One of the more frustrating aspects of owning a dedicated eReader like the Nook, is the seeming limitation of where you can buy your eBooks. Well, I am here to tell you that there are many online eBookstores where you can find books, some of which are from smaller publishers not necessarily carried by Barnes and Noble. You can also load them onto your Nook with very little effort on your part.
Rob Pegoraro has a wonderful piece in The Washington Post on frustrations with DRM and eBook readers. You can only read Nook eBooks on a Nook or Nook app for pc, mac, android, iPhone, blackberry, or Windows Phone 7. Kindle has the same restrictions and options for reading on other devices. iBooks, however can only be read on an Apple device.
So let’s look at other online book stores where you can shop for eBooks and how you load them on your Nook. You will have to use your computer to shop in these online eBook stores and to load your new eBooks on your Nook.
If you like science fiction/fantasy, the first place that I recommend is Baen. Baen is a book publisher of some of the greatest science fiction/fantasy authors of all time including Mercedes Lackey, Robert Heinlein, P. N. Elrod, Sharon Lee, Elizabeth Moon, and many many more.
Baen has a section called Baen Free Library where you can find books by many authors for free so that you can try the authors out. They also have free eBooks for disabled readers. Eric Flint has posted a marvelous piece on why Baen decided to do this.
You have several options with Baen. You can purchase each book individually for about $6 a piece or you can purchase a monthly collection or Webscription that contains about five books and costs $18. Needless to say, the Webscriptions are the better deal especially since this is not a monthly subscription. You can pick and choose what if any monthly Webscription you want to buy and you can go back to previous months or years. The books come in a variety of formats, from the early Mobipocket, eReader formats to Nook and Kindle formats. You can always download all of the formats for reading on a variety of devices from an ancient Palm device to your latest computer or Nook.
Another of my favorite eBook stores is Fictionwise. They have all genres of books (non-fiction as well as fiction) in both “multi-format” and secure ebooks . With the multi-format books, you can download them in any number of formats including formats that can be read on the Nook and Kindle. If you switch readers – from Kindle to Nook or vice versa – you can download the book again in the new format. This allows you to be able to reread old favorites on whatever technology you are using at the moment much like pulling an old favorite off your bookself.
The secure eBooks must be bought in a particular format that cannot be changed later. For instance, I have been a big fan of Mobipocket (PRC) for over a decade. Books that are secured, I can only read on my computer using the Mobipocket eReader. I can’t transfer those books to my Nook nor can you read them on the Kindle which is supposed to be Mobipocket compatible. Both will only read DRM free versions of “compatible” formats.
Books on Board has a variety of reading material most of which is in either PDF and/or EPUB which can be read on the Nook. You can find fiction and non-fiction books. The formats are limited but for Nook owners this shouldn’t be a problem.
Of course the best place to find DRM free eBooks is Project Gutenberg. Here is where you can find classic eBooks for free in a variety of formats including EPUB for Nook. These books are free and DRM free because the copyright has expired. You can find books by Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jane Austen, and others. True you can find these books at Barnes and Noble or some other online bookstores but you usually have to pay for them and they usually carry the DRM language somewhere in the book. These books can truly be shared between users of different devices and as many times as you want.
There are more genre specific bookstores that you can find referenced below.
So how do you get these books on your Nook? You can’t just download them from the Barnes and Noble site. Instead you download them to your computer. You can create a new folder called “EBooks” or you can just download them to your download folder. Whichever you choose remember the name. Some eBookstores use numbers or authors as opposed to book titles for your eBook download.
Plug your Nook into your computer using the data/charge cable that came with your Nook. Go to your Start Menu and on the right you should see “Computer”. Click on that option. When you plug your device into the computer you will see Nook come up as a drive and any micro SD card that you may have plugged into your Nook will also come up. Click on Nook and you should see a number of folders. You will want to copy the eBook files from your computer to the “Documents” folder on your Nook.
When you turn your Nook on, go to your Library. When you open it you should see an option on the bottom screen that says “Go to My Documents”. Choose that option and your new books will be listed. You can create shelves and vary how you sort them just as you can in your B & N Library.
Well, all you Nook lovers looking for a bit more reading variety, you now have new eBook stores to peruse and enjoy. Each one has specials or special member discounts that will reduce your cost for eBooks. You also have a whole new use for your “My Documents” section. Enjoy!
Free ebooks: ManyBooks.net
Remember that books not in the EPUB format will not be readable on your Nook unless they aren’t “secured”.
You may also be interested in David Cassel’s compilation of the Top 40 best ebooks of all time.