When it comes to shopping for eBooks, it’s tempting to head straight to Amazon and start browsing, especially if you own a Kindle.
However, you can find better prices, a greater mix of genres, and more varied eBook formats on other eBook stores. So with that in mind, here are the best places to buy ebooks online.
Amazon’s e-book store is the largest on the internet. Besides its huge selection of books, there are plenty of other features that keep customers coming back for more.
For example, there is the Kindle Unlimited subscription service. For $ 9.99 / month, you can download and read as many books as you want from the collection of over one million titles. But you won’t find the latest releases or bestsellers on the list.
Prime members also have access to Prime Reading. It’s an ever-growing library of over 1,000 books, magazines, and comics that you can rent for free.
Amazon frequently offers the best prices, with massive discounts regularly available.
On the other hand, if you buy ebooks from Amazon, they are in AWZ format. This means that you will need to convert the books to EPUB using an app like Caliber if you have a non-Kindle reader. To help you achieve this, read our eBook conversion guide.
Apple users should check out Apple Books (formerly known as iBooks). Non-Apple users, however, should give it plenty of space. Unlike Amazon Kindle, which offers apps on all major operating systems, Apple Books is limited to macOS and iOS devices.
The store itself offers titles from both mainstream and independent publishers, but it doesn’t have the same volume of content as Amazon. You will be hard pressed to find free eBooks to download, when Amazon’s list of free titles seems endless.
eBooks.com has been around for over 20 years. During this period, he became one of the biggest e-book sellers on the web. Almost two million titles are available through local portals in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Europe.
The site has both an online reader and a download tool. This means that you can read a book directly through your web browser; this is a useful feature if you want to do light reading while working on other projects on your computer.
The site only sells books in EPUB and PDF formats.
Smashwords is the world’s largest independent ebook distributor. It allows aspiring authors to publish their work for free and offers them a way to get into major retailers and libraries.
From the reader’s perspective, the library has over 500,000 books available. According to the company, 70,000 of them are available for free.
The Smashwords home page offers filters you won’t see elsewhere, including a word count filter (less than 20,000 words, over 20,000, over 50,000, and over 100,000) and filters for essays, plays, poetry and screenplays.
Several eBook formats are available for download, including EPUB, MOBI (for Kindle compatibility), and PDF.
Barnes and Noble is the largest physical bookstore in the United States, with over 600 retail stores. The company also manufactures the NOOK e-reader. NOOKs are arguably the best alternative to a Kindle and their biggest competitor in the market. The Barnes and Noble eBook Store has over 3 million paid titles and 1 million free eBooks.
If you buy eBooks from Barnes and Noble but want to read them on your Kindle, there are a few steps you need to take. First of all, you need to convert the books to a different format. Barnes and Noble eBooks are provided as EPUB files, so Kindle devices cannot read them. Second, you need to remove Barnes and Noble DRM.
You can easily perform both steps using the Caliber eBook manager app.
If you want to see the differences between Amazon e-readers and Barnes and Noble, read our article pitting the Nook against the Kindle.
Kobo is another of the best places to buy ebooks. Like Barnes and Noble, the company also produces a few different e-reader models.
With five million titles available for purchase, Kobo is also one of the largest eBook stores on the web. The content is also divided between fiction and non-fiction. There are Kobo apps available for all major operating systems, including Windows, iOS, and Android.
The store benefits from its powerful algorithms for personalized recommendations; the more books you download and read, the more personalized the recommendations become.
Kobo also operates the Kobo Writing Life program. It is a way for new authors to publish their work. As a reader, that means you have access to thousands of fun indie titles.
The Google Play Store has an entire section dedicated to selling ebooks. It consists of more than five million titles.
Books on the Google Play Store are only available in EPUB and PDF formats. Kindle devices can read PDF, but you’ll still need to use Caliber to remove DRM restrictions from books if a publisher chooses to enable it.
If you are using Android, you might find that Google Play Books is the most convenient option. The app is tightly integrated with the rest of the Android operating system and works well with other Google services like Google Assistant.
Harlequin is one of the leading publishers of women’s books in the United States. The site is a division of HarperCollins and publishes 100 new titles each month.
Most of the books on the platform fall under the romance category, although since the mid-1990s it has started to branch out into other genres such as thrillers, thrillers, small town dramas. and paranormal stories.
You can read the books you buy using the in-site eReader, or you can download them to your device.
BookBub provides users with handpicked eBook deals through its in-house editorial team of experts. Covering both bestsellers and hidden gems, it’s a great way for book lovers to expand their reading horizons.
The site does not sell books directly. Instead, it uses your interests to bundle the best and most suitable deals for you from among many other eBook sellers.
For example, if you like Stephen King novels, BookBub can alert you to the best deals and prices on its new releases. This saves you from manually browsing e-book stores and potentially missing out on the best deal.
The UK’s largest bookseller, Waterstones, no longer has an e-book store. However, if you live in the UK and want to buy eBooks from somewhere other than Amazon, check out Blackwell’s.
After opening in 1879, the Oxford-based company made a name for itself as a leading publisher of academic books.
You’ll find titles in business, economics, history, social sciences, travel, theater, religion, philosophy, music and more. The ebook section isn’t as extensive as the list of physical books you can buy, but if you’re looking for something non-fiction it’s worth checking out.
Don’t forget your local library
If you want to avoid buying eBooks and prefer to borrow titles as you read them instead, you should head to your local library instead.
Many libraries in the United States are part of the OverDrive system, and even those that are not may have alternate arrangements in place.
Want to download free ebooks so you never run out of reading material? Here are the best sites to download free ebooks.
About the Author