epub, PDF, etc. from many online sources and install the appropriate book file on your device. This is called “sideloading.” You can sideload freebies from dozens of internet sites.

If the book file is in the right format for the device, you can sideload it. For example, you can send a Mobi or PDF file to a Kindle Fire, and it will open and be readable. However, if the book is DRM protected, the device will not open it, regardless of file format.

A DRM-protected book may not be shared, re-sold, or sometimes even used by more than one device. You cannot copy it or print it. You may not convert it to another format. The book is not really yours. You have permission to read it, but only in the approved device, for as long as the device can open it.

I read on several online posts that all Amazon books are DRM protected. That statement is not correct. When I upload my manuscript to Amazon, Amazon gives me a choice as to DRM. I never DRM my books, and they sell on Amazon. Amazon sells millions of books without DRM, most by self-published authors.

That’s right. Many books sold by Amazon do not have DRM. It’s up to the author or the author’s publisher. Books you buy from traditional authors and publishers are always DRM protected.

Can you remove DRM protection? Is it legal to do so? Is it easy to do so? Once DRM is removed, what can you do with the book?

With the right App, DRM is easily removed from a book. It is illegal to remove DRM in the USA. DRM is placed on books to protect them from piracy and safeguard the author’s work. The problem is that to do so, it must be done at the cost of your rights of ownership.

If you remove the DRM, you can convert the book’s format, copy it, save it to a private directory, and open it with a third-party device. If you remove the DRM and start selling files as if the rights to the book belonged to you, some angry publishers with an army of lawyers will surely come after you.

Do I remove DRM from books I buy?  As soon as I buy a book, I download it into my Kindle App on my PC. I open my Calibre App and import the book from my Kindle directory.

My Calibre App has a plugin installed which removes the DRM protection upon first opening the book. Calibre does not come with the plugin. You must download it from its creator’s website and add it to Calibre.

I now convert the book into several formats: Epub, PDF, and Mobi. I save a copy to a thumb drive and one to my external hard drive.

Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it sounds.  I find the older Kindle App versions work best with the Calibre Plugin. Apple books are another story. Apple makes it almost impossible to export books anywhere other than their own devices.

Why go to so much trouble? Because when I buy a book, I want it to stay bought. I strongly believe that $14.95 buys me a book, not a rental to a book. In addition, I have little faith in the honesty, goodwill, or resiliency of mega corporations.

Companies that seem invincible today go by the wayside tomorrow, disappearing with all your content. Because laws now protect the corporations over the individual, I know that if Amazon or Apple pulled all my books, for whatever reason they felt necessary, I would certainly lose them, and my money would not be returned.

Itunes used to be quite useful when importing iBooks to your PC. It no longer handles iBooks at all other than audiobooks. You can share an iBook or email it to yourself and open it in your PC, but all you get is a link which opens the book in apple’s library. It is not the file itself.

I would never sell or make a profit from something I have not created. However, when I spend $14.95 per eBook from my favorite traditional authors, I expect to enjoy them for the rest of my life. If my iPad dies, and I don’t have $800 to spend on another, I’d like to take my iBooks and read them on a cheap Kindle or a generic tablet or my Android phone or even my 2008 stone-age PC.

I have many favorite authors, and they write two and three books a year. That’s a lot of money I have invested. Reading is my favorite pastime. I expect when I’m too old to walk, I’ll sit all bundled up in bed, sipping a cup of tea, reading an old eBook copy of Amelia Peabody’s Egyptian adventures.

Calibre is for Readers!

Calibre is a Free App that every eBook owner should have. As a reader, I get great mileage out of Calibre.
Kobo, Nook, iBooks, all use ePub format, but Kindle does not. If you own a Kindle, you might buy a book on a great sale from Kobo or Barnes & Noble, but Kindle will not open it. Likewise, if you own a Nook reader or a Kobo, you are limited to buying books from them because they will not open a Kindle book.
      
There is a solution to this problem, as you will see. A book I wanted was on 50% sale at the Kobo site. No problem. I signed into Kobo and bought the book. The book was saved to the Kobo library for my account.
I went into my Kobo Library, selected the new book, and clicked on export. The book was downloaded to my download directory on my desktop. I signed off Kobo.

I navigated to my download directory. I clicked on the book. My FREE Adobe Digital Editions app on my desktop opened it. It now appeared in the Adobe Digital Editions library directory. Adobe Digital Editions is another very useful FREE app.

I opened my Calibre program and imported the ePub file from the Adobe Digital Editions directory into Calibre. I used Calibre to convert the ePub into Mobi, and emailed the Mobi file to my Kindle. The whole process took five minutes, and I was reading the book on my Kindle!

Books that you get from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and most sellers, (including Amazon), are often DRM protected. This is especially true of books from traditional publishers.

This means that when you try to open the book in a reader for which it was not sold, the warning you see below pops up. You are unable to open the book.

The book I bought from Kobo was DRM protected. Since I paid for the book, and all I wanted was to be able to read it, I opted to remove the DRM.
In order to open the ePub book and convert it to Mobi, Calibre must remove the DRM first. It must have the right plugin installed to do so. Good news is that Calibre and its plugins are all FREE and widely available on the internet.

You can spend money buying the DRM removal tools, but that would be foolish when the best of them are available for FREE as open source apps. DRM can be removed from Nook, Kobo, and Kindle books using these Calibre plugins.
Calibre is also a fantastic reader, organizer, and manager for books. It can organize your books in just about any order you want. It can open dozens of file formats. It can convert from just about any format into another.

If you try to convert from one format to another and you can’t, you can usually find a plugin that will enable you to do the task.

Another great advantage of the app is that you can use it to copy books from your Kindle to the computer or portable drive and vice versa. There are also internet instructions on how to transfer books from Calibre to your iPad.

Calibre is made for Windows, Mac, and Linux! If you are a user of, let’s say Ubuntu, you can download Calibre straight from your Ubuntu apps manager.

You can get a Dropbox account and back up your Calibre library so you can access it from any device. I have my Calibre library also stored in an external drive. You might think that is silly, but you never know what companies like Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble may do in the future.

Your books should be forever yours. I am paranoid about sellers going out of business or denying me the books I paid for, in the future, for whatever reason.

I have not even touched the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Calibre can do. I honestly can say that it is the most useful tool I can have both as a reader. I could write another post on how useful it is to me as a writer.
No, I do not work for Calibre nor make any money from recommending it.  I benefit from the app and feel every reader should too. It is an Open Source App; this means that it is totally FREEEE!!!!
         Adobe Digital Editions
                Great Site for DRM Plugins
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