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Where I buy Books

Many people seem unaware of the plethora of wonderful ebook sites available. I have purchased books from most of these places, and downloaded from all of them. Just because Amazon is the biggest, doesn't mean it is always the best. In addition to just getting the books at a good price, other important factors are:

  • DRM: is Digital Rights Management, or copy protection. Books with DRM restrict where you can copy the book to and what devices can be used to read it. They are protecting the publisher and the writer, but this can make it cumbersome for readers and difficult to make backup copies. Three of these sites do not use DRM on their books so I always prefer to buy from them.
  • Format: There are three basic formats: PDF, Kindle, and EPUB. Different readers may have trouble reading different formats so be sure and get the format that works for you. PDF is difficult because it does not adjust well to different sized readers. Amazon's proprietary format is very difficult to read unless you use Amazon's Kindle readers, but they do make the software available for PC, Mac, Android and IOS. EPUB is the universal format (except for Amazon) that everyone else uses. Both the Kindle and EPUB formats work well regardless of the size of the device and both may or may not include DRM.

My Favorite Ebook Stores

  • Feedbooks | Free eBooks and Best Sellers
  • Smashwords - Ebooks from independent authors and publishers - No DRM. Great place for newer authors.
  • Baen Ebooks - For Science Fiction and fantasy. No DRM. Has not only Baen, but also many of the best SciFi and Fantasy publishing houses including Del Rey, Night Shade, Tor and many others.
  • Google Bookstore: I try and avoid this one as they try and make you use their reader and it is hard to figure out where they are hiding my books.
  • KoboBooks: This is a big one. Sony transferred their bookstore here and it is the primary place for the popular Kobo readers, but is good for any reader using the EPUB format. 
  • eBooks.com They say they are the  World's Leading Source of eBooks. But hype aside, a good store.
  • Books-A-Million Online Bookstore : Buy Discount Books Music Movies Magazines : Booksamillion .com
  • Project Gutenberg - Free Classics and other with expired copyright. No DRM. Many of these are poorly copied by people helping out as the scan their own old books on old scanners and then upload them. But sometimes you find a real gem.
  • Amazon.com - The big one. Yes I buy elsewhere when I can, but still I probably buy nearly half my books here.

If you do get EPUB books with DRM, then you'll need to setup an account with Adobe and download and install their Ebook Library program called Adobe Digital Editions. Just like you'll need Amazon's Kindle program to manage DRM for Amazon books. The reading program I like best for Android is Aldiko and I use it for nearly all my reading. I transfer all my books into the Calibre Ebook management program so all my books can be managed from a single place.

Date: October 2014

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