Saturday, 28 January 2012

Amazon is not the only Option

I think that some of us who have been in the world of eBooks for a while forget how confusing it can be to newcomers. After some of the response I received to yesterday's post about buying and reading books from Amazon: The Ease and Pitfalls of Buying eBooks from Amazon, I thought of another useful post for newbies to eBooks.


Amazon Is Not the Only Option even if you have a Kindle

Depending on what eBook reader you have chosen there are other eBook sites out there where you may purchase to your heart's desire. Most eReaders are not geared to one site only, for example, if a site says it has .mobi format, this means you can read it on a Kindle.

If you want to know what format your eReader can take then check out this Wikipedia post which has a lovely table at the bottom showing you what can read what. Comparison of e-book formats

If you're reading on PC, Mac or Smartphone you also have various software options. Some eBook stores offer their own readers, but there are also:

  • Calibre - does just about every format and as long as the book is DRM free it can read it. Also has convert and organise options.
  • Adobe Digital Editions - supports various formats and can do DRM books
  • - not actually quite sure about this one

In fact there are so many that check out this page for more info: E-book software from Mobileread

Once you have your device or software there is the question of where to buy your books.

Here are a list of all the major eBook stores Wittegen Press books are uploaded to (I'm talking about these because these are the ones I know about, it is not an exhaustive list):

  • Amazon: UK | US | DE | FR | ES | IT
  • Smashwords - books here come in just about every format available. They are DRM free.
  • Barnes & Noble - Nook book fromat (and I believe only available in the US - please correct me if I am wrong)
  • Kobo - ePub and have a Kobo reading ap for many devices if you want to download and use it.
  • Diesel - ePub
  • iTunes (Apple) - iBook (iBook FAQ at Apple)
  • Goodreads - some people offer their books via Goodreads as well as using it as a review site. ePub again

Then there are other more specialist sites:

  • All Romance - you get one guess what they specialise in and they offer various formats depending on what the publisher has uploaded. Each book entry will tell you what formats are available for that book. The only drawback I have seen is that you can only download one format of the book, so if you pick the wrong one you're stuffed.
  • OmniLit - this is All Romance's sister site that does all genres.
  • Ebook-Eros - Erotic books linked to Diesel.

Then some publishers have their own sites, big names and Indie.

And that's just half of the first page of Google when I search for Romance eBooks. Everyone is at it, from all genres, and all you have to do is check to see what formats the sites are offering.

What you have to watch out for with the big providers like Amazon and Apple is DRM. Some books purchased through their sites may only be read on their devices/applications. Other than that, the world is your oyster.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask, I'll do my best to answer them. I'm not an expert, but I'm happy to try and help.

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