Where to Buy E-books

You can easily buy E-books through your E-reader’s built-in store, right? So why would you go anywhere else?

Maybe you are looking for a different selection. Maybe you are looking for a better search interface. Maybe you love your device but don’t like “belonging” to a corporation. If you are reading this, you probably have a lot of better reasons. Bottom line; you want to buy E-books somewhere besides the storefront built into your E-reader. So where do you go?

There are three options I recommend checking out:

Smashwords – They have literally hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from and a decent filtering system to help you narrow down your browsing range. Their website is a little clunky, with a kind of “Libertarian” feel, but they offer outstanding support and excellent how-to guides to get your books from them onto your E-reader. And they provide their titles in practically any format you could ever want, giving you access to all formats the first time you buy. They also source E-books to libraries, enabling those who love libraries to still find use for their E-readers.

EBooks.com – They have a slightly more sophisticated presentation than Smashwords and offer a more typical search/filtering interface. They seem to have a higher focus on providing readers access to what they want (as opposed to Smashwords “if you want something we probably have it” approach) and carry best sellers and recommend reading lists. They support most popular E-readers and have an App which you can use for your phone.

DriveThruFiction – DTF is a distributor like Smashwords, so they feel more like a warehouse than a cozy book cafe.Their selection of books seems to be predominately sourced from independent publishers, so you won’t see as many NYT Bestseller’s here. On the other hand you’re more likely to discover an excellent though obscure book, start a trend, and propel it to Bestseller status. The filtering and search options are fairly comprehensive, but not as sleekly styled as Ebooks.com’s. Their titles appear to be mostly offered in .PDF format, which has the benefit of being fairly universal, but the disadvantage of not being specific to any particularly dedicated E-readers. They have a fairly comprehensive help page, but I have never contacted them directly.

Any of these three online retailers will give you a wide selection of E-books offering just as many titles, if not more, as are available on your E-reader linked retailer. Take a few minutes to explore them and enjoy the ambiance of independence.


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