Do Digital Review Copies Need DRM Protection?

By Jason Boog Comment

Should book reviewers be able to share digital review copies with friends? 

Richard Nash‘s Red Lemonade imprint will release its first titles in May, and the publisher (pictured, via) has taken the unusual step of offering his digital review copies without any digital rights management (DRM) restrictions–what do you think of his model?

In an email interview, Nash explained his unconventional policy: “Well, I don’t think consumer books should have DRM, so putting DRM on reviewers’ books is even dumber. I want to make it as easy as possible to get it to you, as easy as possible for you to read it, as easy as possible for you to assign it to a reviewer, as easy as possible for you to send it to a friend.”

He continued: “‘Oh goodness, that’s exactly what we’re worried about?!’ Well, what kind of person are you most likely to forward this too? Someone you, an influential member of the literary community, thinks should read it, most likely another influential member of the literary community. Given that the greatest challenge I face as a publisher is getting readers’ time for my writers, I should make my book the easiest book to which they could devote their time.”

He concluded: “We’ve 10 weeks for a book in the stores. Most books are bought on word-of-mouth recommendations. Many people don’t read the damn book they’ve bought until 10 weeks ore more after they bought it. So word of mouth has to start pre-publication … I think the economic foundation of the reader-writer relationship is shifting away from the control of reproduction towards the power of community participations. I’m building the Red Lemonade community this way. And I believe our writers’ royalty statements will reflect the benefits of that approach this very year.”

Follow this link to read more about Nash’s review policy.

He added: “Anyone who wants a review copy, gimme a holler: richard [at] redlemona[dot]de