Ebooks: An Australian Friendly Guide

Ebooks have become such a popular way to read, to find new authors, and I found I myself have become swept up in the new way of reading. So I’ve put together a page dedicated to a new way of reading. If you’re a first timer in the ebook world, or even if you’re not, listed below are some websites that will help you with guides and tips.

One Note First: This is a work in progress. Mainly because I want to try out websites and stores myself before listing them. If you know of any resources and web-stores worth mentioning please let me know and I’ll consider adding them to the list.

If you’re looking for freebies, Australia friendly (sorry if I haven’t included your country, but it may be on the cards at a later date. If you know of websites that are geared towards specific countries other than America please let me know), cheaper places to buy, libraries that allow borrowing, or somewhere with a large selection, I’ve listed websites in each and will continue doing so when I come across more.

First a Few Tips

  • Always check in the sites’ FAQs and whatnot if they allow for downloading to your country. It may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to forget about seeing as licensing laws with eBooks is different to traditional books. In any case, it’s always a good idea to check the FAQ to avoid disappointment.
  • Make sure they have your format first. Most sites do and if they have a PDF copy or ePub you’re usually set. You can get an ePub reader for your computer (Adobe Digital Editions is usually your best bet), but still double check it when you check out the FAQs.
  • Check out author’s websites because you never know when they’ll have an ebook or two.
  • And if you’re looking for a specific ebook, Booku.com.au now have included eBooks (in Beta) within their search database.

What Is Compatible

  • Kindles: Kindle aren’t other eReader friendly, you can’t buy Kindle books for anything other than Kindle, but you can use other formats on the Kindle. If you have a Kindle you’re able to use MOBI, PDFs, TXT, Audible, and MP3s.
  • Sony eReaders: The standard format to use on a Sony eReader is ePub, but you can also use PDFs (not recommended, see last point), .doc files, and TXT.
  • Nook Books: Whilst you can read ePubs on Nooks, the funny thing is you can read Sony ePubs on a Nook, but you can’t read a Nook Book on a Sony! Figure that one out. Basically, you can use the standard ePub format for Nooks.
  • Kobo: The Kobo is an ePub friendly device.
  • PDFs: PDFs are a format that can be used on many eReader devices, but that doesn’t mean they are always compatible. I use a Sony eReader and have experienced formatting issues when it comes to using PDFs. I also read with the Kindle app on my iPad, which I’ve had no problem reading PDFs on. It does depend on the device so I suggest using PDFs with caution or when in doubt only on a computer. If you wish to find free PDFs, Forgotten Books is a great resource for finding classic literature & non fiction, otherwise Google is always a winner.
  • When In Doubt: Stick to the generic format for your device, Kindle books for Kindles and ePubs for other devices. You can also check out Calibre, which is a conversion tool, but I’m yet to vouch for it.

Sites That Will Help – I’m not an expert and basically what I know about these devices is mostly learnt from experience with them. If you’re interested in knowing more about Copyright laws, legal matters in Australia concerning eBooks, or DRM, listed below are websites and guides that will hopefully help with far more information than I could provide.

eBook Software

  • Calibre – Convert eBook formats into what you need. I’ve successfully converted ePubs to Kindle, but that’s it so far.
  • Sigil – Create your own eBooks. This is great if you have PDFs, but don’t wish to use them on your eReader, and you can change the format.

The Freebies

Most of the time you’ll find that the free ebooks offered are classic literature or non fiction. If you’re a classic literature lover you won’t have to look far, but what about the more modern fiction lovers?

There are freebies out there that aren’t classics. You just have to know where to look. Mostly they’re for borrowing or they’re authors presenting you with a freebie to introduce you to their work, either way they do exist.

  • Means sites that have been used without problems.
  • Means sites that have not been tested as yet.

Project Gutenberg and their Off Shoots (classic literature).

DRM Free eBooks

  • Calibre – Open Books – Not free, but you don’t have to worry about whether they’ll work in your country.

Free eBooks – Australia Friendly

  • Baen Books – Baen’s Free Library – Speculative Fiction
  • BeBooks – Classic lit
  • Book Depository – Classic lit
    Booku Freebies – Australian lit (if you go down the page you’ll find an ultimate guide for free ebooks by FriedBeef. There are a lot of websites listed for free books, not all of those sites are ebooks. Most of them are book swapping sites or PDFs, but it’s still worth a look).
  • eBookMart – An Australian based store that has both paid and free content.
  • GoodeReader – All about eReaders, with news and other information. They also offer up free eBooks each week.
  • GoodReads – All sorts. Free ones are mixed in with paid ones.
  • Many Books.net – Classic Lit that you can navigate by genre.
  • Planet eBook – Mostly Classic Literature that you can download for free.
  • Smashwords – Indie authors and publishers on this one so a lot of novellas/novels that are more recent works.

Australian Libraries


Ebook stores – Australia Friendly

  • Baen  – Speculative Fiction.
  • Booku   – An Australian based store.
  • Book Depository – Varied fiction and non fiction.
  • Bookyards – A world wide library.
  • Ebook mall – Varied fiction and non fiction.
  • Smashwords – Indie authors and Publishers.

Do you have any websites you’d like to recommend or used any of the above and found they worked for you?

Recommend a Webstore

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