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Selling E-Books with E-junkie

If you are just selling ebooks in DOC or PDF or any other document format, it's just like selling any other file; each buyer will get an identical copy of whatever file you upload for the product. If you are selling eBooks in PDF format, you can also take advantage of our PDF Stamping feature as a deterrent against file sharing that can also limit some other things the buyer can do with their file. We can also support most third-party eBook compilers and file-locking solutions.

E-Book Security (PDF Stamping)

We can stamp the buyer's name, email and their unique Transaction ID on the top-left of each page of the PDF they receive before they download it. Unlike DRM (Digital Rights Management), this is a simple, non-intrusive way to discourage buyers from sharing their PDFs. Unlike the various DRM solutions we investigated, our PDF Stamping feature allows a pleasant and hassle-free buyer experience and produces a file that all PDF reader software can handle without any trouble, which also eliminates the need for merchants to handle customer support issues commonly encountered with DRM.

Example Stamped PDF

A Few things to keep in mind

  1. This only works for Single File Download products which have a single PDF file uploaded as-is; it will not work for products using Package files from other products nor for PDFs enclosed within some other file type such as a ZIP archive;
  2. Download links issued within up to 15 minutes after uploading a new PDF file will not issue a Stamped copy of that file;
  3. Do not enable this for products which are remotely hosted (file stored on your server instead of uploaded to ours); although it may probably work fine most of the time, it can also have unpredictable results in various scenarios;
  4. Ordinarily, if you update a product's file and the buyer uses their original, unexpired download link again after that, they would get the latest file you'd uploaded for that product; however, if you enable PDF Stamping, each buyer's original download link will always issue their original Stamped file, even if you re-activate their link;
  5. Free download links issued via the Updates function in your Seller Admin cannot issue Stamped files;
  6. New! Links issued manually via the Send free download link function in your Seller Admin now can issue a Stamped file.


NOTE: Although we have tested it with many various kinds of PDFs, there may still be certain PDFs that could have problems with Stamping. We recommend that you enable it for only one of your products first, then use Send free download link to send yourself a link to see how your PDF is coming out. If you are happy with the results, then you can enable it for your other PDFs.

While adding or editing your product, enable Send transaction data to a URL, and then in the Payment Variable Information URL field, enter this (all on one long line):

  1. If your PDF is protected with a password, simply add the password to the very end of the URL, after the &pdf_pwd=
    • If your PDF does not have any passwords, you can simply remove the &pdf_pwd= part from the end of the URL;
    • If your PDF has a Master password and a different User (read-only) password, use the Master password in the URL;
    • If your PDF has a Master password that is the same as its User (read-only) password, use that password in the URL;
    • If your PDF does not have a Master password and only has a User (read-only) password, use that password in the URL.
  2. Not recommended* - If you do not want the buyer to be able to print your PDF, replace &pdf_allow_print=y with &pdf_allow_print=n
  3. Not recommended* - If you do not want the buyer to be able to copy-paste content from your PDF, replace &pdf_allow_copy=y with &pdf_allow_copy=n (note that copy-pasting is different from extraction, which we disable by default, but we do allow extraction by screen readers for the visually-challenged);
  4. If you are already using our o_plug.php URL for any of the other built-in integration methods we offer, just append the PDF-stamping parameters &ej_stamp_pdf=true&pdf_allow_copy=y&pdf_allow_print=y&pdf_pwd= at the end of your existing o_plug.php URL, as explained in more detail here.

    * There is no technical reason why b. & c. are "Not recommended", but forbidding buyers to print or copy-paste content from an eBook that they have paid for makes for an unsatisfactory customer experience, so we don't recommend it for that reason. These also depend on the buyer's PDF reader software respecting these file settings -- e.g., Apple's Preview app for Mac OS X does not respect copy-paste restrictions.

Each Stamped PDF we issue to buyers will always be locked with a randomized Master password, which prevents editing/extracting the file's contents or editing its settings, regardless of your file's original Master password or whether the file was even password-protected to begin with. Your file's original User (read-only) password should normally be retained, but this may not be possible with all PDFs due to varying implementations of the PDF specification (see also Adding a read-only password below).

NOTE: We can only Stamp password-locked PDFs where the Compatibility option has been set to "Acrobat 5.0 And Later" (PDF v1.4) or lower, not "Acrobat 6.0 And Later" (PDF v1.5) nor higher. This version limitation does not apply to PDFs which are not password-locked, but it's still good practice anyway to ensure the broadest number of buyers can open your file, even if you're not using PDF Stamping. If you are having problems getting Stamping to work for a file with a password, try uploading a file with no password -- remember, the Stamper would still add a random Master password to every Stamped copy anyway.

Adding a read-only password to Stamped PDFs

In addition to the randomized Master password we always add to every Stamped PDF that we issue to buyers (as explained above), you can also optionally have the Stamper add a User password that would be required to open your Stamped PDFs for read-only viewing. This can be an arbitrary password you specify that would be the same for every Stamped copy of your PDF, or you can have the Stamper apply the order's Transaction ID as a unique password for each buyer's copy of your PDF. This would replace your original file's User password if it has one.

Bear in mind that a User password mostly just inconveniences legitimate buyers while being rather ineffective as a security measure when you're issuing the password with the file, since anyone who wants to share their file will also commonly share the password along with it. It's like putting a padlock on something but leaving the key right there in the lock for anyone to use, copy or steal. However, in the rare case where someone might share their file and forget to include the password with that, at least that shared copy would be unopenable without the password.

To have the Stamper add this User password, just add &pdf_userpwd= to the Stamper URL (explained above) for your product, like so:

You can add a password after the &pdf_userpwd= to apply that as the User password for every Stamped copy; however, if you leave it as just &pdf_userpwd= without specifying a password, the Stamper would apply each order's Transaction ID as a unique User password for that order's Stamped file. In that latter case, your thank-you page and/or thank-you email templates can use the template code [%txn_id%] to insert the Transaction ID that the buyer should use as a password to open their file.

Third-party E-book Compilers & File-Locking Solutions

If you are using special compiler software to protect your e-book, you can still use our service. We can support virtually any eBook compiler that you might be using, as we support stored codes, generated codes, redirection and other features which the compilers rely on for your product activation/unlocking. However, these cannot be combined with our PDF Stamping feature (explained above). These are a few eBook compiler solutions we're familiar with:

  • How to sell e-books created with ebookgold?
    Ebookgold will give you HTML code that you will have to put up on a page on your website. You have to enter the URL to that page in their admin area as the approved URL for password generator.

    Once you do that, place that URL in the email message that your buyer receives. You can do that while adding or editing a product in E-junkie admin.

  • How to sell ebooks created with EBook Maestro?
    You can generate keys in the "Reg. Codes" subsection of EBook Maestro. Please clear Reg. Name before you generate the keys.

    Once you have the keys and the EXE of the ebook, go to E-junkie admin and click on "Add product". You will see an option which says "stored codes". Check that box and click NEXT or SUBMIT button. In the next screen you will be able to enter your registration codes. Press NEXT or SUBMIT till you reach the button code screen. From here you will be able to upload your file and also get the purchase buttons you need to place on your website.

This page added by E-junkieChef on July 16th, 2008 @ 5:38 pm GMT -7
Updated by E-junkieGuru on November 3rd, 2014 @ 1:16 pm GMT -7
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