Originally Posted by CWatkinsNash
With the exception of Kindle (via the personal documents email service), the devices themselves (and their related ecosystems) aren't really set up to do what you want. I believe Baen offers the Kindle email delivery option, where the customer can enter their device email and have the book delivered to the Kindle. However, even this option requires that the customer manually go to their Amazon account page and add the Baen email address as a trusted sender.
Devices that have a browser, as well as tablets, can be used to access the site directly, and download the file right onto it. How this works can vary by device, and may require MIME type configuration on the server side.
Take a look at Baen's ereader instruction page
. While it's a bit long due to the different device types, I think their instructions are pretty clear, and cover multiple ways of getting the ebooks onto the devices.
It's worth noting that anyone who has ever bought ebooks from somewhere other than the store "attached" to their device has likely already had some sideloading experience. I'd also wager that a good portion of those who haven't bought from outside their ecosystem probably aren't going to buy your book unless they can get it in their preferred store.
If I may...
As someone who deals, near-daily, with people who have issues loading content, I've posted several times here on MR about the problems that my would-be self-selling publisher clients have encountered trying to sell digital content--even those with the most advanced, heavily-supported websites and digital carts.
I do not have one single client
(out of over 2,000 books converted for over 1500 clients) that has stuck with selling from their own websites
, because the customer service burden is so overwhelming
(phone calls, emails, text messages, etc.) that they decided that they would happily pay Amazon, B&N, Kobo, etc., their percentage, rather than continue to devour any and all "profit" made by having to support all the customer downloading problems. Not one. Not law firms, not medical companies, not even companies specializing in providing instruction in various areas
. Every single one found that the customer service burden was quite simply too high. None lasted even 180 days of self-selling. Unless you plan to spend time on the phone walking people through downloading books, etc., I'd strongly suggest you give it a long second thought.
We deal with this at my company literally every day; with anywhere from 130-180 books in production at any time, no matter how good the videos, no matter how detailed the instructions, people who don't understand files, downloading, downloading from browsers, etc., struggle with using reading software, and get really freaked out about using USB cables, transferring to "documents" folders rather than the "books" folder, etc. People blithely assure me that they are "tech-savvy" who don't understand that they cannot launch a file attached to an email if they don't have a program installed that can use it (say, ADE, for example). Most people--this is surprising, but true--cannot download a file from a browser; they only know how to "download" a file that comes to them in email, and is already the product of a program that they already have installed, so that they need only "open" the attachment, not save it somewhere on their computer. Most people cannot find their "download" folders. I'm not making this up; it's the single biggest overhead item in my company
that isn't part of the line costs. (n.b.: several of our law firm clients said that they--unbelievably--had the same problems with people trying to buy/download PDF's. Seriously
So, as I said, unless you plan on sending out emails and returning phone calls about downloading and installation and sideloading problems, I'd just use whatever retailers are available. Just my $.02,and worth what you paid for it.