So you want eBooks…bestsellers or free?

31 August 2008

In my last article I talked about the current eBook market from a U.S. perspective and now that the UK is getting it's own dedicated E-Ink reader, we should see an increase in interest here also.

Although the Sony Reader is the perfect digital eBook reader, you don't need a dedicated reader to enjoy eBooks. They can be viewed on your desktop/laptop computer, PDA, mobile phone, Blackberry - well, the list could go on.

Perhaps you are considering purchasing a Sony Reader (Visit the Sony Reader website) when they are released next month but are wondering where you will be able to get eBooks from...not just the commercial, but also the free ones.

Well, let's jump in and get started with the commercial eBook shops.

Commercial eBooks

From September 2008 there will be a couple of new UK stores opening; Waterstones.com and Penguin.co.uk. These are being launched in conjunction with the Sony Reader. Also in the UK we have the W.H.Smith eBook store. Moving beyond dedicated UK stores, you can also buy eBooks from eBooks.com, Fictionwise.com, BooksOnBoard.com, Mobipocket.com, eReader.com (good if you have an Apple iPhone). These are all international websites so you will have no problem buying books from them.

Please note, not all of these online shops sell books that the Sony Reader can use. For instance, Mobipocket is the biggest eBook provider around, yet all their books are in the mobi format, meaning you need a device that can read .PRC files (PDA, Blackberry, etc.) - the Sony Reader does not.

If all this seems a little complicated don't worry, I'll be witting articles to explain all this jargon in the coming weeks.

FREE eBooks

We all want something for free don't we. Luckily for you there are plenty of legally free eBooks around the internet for download. The Classics is the biggest genre available for free as these have been out of copyright for many years now. If your passion is authors like Jane Austin, Jules Verne or Dumas then you're in luck. Along with the classics you can also find some modern titles, however don't expect to find any bestsellers.

For the Classics you should take a look at Project Gutenberg, Feedbooks.com and manybooks.net. The website Baen.com provides a good number of modern SF books. There are many more places you can try but most are just providing the classics, which the first three I have listed here do anyway.

I hope I've shown that eBooks are not new and that there are plenty of places where you should find what you're looking for. Good hunting!