E-Book stores are myriad with the top stores getting most of the sales, while the smaller stores get little attention. Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Sony are the leading e-book market places on the internet. But what if you do not have a Kindle, Nook or Sony E-Reader?
Here are two different E-Book stores you have probably never heard of, but there are allot of positive factors about them.
Books on Board
One of the highest rated e-book stores on the internet. They have about 750,000 books in their library and have mostly DRM and some NON DRM contents. Books on Board mainly supports the EPUB format, the mobile book format and the Microsoft reader format. They also sell E-Readers and Audio Books are well.. Books on Board claims it supports the PC, Mac, Net book, IPHONE, Sony E-Readers, Cybook, Astak, Nook and Kindle E-Readers. Most newer E-readers that are not on this list do read EPUB so you should be ok buying your books from there. If you are not sure whether or not your device is supported from them, check out our E-Reader Forum for more Information. As well, Books on Board gives you some test books to see if they will be read on your E-book reader, something no other store does. Books on board prices are very competitive, selling current New York Times best sellers at around $9.00. Most people who refuse to use Amazon or Barnes and Noble really like Books on Board. They even have a program you can subscribe to that allows you save money on books you buy from their store.
Their Website: http://www.booksonboard.com/
Test Book Link http://www.booksonboard.com/index.php?F=FreeandGreen_ebooks
Supported Formats Chart: http://www.booksonboard.com/index.php?BODY=formats
The Kobo Book Store
Kobo partnered up with Indigo/chapters books are forming many popular publishing deals with big companies such as Random House. They bill themselves as an all-in-one electronic reading service for PCs, laptops, net books, tablets and smart phones. They recently formed a huge base in London, England and formed partnerships with Random House UK, Penguin Group UK, Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster UK and Faber & Faber.
Kobo is at the forefront of mobile application development. They make apps for the I-Phone, Blackberry, Android, Palm Pre, and many other devices. You can buy an Android app and read it on the device you bought it with, then transfer it to your main e-reader when you get home.
Boarders has also announced that is has formed a strategic relationship with Kobo and will unveil their new e-book store site in the summer or fall of 2010.
Kobo ever since it dropped its old name Short covers. Short Covers has been selling eBooks for a long while, but the rebranding to Kobo marks the first serious alternative to the Kindle as a platform. Kobo has teamed up with Borders, REDgroup Retail and Instant Fame, which to you and me means that the books are available almost worldwide, in the United States, Canada, the EU, the U.K., Australia and the Asia Pacific region. In fact, Borders will be incorporating Kobo into its store later next year. Kobo is also adding 1.8 million public-domain books from the Internet Archive.
Apart from a name change, Kobo has some new features. Now you can browse by category, choose from a new Top-50 e-books list, New York Times bestsellers, Oprah’s book-club picks and more. The app also has recommended reading lists (right now there is a “Season’s Readings” section, and a splendid “Canadian, eh” list) and a better search function.
It’s very easy to browse, and the Kobo app puts Amazon’s rushed-out Kindle for iPhone application to shame. It’s all done with full artwork for covers, and usually you can read the first chapter of a book (although a lot of the time, you only get to read the end-matter and not any actual content). Reading books is equally elegant, and greatly cleaned-up since the original Shortcovers app. Page turning is animated and actually looks like paper pages flipping.
But when you come to make a purchase, things go slightly awry. By now, most of us are used to in-app purchases on the iPhone, so getting bounced out of Kobo and tossed into a credit card form in Safari is an annoying shock. Once you have laboriously input your details, you are sent back to the Kobo app where your book is waiting for you. It would be more convenient if Kobo took advantage of the iTunes App Store’s ability to complete purchases within the app, with billing handled by Apple.
This reliance on Safari is, we assume, both a way to get around Apple’s 30 percent cut and also to make the experience the same across platforms. And speaking of platforms, only the iPhone and Blackberry have the updated applications so far, with the rest “coming soon.”
Kobo is so far the best and most comprehensive service that we have tested out to buy e-books. This holds true to non americans such as Canaadians, Mexicans, British and more. It is still flawed, and it is a royal pain that Kindle won’t support EPUB books.
Free E-Books http://www.kobobooks.com/lists/Free_eBooks/JyXF0xhQ3EKnr0eYhtXaFw-1.html
Kobo’s Help Page – http://www.kobobooks.com/companyinfo/help.html
We hope this article has changed your perceptions that there is an alternative to the other Book Stores. If you have a Kindle, the Amazon store is your only hope, if you have a Nook, then the Barnes and Noble store is for you. If you do not have a mainstream e-readers, the world is wide open to buy books from different stores, these are two that offer very competitive prices and should be easily read on most new, old and coming out soon e-readers. Just make sure if you have not bought an E-Reader yet, try and look for one that supports the EPUB format, it is the most prevalently supported right now.
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Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.