Sites for downloading ebooks
Since i’m collecting a list for my own reference anyway, i thought it worth sharing.
Bear in mind that i have no connection with any of these sites, and cannot guarantee their integrity. Not all of these sites offer ebooks in all possible formats.
On this page:
I’ll try to keep this list more or less alphabetical. (At least that way i may notice if i duplicate one.) Rather than linking directly from the text, i’m leaving the URLs to show in full so you can paste this into a text file or copy to paste, say, with something like the CopyAllURLs add-on in Firefox.
I’ll be adding links (right at the bottom of this page) to online reviews of ebook readers – making no attempt to keep up with everything, or even to choose useful reviews, and grossly favouring reviews written by people i know. (Ask me if you’d like me to add a link to your review.)
I can’t see me spending a lot of time scurrying around to keep this page up to date, so if you find a dead or out-of-date link or any other misinformation, please let me know. That way it can stay reasonably current. Also please let me know of sites i haven’t listed.
As well as these shop-type sites, an awful lot of authors’ and publishers’ websites offer free ebooks and/or sample excerpts, far too many and too often changing for me to try to list.
Remember, i can’t tell you like this page unless you vote, up at the top.
- The Book Depository
– I can’t find a link to their list of ebooks except the giveaway (see below), but after you have used the advanced search you can filter, selecting ‘Digital’ under Format. Even that lumps true ebooks in with CD-ROMs etc – a clunky way of finding them, but once you have got your search results you can sort on price, popularity or publication date and filter on whether books are in stock or not. (Odd that ebooks would be out of stock, but, y’know.) For print books delivery is free worldwide.
– Dutch. My knowledge of Dutch extends no further than reading it aloud and using the words that sound English to make guesses (eg i strongly suspect boekenplank = bookshelf), so you’ll have to make your own mind up.
– ’168,000 popular, professional and academic ebooks from the world’s leading publishers’.
- Ebooks for Cents
– almost all seem to be $0.99; mostly the get-rich kind of ‘book’. Just pdf, i think. Payment by PayPal. Also some software (of the same ilk).
– independent, UK-based, with more than 800,000 titles both fiction and non-fiction – many academic titles. (They deliver printed books in the UK only but promise ‘shipping further afield soon’.) They also call their prices ‘competitive’, though i wouldn’t, apart from the bargain basement which is almost all romance (Mills & Boon, that kind of thing).
- eReader Outfitters
– ereaders and accessories as well as the Mobipocket catalogue and a ‘free ebooks’ section that [June 2009] contains ONE ebook.
– both fiction and non-fiction, despite the name.
- Horror Mall
– What the name says. This link is to the Digital Editions section; they sell ‘real’ books too. Only four in the freebies section [June 2009].
– ebooks in Spanish, but you can navigate the site in English.
- Libresco‘s new online bookstore
– print books, audio books and maps: ‘We hope to offer eBooks here in the near future.’ Libresco are the UK supplier for iRex (who manufacture the iLiad) and currently sell ebooks at their original site
; the system there is a little strange (categories are: educational, arts, medical, fiction and factual) but you can also browse by author. The new site seems to think more like normal people.
– German. I know less German than French, so i can’t make a judgement, but it looks as well organised as any other site. Also sells Sony and iRex ereaders.
- Mills & Boon Bookstore
– all their books seem to be (i haven’t checked if it really is ALL) available in Adobe EPUB format.
– as well as ebooks (including plenty dictionaries) you can download the Mobipocket Reader software here, which if you don’t like reading on screen also works as a ‘bookshelf’ for organising your collection. An Amazon company since 2005.
– French. A good site from the looks of it, for French ebooks. Clicking ‘Ebooks in English’ doesn’t seem to make it any less French.
– Dutch [see muttering on eBook.nl, above].
– a self-publishing platform and online bookstore. ‘Multi-format, DRM-free ebooks, readable on any e-reading device.’ Most can be sampled (up to 50% of the whole work) for try-before-you-buy reasons. More than 300 of these are freebies.
- The eBook Store from Sony
– for Sony® Reader only (hardly surprising). Publishers will be able to upload ebooks to sell through this store, too, starting ‘later this year’.
– science fiction from Baen (
), as serialized novels, each in three monthly segments before the actual publication date. They’re putting out four books at a time, in several formats though for some reason not pdf. Connected to the Baen Free Library [below].
- Baen Free Library
– some of Baen Books’ titles [see WebScriptions.Net, above].
– Dutch, again [see above]. This one also does audio books.
– free pdf travel guides and books for students, written exclusively for Bookboon and financed by a few in-book ads.
- The Book Depository
– more than 11,000 titles, a promotion to encourage the uninitiated to try out ebooks without risking their money. They only offer pdf format, but you don’t have to log in to download a freebie.
- eReader Outfitters
– see above (only one free ebook).
– public domain books. You can upload your own, too. ‘Using both semantic and presentation elements, Feedbooks can generate high-quality e-books in any format.’
- Fictionwise –
– 42 free ebooks [June 2009], widely varied.
– what it says on the tin. Fiction doesn’t appear to be the main point of this one. Free trade mags as well. Business-orientated.
- Free Kindle Books
– classics in Kindle-compatible MOBI and PRC formats: file-format conversions from Project Gutenberg for a more “book-like” experience on Kindle.
- Horror Mall
– see above (only four free).
– free audiobooks (how did this one get in here?). Volunteers read public domain books. LibriVox does warn that ‘some readers are better than others’ but also have a prooflistening stage and claim: ‘we think almost all of our readings are excellent, and we DO try to catch technical problems.’ The site has pages in a dozen languages other than English.
Thousands of free ebooks, pre-formatted for ereaders, including much of Project Gutenberg’s collection.
- Online Novels –
– Lists of online books by both published and unpublished authors who have made their work freely available on the internet (that means self-publishers, then). You don’t download from here, it’s a collection of more than 500 blurbs with links to other sites. The titles are categorised by genre, then alphabetical by title, which for me simply reinforces that these novelists are unknowns – not that i’m knocking the publicity efforts of unknown authors. ;0)
- Project Gutenberg
– The original (and best?). In ‘plain vanilla ASCII’, 17,000 free ebooks whose copyright has expired in the USA. Book listings, search engine, newsletter, articles and information. Somewhat hard to read as-is because of being plain vanilla, so far easier to use ManyBooks which seems to have most of them. See also Free Kindle Books.
- Science Fiction Worlds of Jeffrey A Carver
– All the Chaos Chronicles novels, some short fiction, and other stuff including six Star Rigger novels of which only one is free.
– self- and indie-published (see above).
- University of Virginia Library’s Etext Center
– Microsoft Reader and Palm formats. Over 2,100 publicly-available ebooks, including classic literature, children’s literature, American history, African-American documents, the Bible.Fifteen languages including Apache, Latvian and Tibetan – wow. The majority of texts are restricted to members of the University of Virginia, of course, but if you can find your way around you’ll come across the publicly-available subsets.
- the Kindle 2 reviewed by David Webb
- the iRex iLiad Book Edition reviewed by me
Page updated January 2010.