Ebook system

Hello folks

I am currently working on an ebook project. I am looking for an e-commerce system, where I can sell the ebook. Is it possible to find/buy a system that can watermark the ebook before sending it to the customers - after they have paid for the book?

Which systems should I take a look at?

Thanks in advance!

I am recommending this to be moved to another part of the forum. I would say why don’t you insert the watermark at ebook level? Or do you want Purchased by: [Name] on [date/time]?

You could use wkhtmltopdf (if starting out with your document in html format) or perhaps pdftk to do this. In both cases you’ll need to be able to install software on your server.

I know I’ve purchased ebooks (pdfs) that have been branded with the email address I used to purchase it, but I have no idea what they used to do that. I guess that’s so they can hunt me down if it shows up somewhere else, but unfortunately I don’t think there’s much you can do if someone really wants to steal or pass around your material.

I think it’s best to include links back to your website and/or affiliate links so if that does happen you can at least try to profit from it someway, but it’s really not worth losing any sleep over it.

Sorry I can’t help you with the watermarking bit, but if you can do without that, you can find all kinds of shopping carts to help you sell your ebook - or something as simple as a paypal payment button that redirects to a download page can be used.


Yes, the protecting of ebooks like this seems to be going out of fashion anyway. Part of the problem is that it treats the legitimate customer like a criminal, which is probably not a good message to put out. Even SitePoint stopped password protecting their ebooks a year or so ago.

As Ravedesigns said, it could be to your advantage if people pass the ebook around anyway. (They say the hardest thing in business to crack is to get known about.) I gather that a lot of people are starting to think this way.

I would agree that watermarking the books may be just not necessary at all, it may help you to determine those who share your book for free, but that is all.

Almost each shopping cart allows to sell downloadble books. As for watermarking, in any case some additional integration would be required to implement it into ecommerce.

Thank you for all replies :slight_smile:

I can see the problem in watermarking the e-books, and maybe you are right. I am considering to place a link to the website in the books footer - is that a good solution?

I want to sell some different e-books, so I am looking for a system that can handle it - like if it was real products. I have looked at CS-Cart and Magento - any recommendations?

This is my first “global” project - so I am also seeking recommendations for a payment merchant outside Denmark, where I am used to work. I have looked at Authorize.net - are they good enough?

Authorize.net is good, they have been around longer than PayPal. I know it sounds weird, but it is true. Up until about 2 years ago, they didn’t have a logo for people to slap on their site by the buy now button. I am not quite sure why. About 9-10 months ago they were bought by VISA.

Do you want to host your own cart, or use a third party one? There are lots of good third party carts that you can style to match your site and that cater for downloadable products. After exploring a lot of them, I’ve chosen Fastspring for my latest project, as they have a nice service and deposit the takings straight into your regular bank account. (Often you need the cart, plus a gateway, plus a merchant account, all of whom take a cut. With FS, you just need the one service, sort of like PP, though it is more sophisticated. Fastspring also just takes a cut of each sale, rather than charging a monthly fee, which was also a plus for me.) There are lots and lots of similar alternatives, mind you, so they are worth checking out to find which actually suits your purpose best.

You have a lot more options if you host a cart yourself, of course, but also more responsibility—with security etc.

Last time I checked, Magento was able to do this

To answer your question, for those selling e-books and PDFs, through our third party partnership (added fee may thus be applicable), you can protect your purchased copies by uniquely stamping each page with the name and email address of each customer who buys one. You can manage multiple e-books, tag and search your e-books, disable PDF printing and copying, password protect each e-book, and you’ll find all PDF versions are supported.