E-books are awesome. You can load them on your computer, smartphone, tablet, palm pilot, wristwatch, microwave, television, and (I’m pretty sure) dedicated e-reader. And, while some of the devices I’ve listed may not actually display your e-book accurately, or at all (even though they can cook a mean bag of popcorn), of the ones that do so accurately and certainly (namely the portable ones that you can’t wear on your wrist), they generally display the book using dedicated formats including .epub, .mobi, .pdf, and other relevant text and HTML types, and do so according to the device’s specifications. They also, hopefully, allow you to read them anywhere: at home, at the park, in the line for your driver’s license photo, etc.
But how do you decide which format to use or which store to purchase the book from? Well, that would depend on your preferred device. For example, if you have an Amazon Kindle e-reader, then you’ll need a .mobi file. What about the Kindle app? Yep, you’ll still want the .mobi format. It’s Kindle, so, you know, get the type that Kindle can read. Where’s the best place to get a Kindle-compatible e-book? Amazon, maybe? What about Smashwords? Maybe that, too. Is Amazon the better source? Probably.
What about the Nook e-reader? Android? PC? Each device reads a specific format (with PC in particular having access to nearly every format), but the good news is that every retailer that’s paired to a particular e-reader will connect a buyer’s purchased books to his or her respective e-reader. So, deciding which storefront (and format) to purchase really comes down to deciding which reader or device you want to read your book on (hopefully not the microwave because I don’t think that’s actually possible…yet).
Now, there are many, many retailers that sell e-books, many of which are region- and format-specific. And, if you’re looking for a popular e-book (the latest James Patterson perhaps?), you’ll probably find it at any of them. But, if you’re looking for one of mine (maybe the one you were viewing before you clicked to this page), you’ll find that your options (and mine) are a bit more limited. However, the good news is that most of the larger storefronts do carry my books, so if you don’t mind throwing your money at Big Box Bookseller (or maybe just your time, as some of my books are free at most retailers), then you can acquire my books from one of them (hopefully your favorite).
The following section will provide you a short list of the major retailers who carry my books and some general advice on how to access your new files once you acquire them, as well as some justifications for my pricing strategies. Be aware that not every retailer carries every book, so for best results, click on the “Buy Now” button for your preferred book title and see which store options appear.
Your Amazon Kindle e-book library can be linked to your Kindle reading device, your Kindle app for Androids and tablets, and your Kindle for PC app. Downloading a book directly from Amazon will place it in your cloud-based library and make that book accessible from any of your Kindle-supported devices or apps.
A Quick Note on Amazon Pricing:
Amazon requires me to set an initial price for all e-books, even those that I’d normally price for free everywhere else. It may end up price-matching for free at the time of purchase (it’s happened before), but I cannot manually set the price for anything lower than $0.99 USD. If you’d like a guaranteed free version (for those books that are supposed to be free), check out one of the other retailers listed below.
Alternatively, if you do purchase a copy at Amazon that’s normally free elsewhere, it means I may get paid for my work (and it may incentivize me to keep publishing my work).
Note: Amazon can sometimes be swayed to offer an e-book for free if customers manually request a price match with other major retailers (Apple iTunes in particular). Consult the following graphic for details: