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Old 02-18-2019, 08:18 PM   #1
maximus83
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Your top sources for purchased Epub books

What are your top 2 or 3 favorite sources for purchased books in epub format? For each, I'm interested to know the main pros and cons as you see it.

Mine:

Source: Google Play Books
Pros: Decent Epub 3 support and book formatting quality; good selection; Android/iOS/browser apps; easy download/import-to-Calibre via ADE; uploaded books get full support for sync of positions/notes/highlights; notes saved to Google docs and easy to export
Cons: Selection and pricing often inferior to Amazon; Android app somewhat less polished than Amazon's; no support for dedicated simple e-ink devices such as Kindle or Kobo

Source: Kobo/Walmart Books
Pros: Epub 3 support; good selection; Android/iOS/PC/MacOS apps; more competitive pricing
Cons: Selection inferior to Amazon; no browser app; Android and PC apps less polished than Kindle; proprietary .kepub file format requires extra conversion steps; no support for uploading your own books or synching reading data among them

In the past I would've included Barnes and Noble due to good selection, a good set of free apps, and sometimes competitive pricing. But their policies lately seem like they've hardened into trying to force you to use their devices and to keep the books you buy completely within their apps and ecosystem. Also, I'm interested in ebooks.com but haven't used them yet, like to hear if anyone has used them much.

Hoping that with the new Walmart/Kobo partnership, Walmart will invest and build up Kobo's store and device strategy. For instance, increase their selection, widen out their cloud service features for reading, and do more user-friendly things like allow users to upload their own books into the Kobo cloud and sync reading data. It seems like this partnership would have the potential to really offer a viable alternative to Amazon's monopoly and closed practices.
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Old 02-18-2019, 10:21 PM   #2
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For myself I largely could care less about a stores apps, etc. I'll generally buy from whoever is cheapest and/or I might have a coupon or giftcard for. Format isn't a huge concern and my library has books that were initially ePub, various Amazon formats, LIT, PRC, eReader/PDB, etc.

All of my books go into Calibre and if not ePub already get converted. They're transferred to CC on my iPad mini as ePub's for reading in MapleRead, and if I want them on an eInk device are sent to my Aura HD. I prefer kePub on the Kobo, but kePub conversion is setup to be handled automatically during transfer so I just don't worry about it.


For ePub stores my choices (prices being equal) would be 1) Kobo, 1a) Google, 2) eBooks.com, 2a) BAM, 3) B&N, 4) Misc publisher & author websites. I rarely need to look beyond Kobo or Google.

Any of the others stores are largely relegated to someplace to buy either if there is a special deal/coupon/offer or a rare time when Kobo or Google (or Amazon) doesn't have it, which used to occasionally happen, but would be rare this late into the game. If I can't download a copy to put in Calibre (such as pubs who use BookShout) I don't buy.


My only real "con" with Kobo would be if a book can't be downloaded as an ePub and I have to jump through some minor hoops and get a kePub and work from that, but I don't even know if that's an issue with them any more to be honest. Haven't run into it in years. Have also run into a problem once with Google where if an eBook was in the 100's of MB's the ePub wouldn't download only the PDF would (this was some problem in their system according to support), but books of that size are rare and like my Kobo issue it was years ago and may or may not even be a problem any more.
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Old 02-27-2019, 06:43 PM   #3
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I also buy wherever it's cheapest, regardless of format. I don't use any apps or clouds. All my books go into Calibre immediately after purchasing, get desinfected, edited and converted to azw3 for my Kindles. That goes for Amazon books too.

For me Google Play is usually the cheapest option, cheaper than Amazon. So I buy most of my tradpubs there. Rarely from Kobo, their prices are higher. For indies it's Smashwords or Amazon (if Google doesn't have it).

B&N only sells ebooks to US customers, so they have never been an option for me. The same with BAM.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:38 PM   #4
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Recent purchases have mostly been manga so been getting them from Kobo (high quality while being easy to DeDRM).

I used to buy all my manga from BN. According to my spreadsheet, I've actually spent ~$4K on Nook manga throughout the years. However, when I started needing a rooted Android tablet in order to acquire DeDRM-able copies of my Nook purchases, that's when I stopped buying from BN.
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:56 PM   #5
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In Italy price is settled by publisher, so it is the same everywhere. And usually books are available in all bookstores. I buy from Amazon, Kobo and from IBS and Bookrepublic when there is no DRM.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:44 AM   #6
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So here's a related question for you guys that acquire epubs from different sources.

Have you noticed a significant difference in the quality of the epub source files from the various retailers? Is one of them consistently outputting better quality epub files with better markup than the others? My impression has been Kobo often puts out pretty clean epubs, but I haven't done any kind of thorough comparison or diffing.

I ask only because, it's often not a clear-cut decision between which store I'm going to buy an epub from. Often prices are same or within a buck or two, and all other things being equal, if one store is putting more effort into nicely formatting and structuring the source files, I'll buy from them.
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximus83 View Post

Have you noticed a significant difference in the quality of the epub source files from the various retailers?
Not really. But then, I edit the formatting of all my ebooks anyway, so I have no idea how they would look on an e-ink screen in their original state. I haven't noticed any big retailer differences while editing them. There are, of course, differences, but that doesn't depend on where they were bought. IMHO, at least.
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Old 03-06-2019, 11:35 AM   #8
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I don't limit myself to epub because I remove DRM and use Calibre to easily convert between epub and my ereader be it a Nook or Kindle product. In answer to your specific question, I think I buy more epub from Baen than any other source. I only rarely buy from Kobo any more as I'm usually looking for a whispersync title to get the audiobook.
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