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Archived Message:

Virtual Vault

JulieS Hi guys - I've been struggling through the password stuff in ebook compiler 'help' and elsewhere on these forums for a couple of days - and now I am sorely tempted to try Virtual Vault.

Do any of you have any experience of this product?

Thank you

Posted on: 7:22 pm on August 14, 2005
Storyman Hi Julie,

Here's a quick review.

Activ has a variety of options for security. If you want to use any of security restrictions you first must select the Security tab, then enable password protection by double clicking on "Password Protection."

An option box will open. Check "Password Protection System," then click on the Advance tab.

Click on "Generate." Another option box opens. Activ can generate up to 1000 passwords. There is also an option for the number of charcters in each password.

After you click Okay a list of sequencial numbers and passwords will appear. The list of sequencial numbers in the left column is the "Key Code" that a user will give to you. Once you have the Key Code you look down the list to the corresponding "Registration Code," which is the number you give back to them so they can enter it and unlock the ebook.

There are other options available. Such as time restriction. You can choose to allow access to the ebook for a specific number of days, for example, before the ebook locks itself.

If you need additional help please be specific as to the problem.

Posted on: 12:49 am on August 15, 2005
JulieS Hi Storyman and thank you for your reply. I did get as far as generating 1000 passwords - but don't undrstand how each password attaches to an individual copy of my book.  I disabled 'Copy' and 'Print' - the book is copy disabled but not print disabled even though 'Print' is definitely disabled.  

I do not want to sell passwords - I want to sell books with protection.

If I briefly outline my products and security worries please could you tell me if and how I can use Ebook Complier would solve these issues.

I am writing a relocation guide for people wanting to move to France. There will be 11 books in all - 10 of them will cover various topics (Visa and Residency requirements, Employment, Health System, Education etc) and will be sold separately to allow selectivity (eg: not every demographic group will need the Education Unit or the Property Unit). The 11th book will incorporate all 10 topics and it will be financally beneficial to buy this one if the purchaser buys (say) 5 of the others and is considering a 6th.

EG: Each Unit to cost (say) 10 euros, making a cost of 100 euros if bought separately, but the full book only to cost (say) 80 euros. (As you can see I have not yet quite decided on my prices).

I want the books to be protected from printing, copying and redistributing. I also want to be able to give a purchaser who has bought 5 books to be able to buy the balance of the remaining 5 books at the more favourable price - so any protection / sales system needs to be able to make this calculation.

Further, each Unit offers access to all the relevant forms, paperwork and model letters in both English and French.  All translated by me and (possibly) offering a further translation service if the buyer contacts me. These materials are in either Word or .pdf format and so cannot be included in the .exe format of the book.  They should also be printable. I need a system (preferably automated) for the purchaser to legitimately access these materials. Maybe by using the password or whatever security system is generated when they purchase.

'Virtual Vault' sounds like it could do all this for me on the sales page .  I seriously need a product like this as my books are going to expand to cover relocation to other countries (same format) and eventually in other languages. I'm anticipating many tens of products.

Time is alos of the essence here - my biggest niche market (estate agents, realtors in many countries who deal with French property) are asking when it will be ready. Hence my thoughts on using a package like Virtual Vault.

Thank you so much for your time.


Posted on: 12:24 pm on August 15, 2005
Storyman Hello Julie,

To see how the registration code attaches to your book think back to when you purchased Activ. You could only view the sample pages until you clicked on the yellow icon of a 'Key,' then entered the registration code. After that the book was unlocked. That's what you'll be doing with your ebook.

Your goal is something I've looked at before. The tricky part is providing a discount if someone has purchased a previous book. Virtual Vault may or may not be able to handle this for you, but I think it may be of value for you to first determine what is important to your marketing.

One of Activ's strengths is that you can let people view a portion of your book, say the first three pages or the first page and two pages from the middle--basically you have complete control of which pages can be viewed before the book is unlocked. Even after a book has been purchased and unlocked and a copy is passed onto a friend, the friend will only see the sample pages until it is puchased.

This type of marketing is called viral marketing because it allows friends to pass the ebook on to friends, while also requiring the purchase to unlock the book. The biggest problem with Virtual Vault is that you must create two separate ebooks: one a sample of the book and the other the purchase version. If Virtual Vault appeals to you please be aware that there is a monthly fee for the service.

An alternative to Virtual Vault that works with Activ's viral marketing approach and at the same time providers the registration code for the ebook at the moment the sale is made is MicroCreations Automatic Payment System.

Both systems require you to use a third party payment system. Microcreations' APS system only works with ClickBank and PayPal so if you have another payment system it may not work for you.

Although Virtual Vault has some good features and may be your ideal solution be aware of the user's experience with such a system. Also, consider the monthly maintainence fee. The geatest strength is that when someone is given a refund the ebook is relocked. The same thing can be achieved with Gold Panner's HYPrLock.
With HYPrLock the user requesting a refund provides a code that shows the ebook has been relocked.

As for the discount you might want to consider having two version of each book (regardless of which of the two systems just mentioned.) After someone makes a purchase you email them a special link to the ebook(s) attached to the discounted price. The link could also have an expiration date so if they don't act if the next 7 days (for example) they will only be able to obtain the book at full price. I'd suggest to seriosly consider a time limit for several reason chief of which the email link could be passed among friends. Unfortunately, the down side is that with viral marketing is if the discounted ebook is shared with a friend the friend will also receive the discount.

As for redistribution with Virtual Vault everything is geared towards preventing an ebook from being shared with a friend. In viral marketing redistribution is encouraged because the more hands the ebook gets into the greater the potential sales. It gets back to how your marketing needs are best served.

Posted on: 4:51 pm on August 15, 2005
JulieS Hi Storyman - great advice, I've got lots to think about. I decided against viral marketing after long researches and discussions about what I am offering. I feel quite clear about and happy with that decision. The idea of having the discounted books as a separate product is excellent and I could simply have 2 versions of the book containing all 10 units.

Thanks for your time, advice and ideas. I'm sure I'll be back.

Off to Marseille for a few days -without my computer - so will mull things over with my bouillabaise.

Posted on: 9:17 pm on August 15, 2005

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