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One customer came to me with a very interesting need. He has a published book, and the digital "source" of it, and he wants a software/platform that basically could enable him to publish that e-book online and let him make changes and revisions over time.

As this could be or not a specific requirement, I'm thinking if there couldn't be anything out there that could satisfy at least most of his needs.

Here is the detailed requirements:

  • It needs to be an online platform
  • It has to let him upload his book at the current state
  • It has to let him make changes on the e-book online (like making corrections, adding new content etc.)
  • It should have the option for him to either block copy paste of the e-book text from the users or just let them copy a reduced portion of it (like N words or so). Printscreen is not a concern.
  • And I think this is tricky: It shouldn't publish the book publicly... It should, in some way, let only authorized users access it.

Notes

  • No need for e-book download (for now). The users should only view it online.
  • It could be either an online service or a self-hosted app
  • It should be interesting if the software could display customizable watermarks along with the pages, to disencourage users to printscreen them (that's from me, he hadn't mentioned it).
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    Do you want it to be only viewable online or downloadable (with DRM?)? If downloadable what format(s)? – Nick Wilde Mar 22 '14 at 3:07
  • Only viewable online. No need for download. – everton Mar 22 '14 at 3:08
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    Should it be a service or a self-hosted app, or doesn’t matter? – unor Mar 22 '14 at 4:13
  • Either way could work for me :) – everton Mar 22 '14 at 4:25
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+50

I think that Issuu should match your requirements. One small note: I have used it as a consumer not a publisher. As a reader I have been very satisfied with performance and stability.

In regards to pricing, there is a free version but I think that last requirement will need a paid version; they have two plans and I think you will require the more expensive - $39/month - free 1 month trial available though.

To go over your requirements:

  • It needs to be an online platform: Yes.
  • It has to let him upload his book at the current state: Yes
  • It has to let him make changes on the e-book online (like making corrections, adding new content etc.): I don't think so (the problem with recommending something based on using it in a different mode).
  • It should have the option for him to either block copy paste of the e-book text from the users or just let them copy a reduced portion of it (like N words or so). Printscreen is not a concern.: Yes - don't see it in the docs but for example you can see that is the case here.
  • And I think this is tricky: It shouldn't publish the book publicly... It should, in some way, let only authorized users access it.: Yes it has an option to be unlisted and an option for subscribers; if you combine those I'm fairly confident you can get exactly what you want.
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    Thank you very much. I'll evaluate while waiting for some other thoughts :) – everton Mar 22 '14 at 17:39
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FastPencil.com

  • It needs to be an online platform: yes
  • It has to let him upload his book at the current state: Yes. You can import evernote or blog posts or MS Word, or OpenOffice Writer. no PDF, one chapter at a time.

  • It has to let him make changes on the e-book online (like making corrections, adding new content etc.) : yes

  • It should have the option for him to either block copy paste of the e-book text from the users or just let them copy a reduced portion of it (like N words or so). Printscreen is not a concern. : yes

  • And I think this is tricky: It shouldn't publish the book publicly... It should, in some way, let only authorized users access it. : yes, you can control who sees what.

Notes

  • No need for e-book download (for now). The users should only view it online: yes

  • It could be either an online service or a self-hosted app: okay so yes

  • It should be interesting if the software could display customizable watermarks along with the pages, to disencourage users to printscreen them (that's from me, he hadn't mentioned it). : I don't know about that

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