Where to Buy eBooks (Other Than Amazon)

Every six months or so for the past several years, I’ve been doing a thread on Fedi about where to buy ebooks other than Amazon. It finally occurred to me that I could write it once, put it up on website, and update as needed, rather than constantly reinventing the wheel.

So, here we are. (And in spite of the title, this isn’t JUST about eBooks)

A note before we get started:

This is geared towards US book sellers. I just don’t know much about book sellers in other countries. There will be a short list at the bottom with a few non-US booksellers, and if you know others, please leave them in the comments.

Where to Buy eBooks:

Authors website — some authors have a webstore where you can buy their books. Bonus: Author gets more money

Publishers website — ditto, without the bonus

Smashwords — support indie authors! (Smash is merging with Draft2Digital, but they assure us the store will stay open in some form.)

Your Local Bookstore — some indie book stores have ebook sales. (Don’t know any local book stores? Find one on Indie Bound)

Someone’s Local Bookstore — if your local book store doesn’t, you can find a list of other local book stores that do through Indiebound (downside, but use the My Must Reads app)

DriveThruFiction — lots of indie and oddball stuff

Kobo — will give a percentage to your local book store (or someone else’s local bookstore) downside: can only be read in app (some books now readable on desktop)

Google books — yeah, it’s Google. But when it comes to books, google is the lesser of two evils

Avoid

Barnes & Noble — their DRM thing won’t let you read your books if you don’t have an active credit card on file (May have changed in last few years. If it has, let me know?)

Amazon (of course)

Where to Buy Pulp Books:

Your Local Bookstore

Author’s website — some authors have a webstore where you can buy their books. Bonus: Author gets more money

Publishers website — ditto, without the bonus

Someone’s Local Bookstore — Indie Bound will let you pick a local store to shop from online

Thrift Books — great for used books of all types

Avoid

ABEBooks (It’s owned by Amazon)

Amazon (of course)

Walmart (it’s Walmart)

Audio Books

Librivox — free audio versions of books in the public domain

Libro.fm — subscription service similar to Audible, but you can download actual MP3 files

Chirp — really good sales, no subscription required

Kobo — haven’t bought from them myself

Avoid

Audible (owned by Amazon)

KU Alternatives

Scribd — monthly subscription to thousands of ebooks, audio books, magazines, and more. BONUS! Many KU ebooks are available on Scribd as audiobooks, so you can leave KU and still read stuff from some of your fave authors.

Your Local Library — Go old fashioned! Paper books, ebooks, and audio books for free!

Kobo Plus

24Symbols

Goodreads Alternatives

(Yeah, Amazon owns Goodreads)

Storygraph

Bookwyrm

LibraryThing (better for institutions than individuals, but some folks make it work)

International

Smashwords, Kobo, and Google all have options for international buyers. I don’t know how widely available they are, but Smashwords was going for worldwide availability with the website available in multiple languages.

Mondadori — Italy (I think)

Angus & Robertson — Australia

!ndigo — Canada

Thalia — Germany (I think)

Baja Libros — Latin America (also available in the US)

Casa del Libro — Spain

Hive — UK

Bol — Germany

Voxa — Romania

FNAC — various (Main website is for France, but there are also websites for Spain, Qatar, and probably others I haven’t found)

Where I Buy Books

My book buying priorities are:

I want DRM free ebooks in .epub format

I want the author to be paid as much as possible

So the first place I look is on the authors website.

Many authors have their on webstores these days. Those webstores almost always offer DRM free epub. And if I’m buying from the author website, the ‘retailers cut’ on a sale is ALSO going to the author.

My next stop is the publishers website (if there is a publisher who has a webstore. Most of them don’t, but a few do.)

If neither the author nor publisher have a websote, my next stops (in order) are:

Smashwords

Google Books

Kobo

Used bookstores for paper copies

I also have a Scribd account and (of course) Overdrive through my library.

I have one exception for my ‘don’t buy from Amazon’ rule. If I already have part of a ebook series bought on Amazon, I’ll buy the sequels there, as well, to keep everything together.

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