There are many places where readers can find and download e-books. There are a number of online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo that sell them directly. Your local library likely has a robust digital collection or sometimes piracy is just a click away. Good e-Reader has been running a poll for the past three weeks where we asked the question “where do you get your e-books from?” Over 827 people responded and we now have some fairly comprehensive data.
Unsurprisingly Amazon was the most popular digital ecosystem that people get their e-books from. Over 258 people, which represented 29% of the vote regularly purchased all of their e-books from Amazon.
Amazon releases new e-readers and Fire tablets every year, so their hardware has a high rate of adoption. Not everyone upgrades their device to the latest and greatest, some continue to use older devices, while others use the Kindle app on their smartphone or tablet.
The second most popular option was e-book piracy. 141 people or 16% of the vote proclaimed that they download all of their digital content for free from Torrent websites such as the Pirate Bay or Demonoid, or from forums such as Mobilism.
Kobo continues to be a strong alternative to Amazon for people who buy their e-books legitimately. This falls inline with the global e-book industry and is not very surprising. 119 people or 13% of the vote use their Kobo e-reader or apps for Android or iOS.
The public library continues to be a viable option for people who are serious readers. 3M, Baker & Taylor and Overdrive are the three leading companies that libraries use to source their digital collections. 108 people or 12% of the vote use the library to get all of their e-books.
Things got fairly competitive at the bottom of the poll. Google Play e-Books received 63 votes, Barnes and Noble Nook 58, Directly from the publisher 44, indie bookstores 33 and Apple iBooks 25.
I was actually quite surprised how poor Apple and Barnes and Noble fared in our poll. Considering how B&N is the largest bookstore chain in the United States, people don’t have much faith in their digital forays. Apple is one of the few retailers where customers can buy e-books directly within the app and iBooks is preloaded on every single iPhone and iPad.
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.