- eBook Mall
boasts more than 210,000 e-books, including “bargain e-books” priced under $5. Ebookmall.com is categorized based on e-book formats, with offerings in basic and simple e-book applications such as plain text and Word as well as HTML, which downloads a book onto a computer browser and reads like a web page. Software-specific e-books offered on Ebookmall.com (which require the download of software for each separate application) include Mobipocket and Adobe Reader/Adobe Digital Editions (see KNOW THIS Prerequesite below).
- Books On Board
calls itself the “largest independent e-bookstore” with more than 280,000 titles. Established in 2005 and based in Austin, Texas, BooksOnBoard sells e-books in Adobe Digital Editions and Mobipocket formats as well as other formats such as Microsoft Reader. Also sells audiobooks.
a Barnes & Noble company, dubs itself “the world’s largest” e-book store. In addition to offering two dozen free selections from the Barnes & Noble collection of classics, Ereader.com sells e-books for download via hardware-specific eReader software, including eReader for iPhone. Content creators are invited to create e-books for handheld devices through the Ebook Studio, and eReader wireless shopping capabilities are offered via eReader for Windows mobile software.
a two-year-old document-sharing site (called by some the YouTube of e-publishing) that recently entered the e-book retail arena with its ScribD Store. Titles ranging from travel guides, theses, and manuals to poetry, essays, and collections of jokes can be read directly on the ScribD site, downloaded to a PC, or viewed via a web-enabled handheld device. An iPhone app for the site is in the works. Originally designed to give independent authors a place to post and share their writings, ScribD now also allows publishers, authors, and other “content creators” to sell their wares via the ScribD Store…and set the prices and digital rights for their works.
offers access to “168,000 popular, professional and academic e-books from the world’s leading publishers” via downloads of its free software.
- Feed Books
allows content creators to “publish” their works but not sell them: All the thousands of works available for download on the site are free since they’re in the public domain either due to expired copyright (currently pre-1923; for extensive discussions of copyright issues, visit Public Domain Sherpa) or because the author opts to offer works at no cost. Feedbooks.com explains its service as a “universal e-reading platform compatible with all mobile reading devices.”
- Book On Browser
uses its own software to produce interactive books—especially textbooks—that can be downloaded to and read on a computer’s web browser, avoiding the need for any type of software download and enhancing the reading experience through links to audio-visual and other on-line files.
- Fiction Wise
another Barnes & Noble company, was launched in 2000. It reportedly “has over a million members and sells over one million units per year,” making it “one of the top eBook distribution companies in the world.” Fictionwise also provides detailed distinctions between e-books offered in MultiFormat (a dozen different file formats that are not encrypted) and Secure (encrypted) Formats designed to prevent copying. Fictionwise explains that while “the MultiFormat eBooks cover a wider variety of reading devices and platforms, …because they are not encrypted, many large trade publishers will not allow their eBooks to be sold in these formats.” While Fictionwise states it prefers to offer eBooks in MultiFormat, it supports “secure formats that prevent unauthorized copying to give our members the widest possible selection, including national best-selling authors.” In other words, blame paranoid publishers for the hassle of Secure Formats.
- Mobi Pocket
a Paris-based company founded in 2000 and owned by Amazon since 2005. The Mobipocket format for creating e-books is one of the main e-book files used worldwide. (The Kindle e-book format is based on it). Mobipocket.com offers a selection of 40,000 titles that can be downloaded and read on PCs or various handheld devices via free Mobipocket Reader software. On Blackberries, Mobipocket books can be purchased and downloaded via Over The Air (OTA) (i.e., wireless) technology.
- Kindle Store
Amazon Kindle Store
- Free Kindle eBooks
Public Domain Books
- eBook Wise
owned by Fictionwise.com (a Barnes & Noble company), is another on-line e-book retailer that, like Amazon, requires the purchase of a specific e-reader. The Ebookwise reader retails for $136; Ebookwise titles can also be downloaded onto a Gemstar, Barnes & Noble’s original e-reading device. One of these readers must be connected to a computer for Ebookwise books to be downloaded onto them. (Gemstar-formatted e-books can also be purchased at the Gemstar section of the eBookMall.)
- COOL-ER Classic
British company Interead resembles trendy iPhones with its slight design and selection of bright colors. TechNewsWorld.com reports the new device measures about 7x4.5 inches with a six-inch screen, weighs only six ounces, is compatible with PCs and MACs, and supports PDF and ePub files. It does not offer a wireless feature or touchscreen and costs $249. The CoolerBooks.com site offers 750,000 titles at reportedly discount prices. Most range in price from about $5 up to $20.
- Other POD Sites