10 Online eBook Stores Worth Using
When you want to buy ebooks, it’s tempting to head straight to Amazon and start browsing, especially if you have a Kindle. And while it’s a great store to start looking at books, you can find better prices, a wider 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. Along with 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 a 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 on Amazon, they are in AWZ format. This means you’ll need to convert your ebooks to EPUB using an app like Caliber if you have a non-Kindle reader.
Apple users should check out Apple Books (formerly known as iBooks). Non-Apple users, however, should give it plenty of room. Unlike Amazon Kindle, which has apps available on all major operating systems, Apple Books is limited to Apple devices, such as Mac, iPad, and iPhone.
The store offers titles from mainstream and independent publishers, but it doesn’t have the same volume of content as Amazon. You’ll 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 time, it has become one of the largest e-book sellers on the web. Nearly two million titles are available through local portals in the US, UK, Canada, Australia and Europe.
The site has both an online player and a download tool. This means you can read a book directly through your web browser, which is a useful feature if you want to read a bit 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 a readers perspective, the library has over 500,000 books available. According to the company, 70,000 of them are available for free, making it one of the best free eBook download sites.
The Smashwords homepage has filters you won’t see in many other places, including a word count filter (under 20,000 words, over 20,000, over 50,000, and over 100,000 ) and filters for essays, plays, poetry, and screenplays.
Several e-book formats are available for download, including EPUB, MOBI (for Kindle compatibility), and PDF.
Barnes and Noble is one of the best Amazon alternatives for buying books online and is the largest physical bookstore in the United States, with over 600 retail stores. The company also makes the Nook eReader. When it comes to the Nook versus the Amazon Kindle, Nooks are arguably the best alternative and their biggest competitor in the market. The Barnes and Noble eBook Store contains 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 hurdles you need to jump through. First, you need to convert the books to a different format. Barnes and Noble ebooks come as EPUB files, so Kindle devices cannot read them. Second, you need to remove the Barnes and Noble DRM.
You can easily do both steps using the Caliber e-book management app.
Kobo is another of the best places to buy ebooks. Like Barnes and Noble, the company also produces a few different eReader models.
With five million titles available for purchase, Kobo is also one of the largest e-book stores on the web. Content is evenly split 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 personalized recommendation algorithms; the more books you download and read, the more personalized the recommendations become.
Kobo also runs the Kobo Writing Life program. It’s a way for new authors to get their work published. 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 another app like Caliber to remove DRM restrictions from books if a publisher chooses to enable it.
If you’re an Android user, you might find Google Play Books to be 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 every month.
Most of the books on the platform fall into the romance category, although since the mid-1990s it has begun 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 site’s built-in reader, or you can download them to your device.
BookBub provides users with hand-picked deals on e-books via its expert in-house editorial team. 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 aggregate the best and most suitable deals for you from many other ebook sellers.
For example, if you love Stephen King novels, BookBub can alert you to the best deals and prices on new releases. This saves you from manually browsing through 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 e-books somewhere other than Amazon, check out Blackwell’s.
After opening its doors in 1879, the Oxford-based company has made a name for itself as a leading publisher of scholarly books.
You’ll find titles in business, economics, history, social sciences, travel, drama, religion, philosophy, music, and more. The e-books section isn’t as comprehensive as the list of physical books you can buy, but if you’re looking for something non-fiction, it’s worth checking it out.
The final entry on our list is Hive. Hive is a UK-based e-book store that also sells other forms of media such as CDs, DVDs, audiobooks, and physical books.
The e-book store has a good mix of bestsellers and new releases, all of which can be downloaded to your hard drive or device.
Ebooks on Hive are available in EPUB and PDF.
Don’t forget your local library
If you want to avoid buying e-books and instead prefer to borrow titles as you read them, 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.