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The Best eReaders for 2023

Whether you're considering joining the digital book revolution or want a new ebook reader, these are our top lab-tested picks for every type of bookworm..

Sascha Segan

Best For Best Kindle Overall

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021)

PROS Larger screen shows more per page than previous generation Water-resistant build Flat-front design Color-changing front light

CONS No Immersion Reading mode

Best For Middle Grades Readers

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids

PROS Waterproof, flat-front design Long warranty Comes with a case Kids+ subscription content library

CONS Kids+ subscription only lasts one year

Best For Budget iPad Seekers

Apple iPad (2022)

PROS Appealing iPad Pro-like design USB-C port Relocated webcam Higher-quality cameras Improved speakers Faster performance

CONS Higher price than previous model Loses traditional Touch ID button No Face ID

Best For Reading Large-Format Documents

Onyx Boox Note Air 2

PROS Top-notch build quality Built-in reading and note-taking apps work well Good battery life

CONS Taking notes in third-party apps isn't great App compatibility can be hit or miss Not waterproof

Amazon Kindle (2022)

PROS Much sharper screen than previous Kindle Long battery life Supports plenty of file formats

CONS Not waterproof Front light color temperature isn't adjustable

Best For Best Big-Screen E-Reader

Amazon Kindle Scribe

PROS Big, sharp, responsive screen Temperature-adjustable front light Smooth note-taking experience Appealing design and hardware

CONS Lacks tools for serious drawing Awkward to use one-handed Not waterproof

Best For Previous Nook Owners

Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight 4

PROS Small and light Physical page-turn buttons Sharp text

CONS Recessed screen Not waterproof Clunky public library support

Best For Sheet Music

Onyx Boox Max Lumi 2

PROS Huge screen Runs almost all Android apps Slim and relatively light

CONS Very expensive No monitor mode

Step away from the monitor and give your eyes a rest. Ebook readers, also called ereaders, rely on E Ink screens to let you read for long periods of time without the brain burn that comes from a radiant LCD or OLED screen. They have a very long battery life and look terrific in sunlight. Amazon's Kindles dominate the ebook reader market in the US, but if you're shopping around, it's a good idea to look at models from Kobo, Nook, and Onyx.

Here you'll find the best ebook readers we've tested, followed by everything you need to know before deciding which one is right for you.

eReader Screen Type and Size

Basic ebook readers use monochrome E Ink screens to display text. E Ink, or digital ink (often manufactured by the E Ink company), looks a lot like paper, and it's easy on your eyes when reading for long periods. On the least expensive models, it's not backlit, so you'll need light to see the text, just as you would with a printed book. But most ebook readers now include edge lighting that lets you see in the dark. With each model, you can vary the intensity of the brightness from barely there to flashlight-bright. On the lowest settings, you can read in the dark while your partner sleeps peacefully next to you.

In all cases, E Ink is much easier to read in bright sunlight, while color touch screens on tablets tend to wash out, and their glossy displays can show distracting reflections.

Most E Ink readers were 6 inches for many years, but the panel sizes are slowly growing. The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and Kobo Libra 2 have 7-inch displays, the Kindle Scribe has a 10.2-inch screen, and Onyx sells larger-format models up to 13.3 inches. I've found that you start to have balance issues with one-handed reading when a model goes above 7 inches.

Screen resolutions and quality also vary. Some older Kindles use 167ppi displays that look rough and jaggy compared with the 300ppi displays on most new ebook readers. E Ink also keeps improving its screens' contrast and refresh rate. The Carta 1200 technology, used in Amazon's latest Kindles and Kobo's Libra 2, has noticeably faster page turns and a bit better contrast than even the previous 300ppi Carta displays.

Barnes & Noble Nook GlowLight 4

If you haven't updated your ebook reader in many years, you'll be stunned at how much more responsive the latest E Ink readers are. Frequent, startling screen flashes are really a thing of the past; the screens flash much more subtly, much more quickly, and much less frequently.

The Best Color eReaders

If you need to read more than books, tablets with color screens offer a bevy of other benefits. Magazines and comic books look great on larger tablets. Even lower-cost tablets like the  Amazon Fire 7  can browse the web, stream video from Netflix, Hulu, or other sources, play music, and run apps. Because of its high-quality screen and general power, though, we recommend the base-model iPad for most people trying to read rich, full-page color content.

In 2020, we saw a breakthrough in color E Ink displays, with several readers appearing based on the E Ink Kaleido or E Ink Kaleido Plus technologies. We've tested two of them, the Onyx Boox Nova3 Color and the PocketBook InkPad Color , that show some of the exciting possibilities of color E Ink. Unfortunately, we can't recommend them yet; the screen technology is relatively dim, with low full-color resolution and occasional ghosting. LCD tablets are far superior.

The Best eReaders for the Beach

If you like to read in the bath, by the pool, or on the beach, you might want to consider buying a waterproof ebook reader. You have a few options. The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and the Kobo Libra 2 are both rated to withstand submersion in water to some degree. Other readers aren't quite as resilient.

The Best eReaders for Taking Notes

All ebook readers let you highlight or tag particular phrases for later reference. Some have digital pens that let you take notes directly on the screen. The Remarkable tablet line, the Kindle Scribe, many Onyx Boox tablets, and of course, the iPad line all support pen input. In general, they let you annotate on PDFs and other kinds of documents, plus take freehand notes on a blank page. The Onyx Boox Note Air 2 is our favorite E Ink tablet for pen use because of its paper-like feel and strong document format support. The Scribe feels similarly good to write on, but Amazon's Kindle ecosystem requires a bit more effort to get the most out of some document formats.

Amazon Kindle Scribe

The Remarkable 2 has a passionate following and is the best tablet purely for taking notes. It isn't a good ebook reader, though, because it supports only PDF and EPUB format books. That means that books from public libraries and from many online bookstores are not an option.

The Best eReaders for Audiobooks

Sometimes you'd rather listen than read. Sometimes you'd like to read and listen at the same time. Kindles can now connect to Bluetooth headphones to play Audible audiobooks. Many Amazon books will synchronize with Audible audiobooks on Kindle ebook readers. Kobos use a proprietary audiobook format. Onyx ebook readers have built-in speakers and the ability to use multiple audiobook apps.

Oddly, Amazon saves its slickest audiobook feature, Immersion Reading, for its Android app, which means you need an Onyx ebook reader to use it. That feature synchronizes words displayed on the page while also narrating through audio.

Where Do You Get Your Ebooks?

The ebook reader you choose determines which ecosystem you can use.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo all use copy protection on most of their books, which prevents you from reading titles on other brands' ebook readers. It's possible to remove the copy protection, but you may also remove features such as formatting and character summaries. It's also gotten much harder to strip the protection specifically from Amazon books in the past year or two. Onyx ebook readers can run all of their competitors' Android apps, which means you can read content from every platform on them.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon's Kindle Unlimited offers more than three million ebooks for $9.99 per month, though Amazon Prime subscribers can access a smaller library as part of Prime Reading without needing to pay extra. For kids, the Amazon Kids+ subscription service contains a lot of children's books and starts at $2.99 per month. You get a free year of it when you buy the Kindle Kids Edition.

For public library lending, Kobo readers let you use the popular library app Overdrive as their native store, which is convenient. Amazon sends you through the library's website to pick books that get pushed to your device. Onyx has you load a specific library app.

Book selection, size, and pricing vary from store to store. Books by big publishers generally appear in the Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo stores. But Amazon also has exclusive authors and imprints that only appear in its store. Many of them are self-published and not very good, but Amazon definitely has the advantage in terms of quantity.

For more, see our article on how to put free ebooks on your Amazon Kindle . And for an in-depth comparison of supported formats across various ebook readers, check out  Wikipedia's article comparing ebook formats .

How Much Should You Spend on an eReader?

If you're just reading mainstream fiction or nonfiction books, the sweet spot right now is $100 to $150 for a good 6- or 7-inch Amazon or Kobo device. You can get a low-end model that costs less or a larger model that costs more, but ebook readers at this price point tend to have the best balance of screen quality and size for most books.

Onyx's tablet-sized readers cost considerably more than other ebook readers, but they're also much more powerful, letting you run multiple reading apps, annotate PDFs, and read large-format documents on big screens. We see these as primarily for academics, lawyers, people who read medical or scientific journals, and others who read for work or school as well as for fun. The Kindle Scribe is much more accessible and less expensive (though still much pricier than the Kindle Paperwhite), but it doesn't have quite as many features.

With that in mind, these are our favorite dedicated ebook readers you can buy today. If you're getting a Kindle, check out our  Amazon Kindle tips every reader needs to know . And if you'd rather do your reading on a bigger screen or one with color, head over to our  top tablet picks .

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Expert Reviews


Best ebook reader 2022: The top Kindle and Kobo ebook readers to buy today

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Ditch that pile of dusty old tomes for a sleek ebook reader. We’ll help you choose the right one, whatever your budget

For several years now, Amazon's Kindle devices have been deemed by many to be the best ebook readers out there, with the e-commerce giant achieving near-total domination of the ereader market. The only other company that can fairly say it holds a light to Amazon is Kobo (it’s an anagram of “book”), the Canadian underdog that released its first ebook reader in 2010.

Between the two of them, they’ve not left much room for other companies to elbow their way into the market but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In Kobo, Amazon does at least have some competition to ensure it’s not resting on its laurels.

Despite the lack of companies performing competitively in the ebook reader game right now, there are still plenty of models available, each with varying levels of performance. In this article, we’ll assess the best ebook readers on the market today and, hopefully, help you make a decision about which one is right for you. First, though, we'll explain all about the services they offer.

Best ebook readers: At a glance

How to buy the best ebook reader for you

Is amazon the best ebook provider.

Not necessarily. All Amazon’s ebook reader devices have exclusive access to Amazon’s ridiculously large library of ebooks and magazines, which are often reasonably priced – and many are free. The downside is that the Amazon Kindle won’t read certain file types, as it’s only programmed to work with files purchased through Amazon’s Kindle library. If Amazon doesn’t have what you want (which is unlikely) you’ll have to go without.

Are there any Amazon Prime benefits?

There are, indeed. Boons of siding with Amazon include family ebook sharing and the perks of the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and Prime Reading service for Prime subscribers. The former allows Amazon Prime subscribers with a Kindle device to borrow one book per month at no cost, with no due dates, from a choice of 600,000 books. Prime Reading gives Prime members free access to a smaller library of 1,000 titles – including books, magazines, and comics – which they can download and keep.

READ NEXT: How to find the best free UK Kindle books

What does kobo's service have to offer.

Kobo users can buy or borrow ebooks from pretty much anywhere – apart from Amazon. The Kobo Library and local library OverDrive system are where you'll source your ebooks. Certain Amazon Kindle file types even work, too.

You can also buy through indie bookstores to support physical businesses that have partnered with Kobo. An added benefit is that Kobo ebook readers are compatible with a wider range of file types than Kindle, and Kobo’s own library of ebooks is more comprehensive these days. It’s now rare to find a hot new best-seller that is on Amazon but not on Kobo.

Are there no other competitors out there?

There are, but they're just not on the level of Kindle and Kobo. Barnes & Noble, the American book store chain, makes its own line of electronic book readers called Nook. Although they are still being made, new models don't come out anywhere near as frequently as Kindle or Kobo devices. What's more, they're hard to find in the UK. The latest B&N ebook reader is a premium offering called the Nook GlowLight Plus . Released in May 2019, it is currently only available to buy in America.

READ NEXT: The best fiction and non-fiction audiobooks

The best ebook readers you can buy

1. amazon kindle: best cheap ebook reader, now with a reading light.

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The standard Amazon Kindle remains a stalwart of the ebook reader market and an excellent choice for anybody buying their first ebook reader. The Kindle has been upgraded time and again since its initial launch back in November 2007 with better memory, longer battery life, and now it has a touchscreen as well. The latest refresh, which came out in mid-2019, is a major upgrade for this humblest of ebook readers.

It costs £10 more than the previous generation device, but the Amazon Kindle (2019) at last has LED lighting for reading in the dark or outdoors. This was a long-awaited feature and, for many, it will be a good reason to choose the basic Kindle over the premium Kindle Paperwhite. As if that wasn't enough, build quality has been improved and Bluetooth has been added, which allows users to download and listen to Audible audiobooks via speakers or headphones.

Prior to the release of the 2019 Kindle, many people would opt for the slightly pricier Paperwhite because of its LED reading light, waterproofing and Bluetooth. Now, though, the basic option in the range has two out of those three elements while costing £50 less. The Amazon Kindle (2019) is the perfect ebook reader for a first-time ebook user and, if you happen to own an older generation, it's well worth upgrading to the latest model to make use of the new features.

Read our full Amazon Kindle review for more details

Key specs — Storage : 8GB; Screen size : 6”; Front light : 5 LEDs ; Waterproof ? No; Resolution: 167 ppi

Image of Kindle | Now with a built-in front light—with Ads—Black

Kindle | Now with a built-in front light—with Ads—Black

Image of Kindle (2019 release) - Now with a Built-in Front Light - White

Kindle (2019 release) - Now with a Built-in Front Light - White

2. amazon kindle paperwhite: the best all-round ebook reader.

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While not as big a change as the 2018 Kindle Paperwhite, the 2021 edition builds on the already excellent foundations to make the best all-round ebook reader even better, and for just £10 more. With thinner bezels and a larger 6.8in screen, you now get more words per page, and lighting is also improved with 17 LEDs rather than five, which are also capable of producing eye-friendly warm lighting for night-time readers. All of this alongside the advancements from the previous generation: IPX8 waterproofing and Audible support.

It's also the first Kindle to offer USB-C charging, which is handy for Android users who want one less charger to pack. Not that you need to charge it very often, as the battery will now last ten weeks rather than six. That may be down to a more efficient processor, which also makes the ebook reader than bit nippier when booting up, turning pages and browsing the Kindle store.

Great as the new Kindle Paperwhite is, however, we wouldn't recommend spending an extra £50 on the 'Signature Edition'. While the extra features it offers are welcome (wireless charging, automatic screen brightness adjustment and 32GB storage rather than 8GB), if you're spending £180 on an ebook reader, you may as well go all in and purchase the Kindle Oasis instead.

Read our full Kindle Paperwhite review for more details

Key specs — Storage: 8GB; Screen size : 6.8”; Front light : 17 LEDs ; Waterproof ? IPX8; Resolution : 300 ppi

Image of Kindle Paperwhite | 8 GB, now with a 6.8" display and adjustable warm light, with ads

Kindle Paperwhite | 8 GB, now with a 6.8" display and adjustable warm light, with ads

Image of Kindle Paperwhite (8 GB) – Now with a 6.8" display and adjustable warm light

Kindle Paperwhite (8 GB) – Now with a 6.8" display and adjustable warm light

3. amazon kindle oasis: the most luxurious kindle of all.

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We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: this is the best ebook reader ever made. Amazon’s Kindle Oasis doesn’t come cheap but if you’re already into ereading and fancy an upgrade then this is what you’ll want. Weighing just 194g, it’s lighter and thinner than the Kindle Paperwhite, it comes with up to 32GB of storage, and cleaner, crisper lighting on a 7in touch screen. Not only that, but the newest edition of the Oasis has Audible integration, Bluetooth connectivity and is IPX8 waterproof up to two metres.

Admittedly, it is an expensive device. It’s twice the price of the mid-range Kindles and a lot more expensive than the Kobo Aura One but it is the most luxurious ebook reader available. It has 25 built-in LED lights for clear glare-free reading, an ambient light sensor, and page turn buttons if you prefer that to the touchscreen. Battery life is roughly the same as an Amazon Voyage (now discontinued) or Paperwhite. Three models are available, with the most expensive featuring 4G connectivity and more storage.

The Oasis is the perfect companion for any high-flying, speed-reading adventurer who wants to read every book in the world and is damned well prepared to try. Also for the clumsy; if you drop in it the hot tub or the pool, it’ll keep right on ticking.

Read our full Amazon Kindle Oasis review for more details

Key specs — Storage : 8GB/ 32GB; Screen size : 7”; Front light : 25 LEDs ; Waterproof ? IPX8; Resolution : 300 ppi

Image of Kindle Oasis | Now with adjustable warm light | Waterproof, 8 GB, Wi-Fi | Graphite

Kindle Oasis | Now with adjustable warm light | Waterproof, 8 GB, Wi-Fi | Graphite

Image of Kindle Oasis – With 7” display and page turn buttons

Kindle Oasis – With 7” display and page turn buttons

4. kobo forma: perfect for late-night readers.

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Amazon dominates the ebook market to such a degree that most other competitors have been wiped out. But there is one rival ebook manufacturer left that still draws breath: Rakuten Kobo. Granted, Kobo is nowhere near as well known as Kindle but it does offer some features that Amazon can't. The Kobo Forma is the current flagship ebook reader from Rakuten, replacing the excellent Kobo Aura One (now discontinued). Though a blatant design clone of the 2017 Kindle Oasis, there are some subtle differences with the Kobo Forma.

For a start, it has a fantastic 8in E-ink Carta display, a full 1in bigger than the Oasis. It's also got Comfort Light technology which adjusts the lighting automatically as it approaches bedtime, tuning down the blue light and transforming into a warm red hue that doesn't interfere with your sleep. The back of the Oasis is rounded due to the battery bump, but the Kobo Forma – which has an equally commendable battery life that can last weeks – is flat and lies completely flush. Kobo ebook readers are able to read more formats than Kindle devices too, and you can even access the free OverDrive ebook library service.

If money is no object then the Kobo Forma might be the ebook reader for you. At £240 for the 8GB and £290 for the 32GB model, you're looking at a big spend for a single-purpose device. But it has a lot to offer, with IPX8 waterproofing, access to an online library of free books via OverDrive and a battery that has the potential to last weeks. And thanks to its Comfort Light technology it's the ultimate ebook reader for late-night fiction fiends.

Read our full Kobo Forma review for more details

Key specs — Storage : 8GB; Screen size : 6”; Front light : 5 LEDs ; Waterproof ? No; Resolution : 167 ppi

Buy now from Argos

5. Amazon Kindle Kids Edition: Best ebook reader for children

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Here's an ebook reader with the young bookworm in mind. Essentially, the Kindle Kids Edition is exactly the same as a regular Kindle only with some neat child-friendly extras thrown in, such as a colourful protective case and a two-year damage guarantee. Better yet, it comes loaded with a year's subscription to Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited, which opens up a library of thousands of children's ebooks at no extra cost. The entire Harry Potter collection is on there, for starters.

The Kindle Kids Edition prompts you to set up a kid's account when you turn it on and, once that's done, your child can browse the Kindle Kids library and get reading. The 6in touch-enabled E Ink display has a front light that aids visibility in dimly lit areas and the font size and style are fully customisable, just as they are on the standard Kindle. Elsewhere, the Word Wise and Vocabulary Builder features allow your child to constantly discover the meanings to new words and learn how to use them.

Key specs — Storage : 8GB/ 32GB; Screen size : 8”; Front light : 17 LEDs ; Waterproof ? IPX8; Resolution: 300 ppi

Image of Kindle Kids | Includes access to over a thousand books, Blue Cover

Kindle Kids | Includes access to over a thousand books, Blue Cover

Image of Kindle Kids (2019 release), a Kindle designed for kids, with parental controls - Blue Cover

Kindle Kids (2019 release), a Kindle designed for kids, with parental controls - Blue Cover

6. kobo clara 2e: the most versatile e-reader.

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The Kobo Clara 2E is a super lightweight, compact e-reader that provides another impressive alternative for people wanting to avoid or detach themselves from the Amazon ecosystem.

Like the Kobo Forma, the Clara 2E has Comfort Light technology, allowing users to reduce brightness and blue light closer to bedtime. It also comes without lock-screen ads as standard – a nice perk, especially considering that Amazon charges for the privilege on Kindle devices.

Navigating menus and audiobook playback using the buttons comes with an unfortunate input delay, meaning you can expect to wait around 2 seconds between pressing a button and getting the desired response. This kind of thing isn’t rare for e-readers but may frustrate users transitioning from using their phone or tablet, at least at first. There’s Bluetooth support, but no headphone jack – somewhat diminishing the Clara 2E’s potential as an e-book player. It’s a reasonable compromise, however, that means it’s IPX8 waterproof, a godsend for users who want to be able to read in the pool or the bath without worrying about water damage.

Happily – and most importantly – reading on the Clara 2E’s 6in glare-free HD touchscreen is a pleasant experience with text appearing in a sharp 300ppi and the option to adjust the size of the font, the margins and the line spacing. For many, the biggest draw of the Clara 2E will be the Pocket integration, allowing you to save content to the app’s account from anywhere on the web and be able to read it on your device. On top of this, the Clara 2E supports a vast range of formats, plus it works with the Overdrive system.

If you’re attracted by the features on offer from Kobo e-readers but don’t want to shell out for the Forma, the Clara E2 is a great budget-friendly option.

Read our full Kobo Clara 2E review for more details

Key specs - Storage: 16GB; Screen size: 6"; Front Light: ComfortLight PRO; Waterproof? IPX8; Resolution: 300 ppi

Buy now from Kobo

Want something cheaper? Try an app instead

Maybe you’re sick of losing books on the Tube, paying overdue library fees, or getting to the end of crime thriller purchased in a charity shop only to discover that some psychopath has carefully torn out the final ten pages. Perhaps you’re still not convinced by our ebook reader spiel. In that case, you could always try out a smartphone app first to test out the concept without laying out £60 or more or your hard-earned cash.

The accompanying apps from Kobo and Amazon , both of which are free, allow you to read on your tablet or smartphone without having to buy an ebook reader first and there are other free apps available, too. Google Play Books , for example, allows you to choose from an extensive library containing millions of digital books and magazines, which can be previewed for free and purchased via the app. It also has a lovely collection of classics such as Frankenstein, Sherlock Holmes and Moby Dick, which can be downloaded and kept for free.

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Get Paid to Read: 17 Legitimate Sites That Pay Reviewers

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Blog – Posted on Tuesday, Sep 24

Get paid to read: 17 legitimate sites that pay reviewers.

Get Paid to Read: 17 Legitimate Sites That Pay Reviewers

Serious question: do you want to get paid to read? You might laugh it off at first, thinking that that sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. You can get paid for spending time on what you love: reading books. 

Of course, the key to this #hack is book reviewing, where you offer your personal opinion of a book after you’re done with it. (If you’d like to learn more, check out this post to discover how to write a book review .) Because books are constantly being published, book reviewers are generally always in demand. 

So whether you’re a voracious reader of nonfiction, genre fiction, classics, or indie books, there’s probably an outlet that’s willing to compensate you if you read (review) for them! Without further ado, here’s a definitive list of the 17 sites that will help you get paid to read. If you want to cut to the chase and find out which of them is the right fit for you, we recommend first taking this quick quiz:

Which review community should you join?

Find out which review community is best for your style. Takes 30 seconds!

Then read on for the full list of all of the ways to get paid while reading!

 1. Kirkus Media

💸 Pay: Freelance basis

👀 More information: Check here

If you’ve ever lingered on a book’s Amazon page before, you’ll have heard of Kirkus Reviews. It’s one of the most respected sources of book reviews out there, publishing many of the blurbs that you’ll see on Amazon, or on the cover of your favorite titles.

You have to wonder: where do all of these reviews come from? That’s where you come into the picture. Kirkus Media lists an open application for book reviewers. As of right now, they’re specifically searching for people who will review English and Spanish-language indie titles. Some of the qualities that they want in reviewers include: experience, a keen eye, and an ability to write about a 350-word review in two weeks’ time.

To apply, simply send your resume and writing samples! You can find out more about this opportunity here .

2. Reedsy Discovery

💸 Pay: Tip basis

A powerhouse in the world of indie books, Reedsy Discovery gives book reviewers the chance to read the latest self-published books before anyone else. You can browse through hundreds of new stories before picking one that piques your interest. And if you’ve built up a brand as a book reviewer on Reedsy Discovery, you can liaise with authors who contact you directly for a review.

Its application process is pretty simple: just complete this form to be selected as a book reviewer. Once you’re accepted, you can start looking through the shelves and reading immediately. One more thing: book reviewers can get tips for their book reviews. Readers can send $1, $3, or $5 as a token of appreciation (which, let’s be honest, all book reviewers deserve more of).

If this system intrigues you, you can “discover” more about how it works on this page .

3. Any Subject Books

Any Subject Books is a full-suite self-publishing service. More importantly for you, it hires book reviewers on a book-by-book basis to help them review new books.

They’re big on in-depth, honest, and objective reviews. No fluff here! They’re also happy to give you books in your preferred genres, so if you’re a voracious reader of war fiction, you won’t typically be asked to read the latest paranormal romance hit (or vice versa).

Sadly, Any Subject Books is not currently open to book reviewer applications, but check back again — this could change at any time.

4. BookBrowse

BookBrowse reviews both adult fiction and nonfiction, and some books for young adults. The site focuses on books that are not only enjoyable to read, with great characters and storylines, but that also leave the reader knowing something about the world they did not before. Reviewers also write a "beyond the book" article for each book they review.

5. Online Book Club

💸 Pay: $5 to $60

Online Book Club’s FAQ begins with a warning for all aspiring book reviewers: “First of all, this is not some crazy online get-rich-quick scheme. You won't get rich and you won't be able to leave your day job.”

That daunting reminder aside, Online Book Club’s setup is pretty reasonable, not to mention straightforward. You’ll get a free copy of the book and you’ll get paid for your review of that book. Moreover, it’s one of the few sites that’s transparent about their payment rates (anywhere between $5 to $60). To begin the sign-up process, simply submit your email here .

6. U.S. Review of Books

U.S. Review of Books is a nation-wide organization that reviews books of all kinds and publishes those reviews in a popular monthly newsletter. The way that it works for a book reviewer is simple: when a book title is posted, reviewers can request to read it and get assigned.

A typical review for U.S. Review of Books is anywhere between 250 and 300 words. They are looking particularly for informed opinions and professionalism in reviews, along with succinctness. To apply, submit a resume, sample work, and two professional references via email. But we’d recommend that you check out some previous examples of their book reviews here to first get a better sense of what they’re looking for.

7. Women’s Review of Books

💸 Pay: $100 per review

Women’s Review of Books is a long-running, highly-respected print publication that’s a part of Wellesley Centers for Women. This feminist magazine has been published for 36 years and is looking for more book reviewers to join their force.

If you plan on writing reviews for Women’s Review of Books , you should be aware that its reviews are published “in the service of action and consciousness.” Most of its writers are also academics, journalists, or book reviewers with some years of experience behind them. If you meet these qualifications and are accepted, you’ll be compensated $100 per review.

To pitch then a review, send them an email with a quick proposal. For more details, click here .

💸 Pay: Variable

If you’re a freelancer, you’re probably already familiar with Upwork! One of the biggest marketplaces for freelancers, Upwork has fingers in every industry’s pie. So it won’t be a surprise to learn that people who are looking for freelance book reviewers regularly post listings on its marketplace.

Because each job caters to an individual client, the requirements and qualifications will differ. It might be a one-time project, or the gig might turn into a long-running collaboration with the client. Generally, the listing will specify the book’s genre, so you’ll know what you’re getting before you agree to collaborate with the client on the other end.

To begin, you’ll need to sign up as a freelancer on Upwork. Find out more information on Upwork’s FAQ page!

9. Moody Press

💸 Pay: Free ARCs

Moody Press is a nonprofit publishing house of Christian titles and Bible study resources. If this is your niche, you’ll definitely be interested in Moody Press’ Blogger Review Program! As part of the program, you’ll get free copies of book published by Moody Press.

Like some of the other programs on this list, you won’t get paid for your review, but you will get a free book. Moody Press also asks you to write your honest review within 60 days of reading it. To get a feel for it, try joining the MP Newsroom Bloggers Facebook group , where you can directly interact with existing members of the program.

10. New Pages

💸 Pay: Variable 

Not interested in writing anything longer than 300 words? Are quick flash book reviews more your pace? If so, becoming a NewPages reviewer might be just your speed. NewPages.com is an Internet portal to small presses, independent publishers and bookstores, and literary magazines. More importantly, they’re looking for short book reviews (generally between 100 and 200 words) on any recent literary magazine or book that you’ve read.

If you’re already a fan of books from small presses or unknown magazines, even better: that’s exactly the kind of reviewer NewPages wants to work with. If you’d like to look through some of their past book reviews to see if your style matches, check out their book review archive here .

11. Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly is an online magazine focused on international book publishing and all that that entails. More pertinently, it regularly reviews both traditionally published and self-published books, which means that it does occasionally have a call for book reviewers. As of right now, it’s closed to applications — but if you check its Jobs page every once in a while, you might see an opening again.

12. Tyndale Blog Network

Tyndale Blog Network runs a program called My Reader Rewards Club, which is based on an innovative rewards system. If you join as a member, you can earn points for certain actions that you take on the site (for instance, inviting a friend to the program and sharing a direct link to MyReaderRewardsClub.com on Facebook each fetches you 10 points).

Writing a review for a Tyndale or NavPress book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble gets you 10 points, with a maximum limit of 50 points in 30 days. In turn, you can use your accumulated points to receive more books off of Tyndale’s shelves. If this sounds like something that may be up your alley, check out their FAQ here.

13. Booklist Publications

💸 Pay: $12.50 to $15 per review

Booklist is the American Library Association’s highly respected review journal for librarians. Luckily for freelance writers, Booklist assigns freelance book reviews that vary from blog posts for The Booklist Reader to published book review in Booklist magazine.

As the site itself suggests, it’s important that you’re familiar with Booklist Publication’s outlets (which include Booklist magazine, the quarterly Book Links , and The Booklist Reader blog) and its writing style. Reviews are generally very short (no longer than 175 words) and professionally written. You can discover more of its guidelines here — and an archive of previous Booklist reviews here .

To apply, contact a relevant Booklist editor and be prepared to submit a few of your past writing samples.

14. Instaread

💸 Pay: $100 per summary

Not interested in writing critical takes on the books that you read? Then Instaread might be for you. Instaread has an open call for book summaries, which recap “the key insights of new and classic nonfiction.”

Each summary should be around 1000 to 1500 words, which makes it a fair bit lengthier than your average flash book review. However, Instaread will compensate you heartily for it: as of 2019, Instaread pays $100 for each summary that you write. You can peruse Instaread’s recommended Style Guide on this page , or download Instaread from your App Store to get a better feel for the app.

15. NetGalley

If you’ve dreamt about becoming an influencer in the book reviewing community, you may want to give NetGalley a look. Put simply, NetGalley is a service that connects book reviewers to publishers and authors. Librarians, bloggers, booksellers, media professionals, and educators can all sign up to NetGalley to read books before they’re published.

How it works is pretty simple. Publishers put digital review copies out on NetGalley for perusal, where NetGalley’s members can request to read, review, and recommend them. It’s a win-win for both publisher and reviewer: the publisher is able to find enthusiastic readers to provide an honest review for their books, and the reviewer gets access to a vast catalog of books.

The cherry on top is that NetGalley membership is 100% free! Simply use this form to sign up. And if you’d like more information, you can dip into their FAQ here .

16. getAbstract

Are you an avid reader of nonfiction books? getAbstract is a site that summarizes 18,000+ nonfiction books into 10-minute bites. Their Career Opportunities page often includes listings for writers. At the time of this post’s writing, getAbstract is looking for science and technology writers who can sum up the latest magazine articles and books. They pay on a freelance basis, so apply through their website to get further details.

17. Writerful Books

💸 Pay: $10 to $50

Writerful Books is an author services company that provides everything from beta reading to (you guessed it) book reviewing. As such, they’re always on the lookout for book reviewers with fresh and compelling voices.  

One of the benefits of this gig is that you can review any book that you want for them (although they prefer contemporary award-winning American, Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, and New Zealand authors). Getting a regularly paid gig with Writerful Books isn’t a guarantee, but if you regularly publish quality reviews for them, they may contact you. 

To apply, you’ll have to be able to provide previous book review samples. Here’s the job listing if you’re curious to learn more about this role.

If you're an avid reader,  sign up to Reedsy Discovery  for access to the freshest new reads — or  apply as a reviewer  to give us  your  hot takes!

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The Best Ebook Subscription Services for Every Kind of Reader

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What to Consider How to Choose an Ebook Service

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Best Overall Scribd Read more

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Best for Audiobooks Audible Read more

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Audiobooks Alternative Libro.fm Read more

Ebooks have not swept away traditional tomes the way streaming services for music, movies, and TV shows have slashed sales of discs. Physical book sales are booming , but ebooks and audiobooks have a dedicated, appreciative audience. If you love to read, an ebook subscription service is a great way to discover new titles, find recommendations, and read more indie books. We tried out several of the most popular options, delving into their available libraries, apps, and features to determine the best ebook subscription services and audiobook subscriptions for different people.

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What to Consider

While an ebook subscription might sound ideal, you should take some time to consider the pros and cons of each one. These digital reading services are often billed as the equivalent of Netflix or Spotify for books, and there are similarities, but ebook subscriptions also have some unexpected restrictions.

Content : All ebook subscription services offer limited libraries of ebooks. (This is where the Netflix comparison is useful.) They may boast more than a million titles, but that total doesn’t necessarily include any works by your favorite authors; none of the services we tested had a single title by Cormac McCarthy, for example, though some had audiobooks of his works.

The big five publishers (Penguin Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster) dominate the bestseller charts in the US but have had limited dealings with ebook subscription services so far. Current best-seller lists are not well represented, and the modest list of mainstream hits that appears mostly comprises older titles. Whatever service you are considering, we advise browsing the available library of ebooks and audiobooks before you commit.

Reading Habits : If you only read one or two books a month, you might be better off buying popular titles, recommendations from trusted friends, or works by your favorite authors. That way, you get to choose the best ebooks and keep them. With ebook subscriptions, you lose access the moment you stop subscribing, and the library of available books can change at any time without notice.

Voracious readers who are happy to try new and unfamiliar authors will likely get the most value from ebook subscriptions. But while these services are typically described as unlimited, they often do have hidden limits. This is where they differ from services like Spotify and Netflix. With Scribd, for example, the available library is reduced when you hit opaque limits.

Support : Make sure the devices you like to read on are supported. Most ebook subscription services offer apps for Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac, at a minimum. Languages, accessibility, and extra features like search vary, so do your research to make sure the app supports your needs. Sadly, many ebook readers, like Kindles, are not compatible with ebook subscription services other than their manufacturer’s offering. 

Audiobooks : Unlike ebook subscription services, some audiobook services offer a monthly credit system that allows you to buy audiobooks you can keep, even if you stop subscribing. Others offer apparently unlimited access to a streaming library, but there are often hidden limits that narrow your choice for that month after you’ve listened to an audiobook or two. Consider also the maximum bitrate for audio streams, as this differs from service to service and can impact the quality of your audiobook.

Best Overall

With an enormous, varied library, Scribd is the best ebook subscription service for most people. You can read or listen via your browser on any device or use the Android or iOS apps, which are clearly laid out, fully configurable, and make for a pleasant reading experience. I had no trouble finding intriguing titles, and there’s a solid mix of classics, best sellers, indie books, and even some Scribd Originals. Progress syncs across devices, so you can pick up where you left off. You can download ebooks to read offline. Scribd also includes podcasts, magazines, and a document section enabling people to upload whatever they like. Even after a recent price hike, Scribd is an attractive package that comes bundled with perks, which currently include Curiosity Stream and Peak Pro subscriptions .

On the downside, there are limits to your monthly reading. Frustratingly, the rules are not clear. If you hit the limit, access is restricted to a smaller subset until the next month begins, and some titles are labeled Available Soon . While the formatting for ebooks is generally good, some magazine formatting is poor.

Cost : 30-day free trial, then $12 per month

★ Another Alternative : Bookmate boasts a large library of ebooks, audiobooks, and comics for $10 per month and is easy to use, but the choice and extras aren’t as varied as with Scribd.

Best for Audiobooks

This slick audiobook subscription service boasts countless titles covering modern best sellers, classics, and much more. There’s also a sizable collection of exclusive Audible Originals and podcasts. With the new Audible Plus subscription, you get unlimited access to more than 11,000 titles and a 30% discount on everything in the Audible store. Upgrade to Premium Plus at $15 per month ($150/year) to get one credit per month to spend on an audiobook of your choice, but you get to keep whatever you buy even after your subscription ends. Audible works on Amazon’s Kindle ereaders, Fire tablets, and Alexa devices , but there’s also an app for Android, iOS, and Windows, and you can use the Cloud Player on Macs. The audiobook quality is the best I have tested (up to 64 kbps), the service is easy to configure, and progress syncs across devices.

The new Plus subscription makes Audible more affordable, and offers a more traditional subscription model where you can listen as much as you want but you do lose access when you stop paying. The pricey Premium Plus plan is the previous membership model, and you can also opt for a two credits per month plan at $23 per month ($230/year) now. 

Cost : 30-day free trial, then from $8 per month

Audiobooks Alternative

With an expansive library of more than 250,000 audiobooks, Libro.fm offers classics, new releases, and everything in between. A monthly subscription gets you one audiobook credit every month and a 30% discount on everything in the store, and you keep any purchases even after your subscription ends. There are two big reasons to opt for Libro.fm as your audiobook service; firstly, the service supports local booksellers (you can pick a store) and splits the profit from your purchases. The second enticement is the expert curation from booksellers, so you get tailored recommendations just like you would in-store. There are Android and iPhone apps, and the audiobooks you buy are DRM-free, which means you can listen to them on any device, and you don’t have to use the Libro.fm app.

This is a relatively expensive service, and subscriptions are only available in the US and Canada for now. While the overall choice is impressive, it isn’t quite as big as Audible’s and Libro.fm lacks a library of titles for free unlimited listening. You will find frequent promotions and sale events, though.

Cost : $15 per month

Libby app shown on mobile devices

Best Free Service

Many public libraries support OverDrive’s Libby app, enabling you to use your library card to check out ebooks or audiobooks. Borrowing is on the rise , thanks to Libby's wide selection, easy-to-use service, and, of course, the fact that it doesn't cost a penny. We have a guide on how to get free ebooks with your library card to help you get started. Some libraries also offer magazines and comic books, though the formatting isn’t always great. The Libby app is quite basic, but it has a solid feature set and you can configure it to suit your needs.

Unfortunately, the titles you want are not always available. The choice depends on what your library offers and how popular things are with other readers. You also borrow titles for a limited period, just like a regular library book, and other people can request titles, which means you can’t always renew them.

Cost : Free

★  Alternatives : Project Gutenberg is a great place to find free classic ebooks, and Librivox offers many audiobooks in the public domain, although the quality on these websites can vary wildly.

Kindle Paperwhite

Best for Kindles

If you prefer to read on one of Amazon’s Kindles , Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription offers seamless access to countless ebooks. While there are some popular titles and classics on offer, the bulk of the library is self-published and indie titles; best-selling authors generally only offer their back catalogs. Kindle Unlimited also includes some popular magazines, and many of the ebooks support Audible Narration. The service works beautifully on Amazon’s Kindle or Fire devices, and the Kindle app for iOS, Android, Mac, or PC is fully configurable, easy to use, and syncs across devices. You can borrow up to 10 titles at a time and simply return one to check another out.

Although there’s a wide choice of ebooks on Kindle Unlimited, I often struggled to find something I wanted to read. The collection is frustratingly difficult to browse and lacks a good recommendation system. Best-selling authors and big publishers are largely absent from the platform, so you may have to take a chance on new and unfamiliar writers (though that can be a good thing). If you’re already a Prime subscriber, check out Prime Reading for a curated list of around 1,000 free titles (sadly, the Kindle Lending Library has been discontinued).

Cost : 30-day free trial, then $10 per month

★  For Kobo Owners : Kobo Plus is not available in the US yet, but if you’re in Canada or one of the other supported countries and use a Kobo device, it’s worth checking out.

Illustration of Epic ebook platform app with book titles

Best for Kids

Perhaps the largest platform dedicated to kids aged 12 and under, Epic has an interesting mix of content that includes more than 40,000 ebooks. There are some classics, a few entries from popular series, and books from big publishers like HarperCollins and Macmillan, including many educational books. There’s also a decent selection of comics and a few videos and audiobooks. We particularly liked the “read to me” option on some ebooks with voice acting, sound effects, and text that highlights as you read. Both the web interface and the mobile apps are slick and offer reward badges to encourage kids to read more. Parents can easily track their child’s progress and browse by topic. We also appreciate the free access for elementary schools in the US.

While there are well-known titles, many classics are absent. Popular series, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid , are incomplete (Epic only has the first two books in this long series). Some of the titles are of dubious quality, so while it’s safe to let your kids browse, you may find they spend a lot of time reading cartoon and video game tie-ins. The bite-sized videos, covering things like animal facts and recipes, could be a double-edged sword if you’re trying to encourage reading.

Cost : Epic Basic offers free access to one book a day. Epic Unlimited is $10 per month or $60 per year and provides access to everything

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Best for Recommendations

Finding ebooks you want to read is an issue for every subscription service we tested. They tend to promote a small subset of their content, making it tricky to find titles that satisfy specific tastes. If you don’t want to spend ages browsing, recommendations are vital. That's what makes 24symbols worth a look. You can read as many ebooks as you like each month, but you only get access to one audiobook. The choice is quite good, with plenty of classics, some older books from big-name authors, and some indies. What elevates 24symbols is the social aspect. You can create bookshelves and follow other readers to find curated lists of suggestions, much like Spotify playlists.

Ebooks are the focus, and I found the audiobooks section quite limited. There are no magazines or other kinds of content. I also found that some of my searches, such as “Irvine Welsh,” only returned foreign language versions of his works, which was disappointing. Compared to some of our other recommendations, the 24symbols web interface and mobile apps are clunky.

Cost : $9 per month

★  Another Alternative : With TBR: Tailored Book Recommendations , you can pay $16, fill out your interests and recent books you enjoyed, and get an email with three recommendations tailored just for you from an expert bibliologist. 

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Best for Comic Books

While there are a few graphic novels on some ebook subscription services, the choice tends to be limited. By far the best option for comic book fans, ComiXology Unlimited gives you access to thousands of comics and graphic novels from all of the major publishers, including DC, Marvel, and Dark Horse. The website and mobile apps are straightforward and sync progress across devices. While you can read on a smartphone, you are better off with a good tablet , laptop, or desktop to enjoy the high-resolution art. The Unlimited service is a great way to discover new comics, and the app recommends titles the more you use it.

Sadly, while ComiXology Unlimited has a wide range, it lacks depth in places. Many series are incomplete, which can be hugely frustrating and leave you with little choice but to buy specific titles to fill the gaps, though they are, at least, discounted. The iOS app doesn’t include the store, so you have to go through the browser to buy titles there. Because Unlimited is within the larger ComiXology website, it can be tricky to navigate and find titles that are included in your subscription.

Cost : 30-day free trial, then $6 per month

★ Alternatives : Marvel Unlimited ($10 per month or $69 per year) carries thousands of Marvel titles with new issues landing three months after release, while DC Universe Infinite ($8 per month or $75 per year) is a similar service for DC fans.

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More Ebook Services We Like

Here are a few other ebook and audiobook services worth checking out.

Hoopla : This is another free service that ties in with your local library to make it easy to borrow ebooks, audiobooks, comics, movies, TV shows, magazines, or even music.

Akoobooks : With a focus on African talent, this service offers audiobooks at very reasonable prices and includes content for kids.

Blinkist : Focusing on topics like parenting, career, mindfulness, money, and personal development, this service condenses core insights from non-fiction books and serves them up in 15-minute chunks for $13 per month.

Reading IQ : A kids library with more than 5,000 titles organized by age, Reading IQ offers a good mix of fiction and non-fiction for $8 per month ($40/year).

Storytel : This Swedish service offers ebooks and audiobooks in various markets from India to Brazil to Belgium, providing unlimited access for 13 euros per month (17 euros per month for families). Storytel has also partnered with Spotify and owns Audiobooks.com in the US.

BookBub : Sign up for free to get alerts on discounted ebooks with this service. You can specify genres and authors you are interested in and get daily or weekly emails with links to buy heavily discounted ebooks.

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Book Marketing for Self-Publishing Authors

Home / Book Marketing / How to Get Free Book Reviews with No Blog, No List, and No Begging

How to Get Free Book Reviews with No Blog, No List, and No Begging

You probably don’t have to be convinced of the importance of getting free book reviews as well as Kindle reviews.

However, how does a new author get those crucial Kindle book reviews or editorial reviews that will help to drive up sales ?

Most resources rely on tactics that require already existing fan base, elaborate platforms, and major connections.

That’s all fine and dandy…if you have those resources at your disposal or are willing to trade in your friendship for a favor.

But what about the rest of us?

The ones who don’t have raving fans ready to drop reviews on request. Or those of us without a giant email list, social media following , and oodles of friends that we ‘want’ to send our books to?

Despair not my friends, because in this guide on how to get book reviews, I’ll show you how you can legally, and legitimately get those reviews, even if you’re a brand new author.

In This Article I Will Show You:

And yes, as you’ll see at the end of this article, each step is fully compliant with the up-to-date Amazon rules for getting book reviews.

Table of contents

6. Using Launch Teams & ARCs Effectively

Also, while I’m writing this with the new author in mind, it’s totally applicable to all authors…even the pros.  Finally, please be aware that I did use some affiliate links in this article.  Those links did not sway my thoughts on the article, nor does it affect your pricing.  It's just a little something that goes towards my coffee fund to keep me writing.

One mistake many authors make is when they request for someone to give their book a review, they just send the person a link to their book, making the person click around till they finally get to the review page where they can write the review…yeesh, that’s a lot of steps!

Because of this, readers will more than likely not follow through. I know I haven’t in the past.

However, what if there was one special link you could send them that would take them straight to the review of your book? All they’d have to do is click, and they start writing the review.

Well, you can and here’s how:

Step 1. Depending on the format you want the review to be directed to, either find your ASIN for the eBook, or the ISBN -10 for the book (NOT ISBN-13), or the ASIN for the Audiobook.

Step 2. Take the following link, and add your number from step 1: http://www.amazon.com/review/create-review?&asin= + (ASIN or ISBN 10)

Step 3 . The above link is only to the US market.  If you want a different market, you need to just change out the “.com” to the appropriate one like “.de” for german, or “.co.uk”, and so on.  However, be sure to check that country's ASIN or ISBN-10 for that same book…because sometimes it will be different – although this is mainly for published books and usually isn't the case for self-published books.  But just check – you don't want your links to not work.

Example of What The Result Should Look Like : US: http://www.amazon.com/review/create-review?&asin=B0041JKFJW UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/create-review?&asin=B004H4XAXO DE: https://www.amazon.de/review/create-review?&asin=0765365278 etc…

As you can see, that will take you directly to The Way of Kings Audiobook review, since I used the ASIN for the audiobook. (PS: I'm a big fan of Brandon Sanderson, and will be meeting him in a couple of months to discuss book marketing …fan boy scream).

Now, any time you request a review in an email, message, or whatever, send them that special link to your book. That way, all they have to do is click the link and type the review. You’ll have a much higher chance that they’ll follow through and leave the review.

Caution: Your Link Not Working? First, if your link isn't working, just remember that Amazon won't allow you to leave a review for your own book. So, have someone else try your link.  Also remember that in order to leave a review, someone needs to have made $50 purchase on Amazon that year.

Also, for the rest of the steps below, make sure you use this link when necessary. That’s why it is the first point in this list.

This may sound crazy but when you ask for a review after your book is done, you’ll not only increase the number of reviews, but also improve your review grade.

When I did this one simple addition to one of my books, I saw the conversion rate of book purchases to reviews left increase by 3x and has stayed that way since.

You see, we authors know how important a review is. But we forget that readers don’t always understand this and need more coaxing to take the little bit of extra effort to write a book review. Therefore, just by asking, you’ll see much higher conversions.

But that’s not all. There are actually some tactics to this section that can and will improve the number of book reviews you get, as well as the review grade.

When creating the ask, it is best to do the following:

Humanize Yourself : Find ways to remind the reader that you are actually a human with emotions and feelings. Remind them of how hard it was to put this book together. By doing this, they’ll be more likely to leave ‘you’ a review. Extra bonus tip: I sometimes like to post a candid non professional or staged picture of me with my family in this section because it really goes a long way to getting to know me, and feel more personal.

Impress Upon Them the Importance of the Review : Like I mentioned above, readers don’t fully understand the importance of a review. Therefore, remind them how they help you as an author and your book.

Tell Them You’ll Read the Book Review : When readers think that you’ll read and take to heart their review, two things will happen: they’ll feel more obligated to leave one since you’re depending on them, and their review grade will probably improve since they’ll know you, the human, will actually read it. We’ve all been there where we have a bunch of gusto against sometime, but the moment they’re there, we soften our tone. Same thing with reviews. I assure you, most criticism will become more constructive in nature when they know you’ll be there to read it.

Below is an example that Ken Lozito did with his absolutely incredible book series “ First Colony .”

I can’t show it all, but ultimately Ken told the story of the sacrifice he made to become an author and some inside information about his life, and struggles to get that series out.

He did all three of the things listed above without sounding cheesy or coming across as begging. It’s a fine art!

Needless to say, I had listened to 7 of the books in that series, but on the 7th one where he put this in his audiobook, it legitimately made me not only give the 5 stars at the end, but take the time to write a well-thought-out review. I felt like it was the least I could do.

So, as you can see, there needs to be a fine balance of asking without overstepping. But when done right, you’ll see more reviews come through with better grades for every reader you get.

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There are websites out there where some fans of a genre or subject loves to read books and leave reviews. Many of them have different reasons for this, but overall, they can be beneficial.

Be advised though, most of the review sites out there will read your book and make a review on their website, but that it won’t be an Amazon review (see below to read more about Amazon reviews vs Editorial Reviews). Even without the Amazon review, a book review site’s review can still be a powerful editorial review.  Imagine being able to put in your editorial review for your scifi book, a glowing acknowledgment from TopSciFiBooks.com .  Just the domain alone will carry anyone to better belief in your book, then some person or author name they've never heard of.

Here are some of my favorites free book review sites:

Love Books Group : Reviews books on their site is a easy process to submit. Affaire de Coeur : A bi-monthly magazine that publishes reviews in historical, contemporary, paranormal, erotica, YA, and nonfiction primarily. Book Page : Must send an ARC 3 months prior to publication date The Kindle Book Review : Offers a list of reviews to contact individually based on preferred genres. Compulsive Reader : Mainly focuses on literary fiction and poetry, they also review music CDs and other interesting things. Crime Fiction Lover : Recommends sending a Press Release (***) and a bit hard to get into. Book Smugglers : a highly read book blog that likes to focus on Horror, Urban Fantasy, SciFi, and YA. Crime Scene Reviews : Reviews Crime and Mystery novels SF Book : Started in 1996, SF books offers a list of Scifi Book reviewers you can contact individually Fantasy Book Critics : Lists a bunch of legit book review sites, as well as offers their own in the Fantasy realm Top Sci Fi Books : This website lists the best scifi and fantasy books based on certain subgenres. They have a sweet spot though for self published authors. Barnes & Noble Review : An incredible name for a Editorial Review, however, they require you to physically mail a copy and a cover letter in for consideration.

If you’d like to see more niche-specific examples, Reedsy has done an AMAZING job of curating a list of book review websites , their requirements and even how much traffic each site potentially gets. However, do note, many sites on that list aren’t always free.

You can check out that list here: https://blog.reedsy.com/book-review-blogs/

I also wanted to mention StoryOrigin . When you use StoryOrigin, not only do you join a community of other authors, you basically have all the not-so-fun back end of things taken care of by using them. They help you build your email list, find reviewers, deliver lead magnets and more. Be sure to check them out!

4. A Giveaway Contest that is Legal!!!

In truth, I almost didn’t include this one. Not because it breaks any rules, but because you need to ABSOLUTELY follow my steps in order to stay compliant with Amazon.

But when done right, this tactic is extremely killer!

What you do is create a giveaway contest. In this contest, if they click the link that points to your book’s review page (see special link discussed above), they are automatically entered into the contest. That's it.

This works because, when they click the link, many readers will decide to leave a review since they are already there. This is compliant in Amazon’s eyes because they are entered in the contest by just clicking the link, not by submitting a review.  Therefore, the review is not incentivized.  You can see an example below on how to word this for best optimization as well as staying compliant.

Step 1 : Build a giveaway Step 2 : Make it clear that to enter the giveaway, they just need to click the link that points to your book’s review page (see #1 above) Step 3 : And that’s it.

There are two ways to build a giveaway:

1. Use Your Email System : You can send out an email blast to your readers with the instructions on how to do this. With most email systems like ConvertKit , you can mark which subscribers clicked on the link in the email. Then when the time is up, you can select from there.

2. Use KingSumo : This is a paid app that is around $49 for life, but it makes creating contests SUPER simple. Furthermore, it handles the legality issues on contests, and you can post links to the contest on Social Media, email, or even embed it on your website. You can check it out here .

Back in the day, Amazon used to list the email address and or websites of those who chose to make that public on their accounts.  However, Amazon did away with this and instead only allows top Amazon product reviewers on the Vine Program to make their information available.

So, what is a Top Amazon Reviewer?  These are people who Amazon believes make the most reviews.  They even get a little tag next to their reveiws letting readers know that this is a professional reviewer.  Pretty neat, right?

Beware : This process is very tedious, and time-consuming.  I also find that most will reject the request.  However, I only put this in here because I know of many authors who have benefited from this, but they too spent an inordinate amount of time following through.  So, don't dabble in this one.  Either commit or move on.

So, if you do decide to do this, how do you get the Amazon Top Reviewers to review your book?

Step 1 : Go to the list of Amazon Top Reviewers

Step 2 : Click on their profiles to see which books they've reviewed: No longer does Amazon have a specific spot for email address.  However, most of the reviewers do have post their information in their bios, or list their social media and websites at the bottom (see below picture).

Step 3 : Contact the reviewers:  Depending on what source (social media, email, or website) contact them appropriately and see if they would be willing to review your book.

Using a launch team or Beta Readers and sending Advanced Review Copies (ARCs) is an important tactic that help with your book’s overall launch by ensuring you have good reviews on day-one of the launch. If you’re unfamiliar with that, then check out this article here .

But the short and simple to this tactic is that prior to launching your book, you send ARCs to people who will hopefully read the book, and or be prepared to leave a review upon your book's launch.

However, working with lots of authors, it’s become apparent that most DO NOT do ARC reviews as effectively or efficiently as they should, creating a super low conversion rate of beta readers who leave a review. Most times, this tactic sounds promising but is actually a complete let down.

Well, not if you do the following extra saucy tips, which will ENSURE you get more reviews out of it:

1. Stop sending mass emails to all Beta Readers : If you really want people to take action, ensure you talk to them personally. Send each beta reader a personal email asking him or her to take certain actions. They’ll feel more obligated to act when you are specifically emailing them and counting on their review. Whereas when it's obviously a mass email, many will inherently think that it's fine and you won't notice if they don't.

2. Track Your Readers : I actually develop a spreadsheet listing each beta reader or launch team member, when I last talked with them last, if they've left a review and any other notes. It’s important to keep track of them and that way no one slips through the cracks. You can also use a plugin like ReaderScout to know exactly when someone has left a review.

3. Have Them Notify You When It’s Dropped : Tell your beta readers or launch team members that once they’ve dropped the review, to let you know so you can read it. It isn’t just the expectation that you’re specifically waiting for their review, but also that you really want to know what they thought. Make it clear that it would mean the world to you. With this, they’ll feel as though you truly care and are waiting on them.

4. Remind them They Don’t have to Read All Of It : The biggest hang-up I get from Beta Readers is that they couldn’t finish the book in time and will leave one “later” (which they never do). However, remind them that they do not have to finish the book in order to leave a review, and that they can always change the review once they’ve finished it if they’d like. They can instead talk about what they’ve read so far, or even your legitimacy on the subject or genre. This way, there is not excuse to not leaving a review.

If you employ these four tactics to beta readers or launch teams, you’ll absolutely double your conversion rates of reviews left.

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Write and format professional books with ease.  Never before has creating formatted books been easier.

If you have an email list, then make sure to use your auto responder to help with your reviews.

Think about it…

If they signed up for your email list, then it means that they read your book and liked it. However, it definitely does not mean they left a review.

Therefore, set in your auto responder an email that specifically uses the tactics of 1 and 2 above to convince them to leave a review. This will help increase your book’s review frequency, its grade, and even help with your email system.  Furthermore, employing #2 above, in the email, you'll build a stronger author brand and connection with your readers.

There are a couple of different ways to relaunch your book, and things to think about when doing so.  However, let's discuss why this really helps with your book reviews and should be considered.

We all know what Amazon reviews are.  But do you fully understand what a Amazon Editorial Review is?

On Amazon, there is a section on your book's sales page where you can enter “Editorial Reviews” through you Author Central Account (here is how to setup one if you haven't already).  In the editorial review, you can put just about anything here.

It could be from what a website said about your book, a news paper, a verbal recommendation, etc.  The point is, you can use what people say outside of Amazon, here.  As we showed from a heat map study, readers pay attention to the section.  So, therefore, use the tactics listed above in order build a persuasive Editorial Review section for your book.

However, these are NOT Amazon reviews.  Amazon reviews are where someone went to Amazon and left a review for your book itself.

There is a little bit of confusion when it comes to giving a free book and asking for reviews.  In truth, Amazon was a little confusing about how they look at this.

However, I went through all of Amazon's user agreements, FAQ's and even their own memo's so as to give you a definitive answer of:

YES, you can give a free copy of your book in advance for a review.

But there are some caveats and nuisances to this statement.  So, check out the video below and learn all about Amazon's Book Review policy and ensure you are continually operating in Amazon's good graces.

So, here is a list what you can’t do:

1. Pay or Incentive Someone to Leave a Review in any way: This is different from the giveaway because they entered the giveaway by clicking the link and not by leaving a review

2. Offering a free gift if they review

3. Offering to refund the author their money for the review

You can give the book for free to them as an ARC.  But you can't cover their costs. While they are both essentially “free,” the second one requires a review in order to make it free, thus incentivizing the review.

The same can be said about offering to send a Amazon gift card to cover the book

4. Swapping reviews with another author

I repeat, you cannot pay or incentive someone in any way to leave a review. But you can pay to promote your book to readers who are likely to leave reviews .

Self-Publishing Review is one example of a service that sells email list promotions designed to result in more sales and more unbiased reviews. If you're looking for opportunities, that could be worth looking into. Use the code KINDLEPRENEUR5 to save 5% on anything from their site.

ReaderScout is another tool I highly recommend for authors who want to track all of the reviews that come in. This makes it much easier for you to know when your ARC readers, for example, have actually left their review. ReaderScout is a completely FREE Chrome plugin and reviews aren't the only thing it tracks. Check it out here.

Now, Let's Go Get Those Book Reviews

No matter which route you’ll go, there’s no easier way to get the initial reviews, especially if you’re an unknown author. An additional benefit of this approach is that you’ll get to speak with your readers directly, thus getting valuable feedback and building new relationships.

I hope you enjoyed this guide on how to get free book reviews. It seems pretty straightforward, but can be a little time-consuming…but as most authors will tell you, getting your book reviewed can be a powerful metric that should have a positive effect on your Kindle sales.

Dave Chesson

When I’m not sipping tea with princesses or lightsaber dueling with little Jedi, I’m a book marketing nut. Having consulted multiple publishing companies and NYT best-selling authors, I created Kindlepreneur to help authors sell more books. I’ve even been called “The Kindlepreneur” by Amazon publicly, and I’m here to help you with your author journey.

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Reader magnets: the secret to attracting more readers, book surveys: how to use surveys to sell more books, how to create a book marketing plan that works [in 3 simple steps], sell more books on amazon, amazon kindle rankings e-book.

Learn how to rank your Kindle book #1 on Amazon with our collection of time-tested tips and tricks.

208 thoughts on “ How to Get Free Book Reviews with No Blog, No List, and No Begging ”

Hi Dave, Am I missing a step or is adding the review link to your e-book something you can only do after book release? In order to use the link you need an ASIN. My plan was to hit publish for my paperback and hope after doing so I would see the ASIN to add the completed book review link – so that I could then hit the publish button on my e-book. Is this even possible or should I be patient and add the link at a later date? Thanks in advance!

For this, if you do a pre-order, you can get it preemptively.

I was wondering if you have any suggestions for getting reviews on low or no content books as they are not generally available on Kindle.

Well, that’s one reason why making a ebook version can be helpful for those books (if you get the formatting down). If not though, then I guess that is a bit of a game changer on what one can do. Limitations being physical books and all.

Hi, Dave, Thanks so much for all of these tips. Some excellent ideas!

Per the giveaway, do you find that people leave reviews if they haven’t yet read the book? And if they decide to do a quick star rating rather than a written review, does that still carry any weight with potential readers?

Thanks for your response.

I’ve seen some come in where it looked as though they hadn’t read it. So it definitely happens.

Hi Dave, thank you for the valuable information’s, just a question please

In the way the person has to write a review for entering in contest giveaway, how’s can be the next step to send to the winner his copy paperback as promise ?

Using a program like the one discussed in the article, it will handle selecting the winner. Then contact them, get their mailing address and send them the prize.

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The 10 Best Free Ebook Download Sites

Want to download more ebooks so that you never run out of reading material? Here are the best sites for downloading free ebooks.

If you have an ereader, there's enough reading material available to keep you busy for a lifetime—and that's just the books available for free.

But free ebook downloads are hard to find unless you know the right websites to visit. As such, to help you out, this article lists some of the best sites that offer free ebooks for you to read. These free ebook download sites have something for everyone.

1. Overdrive

Overdrive is one of the best digital libraries where you can download ebooks for free —not just ones in the public domain but even recently released mainstream titles.

There is one hitch, though: you'll need a valid and active public library card or to be a student to have access to these free ebooks. Overdrive works with over 30,000 public libraries in over 40 different countries worldwide. In addition to free ebook checkouts, you can also listen to audiobooks for free.

If you can access the service, you will have instant access to the latest The New York Times Bestsellers. The list updates weekly, so you'll never miss out on a hot read. Overdrive also has a partnership with Sora, so students can get free ebooks for some classes.

2. Library Genesis

Library Genesis is a search engine for free reading material, including ebooks, articles, magazines, comics, and more. As of this writing, Library Genesis indexes close to three million ebooks and 60 million articles. It would take several lifetimes to consume everything on offer here.

Both fiction and non-fiction are covered, spanning different genres and types.

Since it's a search engine, browsing for books is almost impossible. The closest thing you can do is use the Topics dropdown in the navigation bar to browse what you want to read. Even then, you'll have to get used to the terrible user interface of the site overall.

Instead, searching for a particular book title, author, or synopsis is better. The Advanced Search lets you narrow the results by language and file extension, and you can also search for the exact book titles to see.

The legality of Library Genesis has been in question since 2015 because it allegedly grants access to pirated copies of books and paywalled articles, but the site remains up and open to the public. Library Genesis also has previous editions of college textbooks, so if you're looking to save money, you can download an older textbook ebook for free.

3. Centsless Books

Unlike the other sites on this list, Centsless Books is a curator-aggregator of free Kindle books available on Amazon. Its mission is to make it easy for you to stay on top of all the free ebooks available from the online retailer.

Note that some of the "free" ebooks listed on Centsless Books are only free if you're part of Kindle Unlimited. Unfortunately, Kindle Unlimited might not be worth the money . However, if you have it, it could be a great addition.

Note: Since Centsless Books tracks free ebooks available on Amazon, there may be times when nothing is listed. If that happens, try again a few days later.

4. Project Gutenberg

Another of the best free ebook download sites is Project Gutenberg. It's a charity endeavor, sustained through volunteers and fundraisers, that aims to collect and provide as many high-quality ebooks as possible. Most of its library consists of public domain titles, but it has other stuff, too, if you're willing to look around.

As of this writing, Gutenberg has more than 60,000 free ebooks on offer. They are available for download in EPUB and MOBI formats (some are only available in one of the two) and can be read online in HTML format.

You can browse the library by category (of which there are hundreds), by most popular (which means total download count), by latest (which means the date of upload), or by random (which is a great way to find new material to read).

5. ManyBooks

ManyBooks is a nifty little site that's been around for over a decade. Its purpose is to curate and provide a library of free and discounted fiction ebooks for people to download and enjoy.

Much of its collection was seeded by Project Gutenberg back in the mid-2000s. However, since then, it has taken on an identity of its own with the addition of thousands of self-published works made available at no charge.

Downloads are available in dozens of formats, including EPUB, MOBI, and PDF, and each story has a rating out of five stars, which is something Project Gutenberg doesn't have.

6. Feedbooks

Feedbooks is a large collection of downloadable ebooks: fiction and non-fiction, public domain and copyrighted, free and paid. Many of the books on Feedbooks are paid, but there are still some great free ebooks, which you can find in the public domain category.

There are some free original books as well, which you can find in the different categories. However, you can't sort by price.

Most ebooks are available in EPUB, MOBI, and PDF formats. They even come with word counts and reading time estimates, if you consider that when choosing what to read.

7. PDFBooksWorld

Between the three major ebook formats—EPUB, MOBI, and PDF—what if you prefer to read in the latter format? While EPUBs and MOBIs have basically taken over, reading PDF ebooks hasn't quite gone out of style yet, and for a good reason: PDFs offer universal support across platforms and devices.

If you want to stick to PDFs only, you'll want to check out PDFBooksWorld. While the collection is small, at only a few thousand titles, they're all free and guaranteed to be PDF-optimized. Most of them are literary classics, like The Great Gatsby, A Tale of Two Cities, Crime and Punishment, and so on.

You can also read these books online, making the platform great for citations or academic projects.

For other formatting issues, we've covered everything you need to convert ebooks for your Amazon Kindle.

8. Open Library

Open Library offers an easily searchable directory of all the free ebooks that are available on The Internet Archive. You might be surprised at the number of books available. The total library is pushing towards 1.5 million items.

On the Open Library's homepage, you can readily find the books you might be interested in, thanks to the scrollable categories. Some of the most popular categories include Romance, Kids, and History. You can even find some textbooks lurking in the catalog.

The site is open source, and anyone can edit the information available for each book.

9. Free-Ebooks.net

Free-Ebooks.net offers thousands of free ebooks. The content is broadly split into six categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Romance, Sci-Fi, Self Help, and Business.

To be able to download free ebooks, you will need to sign up for an account, which is free to create. Once you have an account, you can download up to five free titles every month.

In addition to English, books are available in dozens of other languages.

10. International Children's Digital Library

If your child is a bookworm, you could spend a lot of cash on new titles. Unless that is, you find a reliable source of free ebooks for kids. The International Children's Digital Library is a godsend for anyone with young readers in the house.

Books are available in a variety of lengths and reading difficulty levels. You can even search by criteria that might stimulate kids, such as the color of the cover. Each book is listed in a specific category for easy searching.

The International Children's Digital Library does appear small, but there are still great titles to be found. The ebooks here are also available in a variety of languages, with most of the titles in English.

More Ways to Find Free Ebooks

Don't forget about Amazon Prime. Specifically, Prime Reading grants access to thousands of free ebooks in addition to all of the other amazing benefits of Amazon Prime.

The best thing about many free ebooks is that they don't have DRM. This means you aren't limited by how many devices you can read them on. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some free ebooks!

The Best Ebook Reader

An ebook reader showing the cover for The 99% Invisible City, next to a mug of tea and pair of glasses.

With an ebook reader, you can carry thousands of books at a time and access a library of millions more on a device that’s smaller than a paperback, lasts for weeks on a single charge, and gives you a better reading experience than a tablet or phone. After testing every competitive ebook reader available in the US, we can say that the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids is the right choice for almost everyone (yes, even for adults).

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Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids (11th generation)

The best ebook reader for most people.

The Kids version improves on the Kindle Paperwhite’s great display, adjustable color temperature, even lighting, and waterproofing with a cover, a longer warranty, and no ads.

Buying Options

*At the time of publishing, the price was $115 .

The Kindle Paperwhite Kids ’s 6.8-inch screen has the same 300-dots-per-inch pixel density as every comparable and premium ebook reader, meaning it displays crisp, easy-to-read text and clear images. The Kindle Paperwhite Kids is light and small, with a side-lit screen that allows you to read in dim lighting and adjustable color temperature that may be easier on your eyes. Amazon also offers the most impressive catalog in terms of scope and price, as well as partnerships that, for example, let you check out free books from many public libraries. This model is waterproof and includes Bluetooth so you can stream audiobooks, both nice extras. The Kids edition of the Paperwhite is identical to the standard Kindle but comes with a case, a two-year warranty (versus the standard’s one-year), and no ads, for only $20 more.


Upgrade pick

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Kobo Libra 2

Physical page-turn buttons and a larger screen.

The Libra 2 matches almost all the features of Amazon’s high-end Kindle Oasis for less money, minus the Amazon ecosystem. It’s waterproof, includes physical controls and Bluetooth, and has a 7-inch screen, as well as screen light color-temperature adjustment for late-night reading.

May be out of stock

*At the time of publishing, the price was $180 .

If you’re looking for a bigger screen and a physical page-turn experience, the Kobo Libra 2 is the best option for a high-end e-reader. It matches the features of more expensive Amazon options at a fraction of the price, with a comfortable design and durable construction.

Everything we recommend

The research, who should buy this (or upgrade to it), why you shouldn’t just read ebooks on a tablet, ebooks and drm, how we picked and tested, our pick: amazon kindle paperwhite kids, flaws but not dealbreakers, an oasis alternative: kobo libra 2, what about color e-readers, what to look forward to, the competition, frequently asked questions.

An ebook reader is a dedicated device that lets you read electronic books—usually those you buy from the reader’s own ebook store, but also some you can download elsewhere. Over the past few years, the prices of ebook readers have fallen dramatically while the hardware has improved significantly, and high-end features like a backlit, high-resolution screen and waterproofing have become standard. If you don’t have an ebook reader, there’s never been a better time to get one.

For current e-reader owners, an upgrade isn’t necessary but can make a world of difference. If you struggle with finding light to read, get frustrated with slow page turns or low resolutions, or merely hate how big your current ebook reader is, upgrading might be worthwhile. You can get a great reader that addresses all of those concerns for a fair price.

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo all offer apps that allow you to access each ebook reader’s library on an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone ; you can also use a tablet or phone to read ebooks from Apple’s Books Store (on iOS) and the Google Play Store (on iOS and Android). This flexible arrangement can be great for times when you may not have your reader handy: You can read a few pages, and your progress syncs to the cloud so that you can pick up right where you left off on whichever device you prefer.

For regular reading, however, we think dedicated ebook readers are a better option for a number of reasons: Nonreflective, electronic-ink displays give you a more paperlike visual experience (including enjoyable reading outdoors and less eyestrain compared with an LCD screen), plus lighter weight and a significantly longer battery life. And a dedicated ebook reader offers fewer distractions—you won’t be tempted to switch apps to check Twitter or your email.

When you purchase an ebook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple, or Google, that book is usually protected with a digital rights management (DRM) scheme, which means the book is available for reading only on devices that support that store’s DRM system. For example, you can read Amazon-purchased ebooks only on Kindle devices or in Amazon’s Kindle apps for other platforms—you can’t view them on a Barnes & Noble or Kobo reader.

In addition, DRM raises questions of ownership. This issue first came to light in 2009, when Amazon remotely deleted digital copies of certain George Orwell books from some Kindles. This isn’t an issue specific to any one seller, and it isn’t a problem with the DRM-free ebooks you can purchase from some independent sellers or download from sources such as Project Gutenberg . But DRM is worth keeping in mind, because it means that once you commit to an ebook reader, you’ll likely end up sticking with it because you won’t be able to transfer your DRM-protected ebooks to another platform.

Two ebook readers stacked on top of each other, one white and one in a black case.

Few companies ever made ebook readers, but these days the number has dwindled to just three serious competitors. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo are the only major hardware makers with digital bookstores to back up their respective devices. Among them, they offer only a handful of distinct readers, not counting the Nook tablets and Nook-branded Samsung tablets that Barnes & Noble sells, nor Amazon’s Fire tablets, which have a Kindle app. You can find a few niche devices, such as those from Ectaco , but nothing else comes in at a reasonable price with a library to back up the hardware.

Here’s what we looked for in determining the best ebook readers:

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids, our pick for best ebook reader, with the case open to reveal book text on the screen.

The 2021 Kids edition of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is the best e-reader for most people thanks to stellar hardware that makes reading your books a pleasure, a massive ebook catalog that frequently offers better prices than others, and Amazon’s ecosystem and services that are unavailable or have fewer features on other readers. You can comfortably navigate your collection, as well as find and purchase new titles (and download them over Wi-Fi). The Kindle Paperwhite Kids is waterproof, for reading at the beach or in the bath, and also features Bluetooth for streaming audiobooks. New to the 2021 version are a larger screen and adjustable color temperature. And while “Kids” is in the name, this is the best ebook reader for people of any age. The $20 premium over the standard version gets you a cover, a two-year warranty, and no ads, any of which would be worth at least $20 on their own.

The ideal ebook reader provides a window for reading without allowing too many hardware distractions to get in the way, and that’s just what the Kindle Paperwhite Kids does. It’s a thin rectangle of soft-touch plastic measuring 6.9 inches tall, 5.1 inches wide, and 0.5 inch deep. The dimensions are a little larger than the previous edition, but that added size gets you a new 6.8-inch-diagonal, 300 ppi touchscreen (up from 6 inches). The Kindle weighs 11.32 ounces—slightly heavier than the average e-reader model we tested, but still comfortable to hold for extended periods. It has no headphone port, speakers, or navigation buttons. The screen is flush with the bezel, whereas most comparable models have recessed screens. It also has no physical inputs or controls, other than the USB-C (finally!) charging port and a power button along the bottom edge.

Two different generations of Amazon Kindle side by side, both open to the library page, to show the change in screen size.

Amazon’s e-reader software is easy to use. The homepage presents books you’re currently reading, reading lists based off of Amazon and Goodreads, and recommendations from Amazon. Controls for features such as screen brightness and airplane mode are now easily accessible by tapping the top of the screen, then selecting the Settings menu.

When you’re reading, you can easily turn a page with a tap or swipe. The screen is evenly lit across its entire surface, and the text is incredibly crisp. Amazon also got the small details right: Tapping to call up a footnote, for example, opens it on the current page instead of taking you to a separate page, and you can dismiss the footnote with a simple tap. And actually hitting the footnote is easier than on other readers, thanks to a much larger touch target.

Adjustable screen color temperature isn’t new to ebook readers, but 2021 is the first year that it’s come to the Kindle Paperwhite line. You can change how much blue light the screen emits, going from a typical white glow to a darker yellow in 24 increments, either manually or on an automatic schedule tied to sunset and sunrise. Wirecutter has written extensively about whether blocking blue light makes it easier to fall asleep (maybe) or help you avoid eyestrain and headaches (probably not). Even if there’s no demonstrable benefit, though, color-temperature adjustment isn’t a bad feature to have.

Two Amazon Kindles side by side, one with the text filled screen showing and the other showing the reverse with a black case.

The huge collection of services that Amazon and its partners offer is a major reason why we love the Kindle Paperwhite Kids. Just a few examples include the capability to share purchased books with people on your Amazon Prime account; X-Ray, which helps identify notable people and terms in your books; the optional Kindle Unlimited service, which gives you on-demand access to a huge catalog of books for a flat rate every month; and Amazon Kids+ , which provides access to kid’s books, movies, TV shows, and more (a free, one-year subscription is included with the Kindle Paperwhite Kids). All of the ebook readers we tested allow you to use the OverDrive or Libby apps to borrow free ebooks from your local library. OverDrive will be phased out by the end of 2022 , which means you’ll have to download the Libby app on your iOS or Android device to wirelessly deliver ebooks to your Kindle. Kobo devices that have seamless OverDrive integration won’t see any changes; borrowing ebooks via OverDrive will continue to function as normal beyond 2022.

We tested the Kindle Paperwhite Kids’s IPX8 waterproofing by submerging it in a pitcher of water for an hour; Amazon says it can survive for that long in water up to 2 meters deep. The reader worked just fine afterward, although we were surprised how much water came out of the USB-C port when we shook it. We could even hear water sloshing around inside, but after a few minutes of keeping it upright, the moisture was gone.

Amazon has finally added the ability to play audiobooks from Audible, the audiobook company it owns, to the Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Paperwhite Kids. You can pay for an Audible subscription or buy audiobooks à la carte. You’ll have to use Bluetooth headphones or earbuds , however, because the Paperwhite doesn’t have a headphone jack. But the feature works well, and if you have both the ebook and audiobook version of a title, you can switch between reading and listening wherever you left off. You can also use the Bluetooth streaming for VoiceView, Amazon’s accessibility program that helps the visually impaired navigate the screen.

The Kindle Paperwhite Kids doesn’t have any ads on the lock screen or homepage, unlike the regular Kindle. The cost to buy a version of the non-Kids reader without those is the same as that of our recommended model with its extras. You may be asked to set up a parental control PIN and add an account for a child, but you don’t have to set any sort of limits that would prevent you from using your Kindle as if it weren’t the Kids model, and you can turn off kids mode altogether by going to the settings, choosing parental controls, entering the PIN you created during setup, tapping the edit button, and then tapping delete profile.

You have your choice of three different cases with the Paperwhite Kids: plain black, or colorful “robot dreams” and “emerald forest” designs.

Amazon promises broad protection with its two-year warranty: “If it breaks, return it and we’ll replace it for free.” That’s useful for both kids and adults.

Prior to 2022, Amazon didn’t offer support for EPUB, the open-standard format for unprotected ebooks that’s common for public-domain and other freely available books. Kindles can now open EPUB files, but it requires a few steps. On an iOS or Android device, you can download an EPUB file, find it in your phone’s Files app, and then use the “Send to Kindle” feature to send it wirelessly to your e-reader. You can also email an EPUB file to your Kindle’ s email address, which will send the file directly to your Kindle. (To find that email address, log into your Amazon account on the web, then navigate to your devices. Click on the name of your Kindle, and you’ll see an email address that ends in @kindle.com. Attach the EPUB file to an email sent to that Kindle address, and then sync your Kindle to see the file pop up.)

Previous Kindles have been available in a configuration with 3G, allowing you to download books even if you’re not on Wi-Fi. Kindles released in 2021 and afterward do not offer cellular connectivity, and 2G and 3G networks are being phased out , meaning if you have an older Kindle, you’ll only be able to get online using Wi-Fi. We don’t think this is a problem for most people, though, since it’s easy enough to load up on as many books as you might need when you do have access to Wi-Fi, and you don’t need to be connected to read them.

After it’s been off for a few hours, the Kindle Paperwhite Kids can take about 10 seconds to wake from sleep. This is about as long as some of the other ebook readers you can find, and not particularly bothersome.

The Kobo Libra 2, our upgrade pick for the best ebookreader, showing its white frame with physical buttons.

We’ve generally found more expensive e-readers to not be worth the price, especially when the more affordable models work so well. But if you’re set on an ebook device with physical page-turn buttons and a larger screen, we recommend Kobo’s Libra 2 . It matches the features of Amazon’s Kindle Oasis (10th generation) , including physical page-turn buttons, a larger screen, waterproofing, and screen light color-temperature adjustment, yet costs significantly less. The 2021 edition adds Bluetooth, with support for Kobo’s audiobook store, and increased storage of 32 GB. If you’re locked into the Kindle ecosystem, it likely won’t be for you, but if you’re platform agnostic, willing to convert your Kindle ebooks into a different format, or buying your first reader and value these features, it’s the one to get.

The Kobo Libra 2’s plastic body, like that of the Kindle Oasis, is asymmetrical, with a narrow bezel along one edge and a wider border on the other that houses the two page-turn buttons and rises in thickness to create a comfortable angled grip. There’s no left side or right side, as the e-reader has an accelerometer that registers which way is up and automatically adjusts the screen to the proper position. You can even turn it so the Kobo is in landscape orientation with the buttons underneath the screen (although the homepage works only in portrait).

A view from the foot Kobo Libra 2 as it lays flat, showing buttons on the left edge and an audio book on screen.

We found the buttons to click crisply and a bit loudly. The page turning is as responsive as on any other reader, with no lag. If you prefer, you can tap the screen to go back and forth, but the buttons are the main reason to pay the extra money. We were initially thrown off by whether the “up” button was meant to advance or flip back, but we appreciated that it could be set to our preference in the Settings menu.

The 7-inch screen has the same 300 dpi resolution as the Kobo Clara HD . And like the Clara HD, the Kindle Paperwhite, and the Kindle Oasis, the screen’s color temperature can be set to filter out blue light as you approach your bedtime, while the brightness is adjustable but only manually. (This is one area where the Oasis clearly beats the Kobo, as Amazon’s reader does support auto brightness.) The Kobo Libra 2 is also waterproof, with an IPX8 rating. This means it’ll easily survive splashes and dunks, as well as submergence for up to an hour in under 2 meters of water.

Every ebook reader we recommend here (and almost every e-reader, period), is monochromatic. Black and white, while perfect for reading novels or nonfiction, leaves a lot to be desired for content with color images, such as comics and graphic novels. There have been a handful of color ebook readers over the years, and the early 2021 introduction of the E Ink Kaleido Plus display with support for 4,096 colors at 100 dpi has led to more new, mainstream models. Both Pocketbook’s InkPad Color and the Onyx Boox Nova Air C  use the E Ink Kaleido Plus in 7.8-inch configurations.

While these devices are conceptually cool, we don’t think either is worth their high price. Color images on the screens of both the InkPad Color and the Nova 3 are fine at best. The very nature of an e-ink screen means you won’t get the bright, vibrant images you may be expecting (of the two, we found the PocketBook InkPad Color’s images to be a bit more washed out). Compounding that, page-turn artifacting that’s annoying on monochrome readers is even more distracting on these color readers. The effect is a bit like reading a poorly produced comic on cheap, thin newsprint—you can literally see the ghost of the previous page underneath what you’re currently reading. You can increase how often the page fully refreshes, but that’ll diminish the reader’s battery life.

A screenshot of a page from a color e-reader, where the image shows remnants from a previous image underneath.

Then there’s the content itself. You can load your own content in various formats over web-based services, or, in the case of the PocketBook, a microSD card. But neither has direct access to the book stores offered by Amazon, Google, Apple, or any other major seller. The Linux-based InkPad Color lacks any sort of US-based store, period (there’s a limited selection of books for sale in euros, but a spot-check pulled up very few best sellers). It’s a slightly different story with the Nova 3, which runs Android. From its built-in app store, you can download apps including Kindle and Libby. You can also, through a somewhat convoluted process difficult to find if you’re not specifically looking for it, install the Google Play store and have access to any Android apps. But the default bookstore on the device includes only public domain works.

We’d recommend staying away from these color e-readers for now. The technology is still young and expensive: The PocketBook InkPad Color costs $330, and the Onyx Boox Nova Air C is $420. The tech will improve over time, and there will likely be a point when it’s ready for broad consumption.

We’re in the process of testing a handful of new ereaders. Amazon’s newest entry-level Kindle (11th Gen) , is the cheapest in the Kindle lineup with a 300 ppi screen, making text much clearer and images sharper. It also comes with double the storage, 16 GB, than the previous generation did.

Kobo’s Clara 2E has replaced the Clara HD, and includes a bunch of new features. The second-gen Clara offers an upgraded display, Bluetooth connectivity for audiobooks, and 16 GB of storage. It’s also waterproof and made of mostly recycled materials.

Barnes & Noble’s latest Nook GlowLight 4 and Nook GlowLight 4e prove the company isn’t winding down its e-reader offerings, though there are few notable improvements over the GlowLight 3.

The Amazon Kindle Scribe is the first Kindle to support note-taking with an included stylus. The Scribe is much larger than the basic Kindle or Kindle Paperwhite, with a 10.2-inch screen at 300 ppi. E Ink tablets that let you read books and take notes have become more popular in recent years, and the Scribe is the latest in a line of steadily improving models. The included basic pen attaches magnetically to the Scribe and never needs to be charged. For an extra $30, a Scribe with a premium pen can erase text and includes a customizable button that can be used to trigger a shortcut, like adding a sticky note or highlighting text. The Kindle Scribe is a delight to write on—we used it to mark up Kindle books, create to-do lists, and even journal, and it felt much closer to the experience of writing on paper than using, say, an Apple Pencil with an iPad. But while taking notes was a joy, the process of actually sharing and editing them is lacking—and you can’t convert your handwriting to text, which is less than ideal. You can buy a smaller E Ink device for much cheaper. For $340, you’re better off with a more fully-featured tablet than a dedicated e-reader.

The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition (11th generation) is identical to the 2021 Paperwhite and Paperwhite Kids reader, save for three small differences: It has 32 GB of storage space (four times that of the other models,) it supports Qi wireless charging, and the backlight automatically adjusts thanks to a sensor above the screen. These are all nice-to-have features, but not worth the premium price for most people.

The Kobo Sage has an even larger 8-inch screen than the Libra 2 and offers a slew of custom accessories, including a charging cover and a stylus for note-taking. But those benefits come with a hefty $260 price tag, so unless you know you want to be able to write on your reader’s screen or will definitely benefit from a larger display, it’s not worth the higher cost.

The Kobo Nia is the company’s entry-level reader. Compared to the entry-level Kindle with a 167 ppi screen, it has a sharper 212 ppi screen. But it has similar flaws, including a recessed screen and no waterproofing.

Prior to the launch of the Kindle Scribe, Amazon’s Kindle Oasis (10th generation) was the most advanced, and the most expensive, e-reader Amazon sold. Its design is unique compared with that of other Kindles, as it features an asymmetrical body (0.13 inch on the thinner edge, 0.33 inch on the thicker edge) with physical page-turn buttons along one edge. The Oasis is a little wider than the Paperwhite, though it weighs about the same, and it also has a larger 7-inch screen. Overall, the Oasis’s larger size makes it less practical to carry and hold than the Paperwhite. The Oasis is no longer the only waterproof Kindle, but it does have an auto-brightness feature that automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness level based on ambient light. Amazon has also added a night-mode feature that shifts the display’s color temperature; you can set it to change automatically on a custom schedule or at sunrise and sunset, but it doesn’t automatically adjust based on ambient lighting conditions. There’s a lot to like about the Kindle Oasis. But its $250 starting price is significantly higher than that of even our top pick , yet it isn’t clearly better for even frequent readers.

What is the difference between an e-reader and a tablet?

Unlike tablets, which can do as much as a laptop, ebook readers are (mostly) dedicated to one task: reading. Both the hardware and software are designed to make the reading experience great. The monochromatic, e-ink screens on our picks render text sharply while using very little battery, but they’re not great for most other tasks. E-readers weigh less than tablets, with the Kindle Paperwhite coming in at about two-thirds the weight of the iPad mini. Since they can do less, ebook readers are also generally cheaper.

Do e-readers reduce eyestrain?

Most people find that e-readers are much easier to read for long stretches than tablets. At least one study backs up the idea that e-reader displays don’t fatigue the eyes any more than paper . In some cases, e-readers can actually be a little easier to read than paper: You can increase the font size any time if it makes you more comfortable, and the edge lighting means you’ll never be stuck reading in low light.

Which e-reader is best for library books?

Both top e-reader brands—Amazon and Kobo—support checking out books from your local public library. E-reader users who relied on OverDrive to browse library ebooks in 2022 were shifted to Libby, which offers a similar experience. (Kobo devices have retained OverDrive integration even though OverDrive is being phased out for non-Kobo e-readers.) If you have a Kindle, you have to install the Libby app on your phone or log in to Libby on a computer, then send your checked out books wirelessly to your e-reader.

What e-reader is best for college textbooks?

In most cases, if you want to put your textbooks on an e-reader, you should get a Kindle. Though the Kobo e-readers can store and display any book in the EPUB format, the selection of textbooks is more limited. Amazon has an entire textbook storefront that includes the option to rent books. Not all books are well suited for e-readers, though; if your course or content requires a lot of flipping back and forth, or needs color images, you may want to stick with a print edition.

Sascha Segan, How to Put Free Ebooks on Your Amazon Kindle , PCMag , December 15, 2015

Brad Stone, Amazon Erases Orwell Books From Kindle , The New York Times , July 17, 2009

Nate Hoffelder, The Beginning of the End: B&N Shutters the International Nook Store , The Digital Reader , July 8, 2015

About your guide

ebook review uk

Nick Guy is a former senior staff writer covering Apple and accessories at Wirecutter. He has been reviewing iPhones, iPads, and related tech since 2011—and stopped counting after he tested his 1,000th case. It’s impossible for him not to mentally catalog any case he sees. He once had the bright idea to build and burn down a room to test fireproof safes.

Further reading

A 9th-generation iPad, shown on an orange background with a stylus and books shown to the side.

The Best Tablets

by Haley Perry and Andrew Cunningham

We think Apple’s 10.2-inch iPad is the best all-around tablet thanks to great hardware and apps. We also have picks for Android tablets, ebook readers, and more.

Our three picks for best android tablet placed next to each other on a red surface.

The Best Android Tablets

by Ryan Whitwam

Good Android tablets are few and far between, but if you don’t want an iPad, Samsung’s Galaxy Tab S8 is your best bet.

A kindle paperwhite placed on top of a stack of kindle cases of different colors.

The Best Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Cases

by Nick Guy

If you want a case for your Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon’s cover is comfortable to hold and uses magnets to keep the cover stowed either open or closed.

ebook review uk

The Best Accessories for Your iPhone and iPad

by Dan Frakes, Nick Guy, and Wirecutter Staff

We’ve spent hundreds of hours over the past few years testing hundreds of iPhone and iPad accessories to find the best ones.

The best free ebook download sites: from new bestsellers to classic Shakespeare

Fill your Kindle or Kobo (or Nook or Onyx Boox) for free

ebook review uk

If you’ve taken up digital reading recently, having picked up one of the best ereaders there are on the market, you’ll find that there are ways to fill up the device without having to spend a penny.

There are thousands of ebooks available to download legally – either because their copyright has expired, or because their authors have chosen to release them without charge. And sometimes, publishing companies make them available to a limited number of readers before a public release to get feedback.

The difficulty, however, is tracking down exactly what you want in the correct format, and avoiding anything poorly written or formatted. We’ve searched through the masses of sites to bring you the very best places to download free, high-quality ebooks with minimum hassle and no legal strings attached.

It’s worth remembering that the absence of a price tag doesn’t necessarily mean that the book is in the public domain. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, the author will retain rights over it, including the exclusive right to distribute it. Similarly, even if copyright has expired on an original text, certain editions may still be in copyright due to editing, translation, or extra material such as annotations.

While EPUBs are the most common type of ebook file format most ereaders can display, you’ll find digital editions in other formats as well. So if you find an ebook in a format you need, you can convert it with free software like Calibre (opens in new tab) . Please note that ebooks that are DRM protected cannot be converted.

So, without much ado, here are the best free ebook download sites to help you get lost in a good story.

1. Amazon First Reads (opens in new tab)

Why you can trust TechRadar Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test .

A hidden treasure trove of new titles for your Kindle

It used to be called Kindle First Reads, but its rebranding has not changed what it truly is – a reading platform that gets you early access to newly released titles published by Amazon Publishing. Each month 10 new books are made available on First Reads – which you can get access to by signing up for the First Reads newsletter – and one of these is totally free for Amazon Prime subscribers . The rest of the new releases are available for a hugely discounted price. First Reads selections are announced on the first of each month, and you get the whole month to decide which title you want to read, after which the cycle begins anew.

As you’d expect, free ebooks from Amazon are only available in Kindle format – users of other ebook readers will need to convert the files – and you must be logged into an Amazon account to download them.

If you’re already invested in Amazon’s ecosystem, its assortment of freebies are extremely convenient. As soon as you click the 'Buy' button, the ebook will be sent to any Kindle ebook readers you own, or devices with the Kindle app installed. However, converting Kindle ebooks to other formats can be a hassle, even if they’re not protected by DRM, so users of other readers are better off looking elsewhere.

Amazon First Reads for US customers (opens in new tab) Amazon First Reads for UK customers (opens in new tab) Amazon First Reads for Australian customers (opens in new tab)

2. Kobo eBook Store (opens in new tab)

Over a million free ebooks for your Kobo

Kobo might make some of our favorite ereaders, but the company also has a vast store of ebooks and, the company claims, over a million of them are free. There’s a dedicated section (opens in new tab) for all the Kobo freebies on the website, with several of them being newly released titles.

You can even find the free ebooks on the Kobo Store by searching for author names, a book title or genre, then selecting 'only free items' under the price filter in the left sidebar of the search results.

Kobo’s freebies are usually for a very limited time and can change each day, so you’ll likely never run out of good reads for free. That said, the books you get from the Kobo Store, even the free ones, are DRM-protected and will be available to read only on your Kobo ereader or the Kobo ereader app for smartphones and tablets.

3. Google Books (opens in new tab)

A vast catalogue of fiction and nonfiction EPUBs

Google Books (opens in new tab) can be a rabbit hole of self-published fiction and non-fiction titles, with several really great finds in there as well. However, the vast majority of the ebooks on Google Books are in the EPUB or PDF file format. So while that’s perfectly fine for Kobo users, Kindles don’t support EPUB and the file will need to be converted to MOBI before you start reading.

Being a Google undertaking, the store is easily accessible on a web browser or Android device, but you will need a Google account to register a card before you can access the freebies. Your card won’t be charged for the free ebooks and audiobooks, but it could put some potential users off.

Moreover, the Google Books interface wasn’t designed for free stuff. To locate them, you need to search for 'free books', which then gives you a vast catalogue of free reads. If you’re after a particular genre, you can search for that, plus the word 'free' (free fantasy or free history, for example). Once you get the hang of it, it’s easy enough to discover a veritable treasure trove of free books.

4. Project Gutenberg (opens in new tab)

An immersive archive of world literature

Project Gutenberg (opens in new tab) (named after the printing press that democratized knowledge) is a huge archive of over 60,000 books in EPUB, Kindle, plain text, and HTML. You can download them directly, or have them sent to your preferred cloud storage service (Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive). 

You can search for a specific title or browse by genre (books in the same genre are gathered together in bookshelves). It’s a shame that fiction and non-fiction aren’t separated, and you have to open a bookshelf before you can sort books by country, but those are fairly minor quibbles.

The site itself is available in English, German, French, Italian, and Portuguese, and the catalog includes books in all languages. There’s a heavy bias towards English-language works and translations, but the same is true of all the ebook download sites we’ve looked at here.

Project Gutenberg is a wonderful source of free ebooks – particularly for academic work. However, it uses US copyright law, which isn’t universal; some books listed as public domain might still be in copyright in other countries. RightsDirect explains the situation in more detail (opens in new tab) .

5. Free-Ebooks.net (opens in new tab)

A self-publishing platform that’s great for authors and readers alike

Free-Ebooks.net (opens in new tab) is a platform for independent authors who want to avoid the traditional publishing route. You won’t find Dickens and Wilde in its archives; instead, there’s a huge array of new fiction, non-fiction, and even audiobooks at your fingertips, in every genre you could wish for. There are many similar sites around, but Free-Ebooks.net is our favorite, with new books added every day.

Because this site is dedicated to free books, there’s none of the hassle you get with filtering out paid-for content on the Kobo Store or Google Books. We also love the fact that all the site’s genres are presented on the homepage, so you don’t have to waste time trawling through menus. Unlike the bigger stores, Free-Ebooks.net also lets you sort results by publication date, popularity, or rating, helping you avoid the weaker titles that will inevitably find their way onto open publishing platforms (though a book has to be really quite poor to receive less than four stars).

Digital books are available as PDF, EPUB, Kindle and plain text files, though not all titles are available in all formats.

6. ManyBooks (opens in new tab)

A curated collection of free and discounted fiction and nonfiction books

At the time of writing, ManyBooks (opens in new tab) has over 50,000 titles in its library of both fiction and nonfiction. And a large part of that is available to download for free – from modern novels to classic literature. You’ll be able to find Grimms’ Fairy Tales alongside books from Agatha Christie and newer fantasy fiction. 

That’s because the vast majority of the books on the platform are seeded from Project Gutenberg, but a whole load of self-published titles have been added since the mid-2000s. They’re all available to browse in genres, all of which are listed on the homepage itself, making navigation easy.

One of the main reasons we like ManyBooks is because of the several ebook file formats available on the site. Most of the titles are available in the most common formats, including EPUB, MOBI and AZW, so you’ll be able to read on any ereader you might prefer. ManyBooks also lets you read online, if you prefer that route.

It’s also one of the few sites we know of that lets you filter books by language. You can also search by book title and author, but there’s also a curated 'editor’s choice' section if you’re looking for more choices. Downloading books, however, requires an account which can be created for free.

7. Feedbooks (opens in new tab)

Plenty of originals available to download for free

Feedbooks (opens in new tab) came into being in 2007 as a digital library for public domain books as well as a cloud publishing service. So not only does this platform give you plenty of free classics to read – from Shakespeare to Homer to James Joyce – there are plenty of original books to choose from as well.

While it’s easy enough to access the free public domain ebooks on the site, finding the original content is harder. There’s an easy link to this category on the homepage under 'browse' but it doesn’t work. So you’ll need to trawl through a vast catalogue of digital books to find those marked down to cost nothing. It’s not the best user experience, but that extra bit of work might well be worth it if you find a story you can truly get lost in.

There are several genres as well, including short stories, so there’s likely going to be something here for everyone. And if you do choose to buy an ebook, Feedbooks displays the price in your local currency by picking up your IP address.

8. Smashwords (opens in new tab)

A self-publishing platform with several free reads

It’s one of the most well-organized free ebook sites you can find and, considering it’s essentially a self-publishing platform, there’s a lot you can read for free. Authors publishing via Smashwords use it to distribute their books and, at the time of writing, there are over 85,000 titles available. To narrow down your search, there’s a handy genre list on the side, and an equally handy filter bar on the top of the page to find 'highly rated' books or the bestsellers.

You will need to set up an account with Smashwords (opens in new tab) to download books – this is completely free and gives you full access to the platform. So if you’ve got some good words to share, you can get published… for free. Creating an account also allows you to leave reviews of the books you read, which can be really helpful to the authors.

9. Tor.com (opens in new tab)

Join the club and get a free ebook each month

Tor is a publishing company known for putting out science-fiction and fantasy fiction bestsellers like Robert Jordan’s Conan and Wheel of Time series, Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti books and Brandon Sanderson’s ongoing Stormlight Archive series. So it’s not really the obvious place to look for free ebooks, but you can get one new read each month for free.

All you have to do is join Tor’s book club. 

The Tor.com eBook Club (opens in new tab) sends out regular newsletters – that you can sign up for by filling out a form for free – with a link to download a particular book, whether a standalone or part of a series. However, the duration for which the book is available for free is very limited, typically just three days, so you will need to keep an eye on your inbox for the next newsletter.

The ebooks are available in EPUB and MOBI formats, so you should be able to read on any device, whether ereader or reading app on your phone or tablet.

It’s perhaps the best source of free reads that are not self-published, particularly if you’re a sci-fi or fantasy fiction fan.

10. Your local library

Use OverDrive to borrow ebooks for free

The great thing about using Kindle and Kobo ereaders is that you get access to ebook catalogues of your local library too. The Kindle library borrowing feature, however, is limited only to the US, while Kobo’s baked-in OverDrive support will set you up in several other markets.

Almost 45,000 libraries worldwide have OverDrive support, which allows you to borrow ebooks and audiobooks, as long as you have a library card. Depending on the rules of your library, you get to 'borrow' an ebook or digital magazine for a specific period of time, after which you lose access, or you can 'renew', just like you would a physical book in a bricks-and-mortar library.

Don’t use either a Kindle or a Kobo device? Libby is the mobile version of OverDrive, so installing it on your phone or tablet will give you the ability to borrow ebooks from a supported local library you’re a member of.

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Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (yes, she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing cameras and lenses, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She also contributes to Digital Camera World and T3, and helps produce two of Future's photography print magazines in Australia.

Best ebooks apps in 2021

The best ebooks apps for smartphones will help you find something good to read

best ebooks apps

Forget about dedicated e-readers — the best ebooks apps let you read everything from books to articles to comics directly on your smartphone or tablet. Apple's Books and Google Play Books already do a great job as stock apps, but specialist reading apps bring additional features to the fix — highly configurable settings, support for odd formats and read-all-you-can subscriptions just to name a few.

Check out more than a dozen of the best ebooks apps, from convenient, all-in-one marketplace-reader combinations to feature-packed and customizable standalone readers, as well as subscription-based unlimited reading services.

The best ebooks apps to download today

1. kindle (android, ios: free).

Amazon's Kindle app is a multi-platform e-book juggernaut, featuring marketplace, reader and library management features. More than 1 million titles are available in the Kindle store, from the latest bestsellers to free classics. 

A customizable display lets you set font size, brightness and other settings. Also, Kindle syncs your last page read, bookmarks, highlights and notes between devices and platforms. 

One of the best things about the Kindle app is Kindle Unlimited program. Through that program, Kindle users are able to access to thousands of audiobooks and e-books for a monthly fee. Overall, Kindle provides an excellent mix of usability, legibility, value and variety to feed your reading habits.

Download Kindle: Android (opens in new tab) , (opens in new tab) iOS (opens in new tab)

2. Realm (Android, iOS: Free)

It used to be known as Serial Box, but a name change to Realm hasn't changed the app's approach to getting a good story. You don't have to shell out for a complete audiobook, with Realm instead offering shorter, episodic content in bite-sized chunks of novels. If you've resumed commuting, Realm's installments are just about the perfect length.

You can pick from a range of genres — drama, fantasy, sci-fi and more. The first episode is usually free, with subsequent installments costing $1.99. You get both text and audio versions of a story, and discounts on the full version are available with a season pass. 

With offerings such as “The Witch Who Came In From The Cold”, “Bookburners” and “Tremontaine” and a highly configurable reader and audiobook player mode, Realm is an interesting take on digital books.

Download Realm: Android (opens in new tab) , iOS (opens in new tab)

3. Scribd (Android, iOS: $8.99/month)

While Amazon boasts of its Unlimited program, it wasn't first off the bat in providing an unlimited access program for books. Scribd offers an unlimited access program for ebooks, which was compared to a "Netflix for books." 

Scribd features a library of more than 500,000 books from 900-plus publishers across a variety of genres. The app features a customizable display as well as curated editorial collections, personalized recommendations based on your reading history and the ability to download books for offline reading.

Download Scribd: Android (opens in new tab) , (opens in new tab) iOS (opens in new tab)

4. tiReader (iOS: Free)

Think of tiReader as an all-in-one iOS ebook reader option for consuming your DRM-free ebooks, audiobooks, and digital comics. The app supports a broad selection of formats, such as epubs, PDFs, cbrs and cbzs, as well as photos, archives, and more. 

A customizable reader includes bookmarks, annotation tools, day and night modes, library management and search filters, as well as cross-device syncing. tiReader also includes cloud support for ebooks that you store online, as well as OPDS support for publicly available ebook libraries and public domain content. 

The free version of this top ebooks app lets you try things out with a five-document maximum in the library (you can keep deleting files if you want to add new books). The $4.99 in-app purchase upgrades you to the unlimited version of tiReader.

Download tiReader: iOS (opens in new tab)

5. Libby by Overdrive (Android, iOS: Free)

Why spend a ton of money on ebooks if your local library already has a digital media lending system? Libby takes Overdrive's popular digital media management system and lets users to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from participating libraries. 

Simply sign in with your library card and then you can browse your library's digital media collection, allowing you to search for titles, set holds, borrow ebooks and audiobooks with a tap, and return or extend a lend just as easily. 

You can preview books from the app, downloading borrowed titles or streaming them to your phone or tablet if you prefer to save space.

Download Libby: Android (opens in new tab) , iOS (opens in new tab)

6. FullReader (Android: Free)

FullReader is an all-in-one Android ebook reader, supporting numerous formats, such as epub, PDF, CBR and CBZ, as well as office files like RTF, .doc, .docx and even MP3s (great for audiobooks). Users can sort their files into collections or simply use the built-in file explorer, and the app also includes cloud storage support as well as OPDS compatibility for exploring libraries of free online content. 

The reader itself is clear and easy to navigate, with access to bookmarks, the table of contents, text-to-speech, and the ability to make notes and annotations. The app is free and ad-supported, with an in-app purchase disabling advertising.

Download FullReader: Android (opens in new tab)

7. Madefire Comics & Motion Books (Android, iOS: Free)

Like other comic readers, Madefire gives you access to enough comic books to choke Galactus. But some of them also move, along with adding lashings of atmosphere with 3D elements and audio.

These aren’t cartoons — you get traditional panel layouts. But parts of the image transition in a manner that draws your eye to certain elements. Your reading pace is slowed, helping you take everything in. And the action is joined by rumbles and dark music in the likes of Hellboy, or iconic transformation sounds in Transformers.

This may be a gimmick — and it’s unlikely to tear you from your comic reader of choice. But as a glimpse into a different way of presenting comic stories, Madefire’s well worth a look.

Download Madefire: Android (opens in new tab) , iOS (opens in new tab)

8. KyBook 3 (iOS: $14.99/year)

KyBook 3 is one of the best ebooks apps because this all-in-one e-reader supports DRM-free formats like epub, RTF, DJVU, PDF, CBR and CBZ. Whether you're looking to read poetry or prose, comic books or RPG rules, KyBook's likely to do a solid job. 

You can configure the viewer's fonts (including supplying your own font files), themes, and other layout settings like margins and line spacing. Readers can upload files through iTunes, or access their ebooks in supported cloud services like iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Yandex Disk. There's even support for OPDS catalogs, allowing you to access tons of free and public domain content online. 

A premium subscription — $14.99 for a year, though three-month options are available — allows you to sync your ebook metadata and files across devices.

Download KyBook: iOS (opens in new tab)

9. Comixology (Android, iOS: Free)

Comixology is one of the most popular digital comic platforms online, featuring titles from major comics publishers such as Marvel, DC and Image. Readers can buy their favorite issues and series from the Comixology website and read them in the app, which in addition to being a top ebooks option is also one of the best comic book readers . 

Of particular note Comixology's the Guided View mode, which is great for reading on a small screen. US customers benefit from an Unlimited mode that works as a "read-all-you-can" subscription. On the downside, you can't import in an existing comics collection or make in-app purchases on iOS.

Download: Comixology: Android (opens in new tab) , iOS (opens in new tab)

10. Chunky (iOS: Free)

If you already have a collection of DRM-free comics, you may want to check out Chunky instead of Comixology. Chunky is a free and feature-packed comics option for the iPad. 

On the technical side, Chunky supports CBR, CBZ and PDF comics, as well as metadata tags from ComicRack and ComicBookLover. A smart upscaling mode renders even low-res files as crisply as possible, while multiple view modes let you read however you like. There's even an auto-contrast/tint fix to adjust for faded comic scans. 

The app can download comics from your cloud storage services, such as Dropbox and Google Drive, straight into the app's self-organizing library. Plus, a parental lock allows you to flag and hide titles behind password protection. It's a fantastic free package whose only fault is a lack of iPhone support. For the cost of a $3.99 pro upgrade, the app can connect to Mac or Windows shared folders, FTP or SFTP servers, ComicStreamer, Calibre or Ubooquity libraries for sharing files in and out.

Download Chunky: iOS (opens in new tab)

11. Comicat (Android: $2.99)

For DRM-free comic reading on Android, check out Comicat, another app that blends a comic book reader with the best ebooks apps have to offer. This premium Android comic book reader gives you a ton of features and customizability for less than the price of a single comic issue. 

The app auto-scans your mobile device (or selected library folders) for comics in supported formats (such as CBR, CBZ, and PDF). It then automatically sorts them into series in a nice bookshelf view which you can manually organize. Once you're in the reader view, the interface is unobtrusive, with long press or slide controls bringing out options and settings. 

Comicat supports cloud storage folders, password protection, manga-style right to left displays, image enhancement to correct contrast, brightness, and saturation among other tweaks.

Download Comicat: Android (opens in new tab)

12. Moon+ Reader (Android: Free)

Moon+ Reader is a nifty Android e-book reader app known for its highly customizable interface. While it may not come with a dedicated marketplace, Moon+'s UI makes it stand out from the pack. You can set font styles and sizes, backgrounds, spacing, paging modes, autoscroll, multiple view modes and more. 

The app is free, but a $6.99 pro version is also available to remove ads and add PDF support, as well as other extra features. If you already have a sizable e-book collection and are just looking for an Android app to read with, then consider Moon+ for your e-book reading needs.

Download Moon+: Android (opens in new tab)

13. FBReader (Android, iOS: Free)

FBReader supports EPUB, RTF, DOC, HTML, MOBI and other formats on both Android and iPhones. While it doesn't feature an attached store like some other best ebooks apps, FB Reader makes up for it with its highly customizable nature. 

Users can tweak text fonts, size, hyphenation, text colors and backgrounds, margins, page animations and more. External dictionary support, a browser/downloader for finding books online, language localizations and plugin support for PDFs and library syncing round out an impressive free package.

There is a pro version of FBReader that sheds some of the limitations of the free version — you can store more than 10 books and the translation feature is enabled. That costs $6.99 of Android users and $4.99 on the iPhone.

Download FBReader: Android (opens in new tab) , iOS (opens in new tab)

14. Aldiko (Android, iOS: Free)

Aldiko is a neat e-book reader app that supports EPUB, PDF, and Adobe DRM encrypted e-books. A clean and customizable interface includes settings for text size, margins, page layouts, brightness, fonts, colors and more. 

A library management system allows you to easily sort your material by tags and collections. The core reader is free, but a Premium version includes the ability to add notes, highlights, notes and an ad-free experience.

Download Aldiko: Android (opens in new tab) , iOS (opens in new tab)

15. Kobo Books (Android, iOS: Free)

While not as well known in the US, Kobo is especially popular in Canada and France. Featuring a library of more than 5 million ebooks and publications, Kobo lets you access content from its online store while also letting you import your own content. 

The app supports numerous formats, such as EPUB, PDF, CBZ and CBR. Obligatory view and text customizations let you get comfortable, and the app syncs across devices and platforms.

Download Kobo Books: Android (opens in new tab) , iOS (opens in new tab)

16. Marvin 3 (iOS: Free)

Marvin is a feature-packed and extremely configurable iOS reader app for DRM-free EPUB files; it also supports CBZ and CBR comics. 

As a reader, Marvin boasts several great reading features, from a variety of fonts (including a specialty font for dyslexic readers), a night mode and customizable themes, highlighting, annotation and dictionary tools. You'll also find numerous format tweaks ranging from text justification, to paragraph indentation and spacing. 

In addition, you'll find a solid set of organizing tools, allowing you to sort into collections, choose from list or cover views, collection sorting and more. The app also supports iOS features like Split View on the iPad. There are also premium features require a $4.99 in-app purchase.

Download Marvin: iOS (opens in new tab)

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Craig Grannell has been writing about tech for longer than he cares to remember, and spends his days surrounded by black rectangles, cables, and countless devices going DING when a notification comes in. He’s written for a bunch of magazines and websites including Tom's Guide, TechRadar, Wired, Stuff and many others, and specializes in Apple, apps, games, design and retro. At some point, he’s hoping someone will pay him a full-time wage to write about Robotron: 2084 and Bubble Bobble all day.

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Gift certificate

Lots of information given from customer service concerning validity of gift certificate (no expiry date) and also partial use of gift certificates is possible without loss of value. Excellent service. Thank you

Date of experience : January 15, 2023

Reply from eBooks.com

Hi Anna, Thank you very much for reviewing eBooks.com - and for 5 stars! Best wishes, James www.ebooks.com

Our 2022 Transparency Report has landed

Easy to search and find what i wanted.

Easy to search and find what I wanted. The download process was straightforward. No problems and no complaints

Date of experience : January 20, 2023

Hello Philip, Thank you for your kind review and the 5-star review! I'm so glad we met your needs. Best wishes, Anna www.ebooks.com

Great place to buy ebooks from

I've been using this service to buy ebooks for some time now, and I've been completely satisfied. The checkout process is always quick and convenient, and the ebooks are delivered instantly. Highly recommended!

Date of experience : December 23, 2022

Hello Nitert, and thank you so much for your kind review. I hope we continue to please! Best wishes from Anna www.ebooks.com

Not user friendly & painful experience…

Not user friendly & painful experience trying to down load a book. I won’t be buying from them again

Date of experience : January 07, 2023

Hi Deanna, I'm so sorry you had this trouble. Would you like to return the ebook for a full refund? Best wishes, James www.ebooks.com

Fast and correct.

Date of experience : January 23, 2023

Thank you!!

Impossible to read the ebook

Impossible to read the ebook. I tried everything and even checked their help desk. I had to contact customer service which was absolutely not helpful and tried their best not to give me my money back. Avoid it if you can. It took me almost a week to solve the matter; don't waste your time!

Date of experience : August 04, 2022

Hello Theodora, I'm so sorry you had this experience. We're looking into what happened here. I'm glad to see, at least, that you got the refund! Best wishes, Anna www.ebooks.com

Impressive and efficient

It had been a while since I bought e-books with this company. Site was super-easy to use with good choice of books (I was only interested in crime fiction), clear details of price, date of publication, order of books in series, and so on. Payment was made in seconds and downloading of books immediately following. Great.

Date of experience : June 14, 2022

Hi Hilary, Thank you for your thoughtful and kind review! Best wishes, James www.ebooks.com

If you want to download ebooks on…

If you want to download ebooks on reader like Remarkable 2. Forget it. You will spend more time to convert damn files than reading book. That website is awful. How hart it is to allow download ebook you paid for in epub on your device. Not in a link in .acsm file.

Date of experience : July 29, 2022

Hello Bartek, Thank you for taking the trouble to review eBooks.com. Yes, like most ebook retailers, we're required by most publishers (not all) to sell their ebooks in encrypted form. And Adobe Digital Editions is what we use for that. It seems that the "Remarkable" device does not support ADE. So we have processed a full refund of your purchase and apologise for the time you spent on this. Best wishes, James www.ebooks.com

Discovered some unsavory behavior from…

Discovered some unsavory behavior from Adobe Digital Editions (it did a silent install of Norton Security) -- Digital Editions is what eBooks.com recommends/requires for offline reading of DRM books -- afterwards I also discovered that the book was available from other sellers, at a cheaper price, without DRM. Asked for a refund and got a store credit, which is acceptable. Thanks for being accommodating.

Date of experience : February 03, 2022

Hi Jason, Thank you very much for taking the trouble to review eBooks.com -- even though your experience was less than satisfactory. Regarding the installation of Norton software, this thread suggests that there was an opt-out screen during installation. https://malwaretips.com/threads/adobe-digital-editions-and-norton-bloatware.104271/ I only just noticed that myself when I installed ADE a few weeks back and stopped myself clicking the "Agree" button. So, yes, I'm sorry this happened, but it's in Adobe's court. As for the DRM status of the book you bought: We've written to the publisher asking them to allow us to sell their titles DRM-free in future. I can't imagine they will have a problem, given that they sell their ebooks DRM-free from their own site. Thank you for being a customer of eBooks.com. Any other comments or suggestions are always welcome! Best wishes, Anna www.ebooks.com

You can't read their ebooks without…

You can't read their ebooks without Adobe software. Edit: this is not standard, I have purchased ebooks from Virtualo.pl, Ebooks.pl, and Empik.com and never needed Adobe software specifically for that. Some other retailers, like Kobo, explicitly state that you need their app to read ebooks. Therefore, I was looking for a file format, being convinced that if the website sates "epub", it means I will get an .epub file, and not an .acsm file that has to be open with Adobe software. Edit 2: I got a refund, the staff was professional.

Date of experience : April 12, 2022

April 19th 2022 Hello Michalina, Thank you so much for the upgrade from 1 star to 3! I'm glad you got your refund. Best wishes, James www.ebooks.com April 13th 2022 Hello Michalina, Thank you for clarifying your issue. On the product page for every ebook on eBooks.com it clearly states if a software download is necessary: For example, for this title https://www.ebooks.com/en-gb/ebooks/book_display.asp?IID=2125334 it says, "Digital Rights Management (DRM) "The publisher has supplied this book in encrypted form, which means that you need to install free software in order to unlock and read it. "Required software "To download and read this eBook on a PC or Mac: "Adobe Digital Editions (This is a free app specially developed for eBooks. It's not the same as Adobe Reader, which you probably already have on your computer.)" Many of the titles on eBooks.com are supplied by the publisher in both EPUB and PDF formats. So we always display on the product page what format or formats are available. But clearly you didn't receive what you expected and we'll be delighted to process a full refund. Please just contact our help desk and they'll do that for you. Best wishes, James www.ebooks.com April 12th 2022 Hello Michalina, Thank you for taking the trouble to review eBooks.com. Yes, like all ebook retailers, we're required by most publishers (not all) to sell their ebooks in encrypted form. And Adobe Digital Editions is what we use for that. But you don't have to use ADE; if you choose the "Read now" button next to your ebook title you'll be able to read the book online, in your web browser (streaming). In this way you can read it without installing any software at all. Try that and see how you go. Please let us know how you get on! Best wishes, James www.ebooks.com

Best e book supplier

E.book.com is exactly the supplier I was looking for , to download english language books. Books are available in e pub and pdf formats which ara also the formats used by the e book supplier I still use for french books. Therefore I can use my Vivlio device for both. Besides E.book.com appears to care for ethical trade.

Date of experience : January 11, 2022

Claude, Thank you so much for your kind review. I'm so glad we met your needs. Best wishes, Anna www.ebooks.com

DRM free only as a profile option would be great.

There are still too many titles that are only available with digital restrictions, which i know you have limited power over. One thing you could do is allowing me to specify in my profile that i only want to see drm-free titles instead of the search box where i sometimes forget to set it and that is an avoidable disappointment. Other than that i am very happy with your service. Others don't even have that checkbox at all.

Date of experience : April 03, 2021

Hi Torpak, Thank you for your review. That's an excellent suggestion and it's been added to our development plan. Neutralizing avoidable disappointment is key to success in this game! Best wishes, James www.ebooks.com

I've always loved eBooks.com

I've always loved eBooks.com. The website is easy to navigate and downloading my books is straightforward. The only thing that can be frustrating is when not all books by an author are available and I have to go hunting on other sites - not sure if that is due to the author, the publisher or eBooks. Either way, it's not frequent enough to make me change my 5 star rating.

Date of experience : February 28, 2021

Very helpful!!

I only had a short experience with this site, but it was smooth and the staff at customer service were very nice. I had to return a barely-read ebook since my course provided it already from a different source, and was able to get a refund in a timely fashion. Again, support was fast, efficient, and kind. Would definitely recommend and will look to ebooks.com in the future for my ebook needs!

Date of experience : December 18, 2020

Very disappointed

Very disappointed. Bought this ebook will the full internet of opening/downloading it in another app on my iPad with all of my university work so that I could digitally highlight certain areas and write in it as I study. Turns out you can only use it via the website or by downloading their app. This is very un useful and am extremely disappointed. Not only does it waste my time because everything is in different places but the website and app are very poor quality and pages take a while to load.

Date of experience : August 30, 2021

Hi Meg, I'm sorry you had this trouble. There's little we can do to make our ebooks accessible on other companies' platforms, because they tend to be closed, proprietary systems. But all is not lost -- just send a message to our help desk explaining what happened and we'll be glad to process a full refund. https://support.ebooks.com/hc/ Good luck with your studies! James www.ebooks.com

Books are found without judgment

Books are found without judgment. That is the main thing. I have a book that I can't load, it was in another computer but with the same adobe account. I try tomorrow. Link between Adobe and eBook does not exist

Date of experience : August 10, 2022

Worst "e-reader" I have ever seen.

The "Adobe Digital Editions" reader is easily the worst reading interface – on any digital device going back to the earliest computers – I have ever seen. The text is basically worthless if the reader is a UX disaster. Not worth a penny. I did not know I was not getting a real ebook. Don't be fooled. [EDIT] I see that eBooks has replied. I appreciate this and will contact them.

Date of experience : September 20, 2020

Hello RC, I'm sorry you found Adobe's reader to be a disappointment. Can we at least process a refund for you? Just get in touch with our help desk and they'll arrange that for you: [email protected] Best wishes, Anna www.ebooks.com

Satisfactory enough

It is not my first purchase, in terms of buying it, I have no remark to stress, all was smooth and fast without acknowledging I'd say. Just I notice that browsing your website is a bit challenging, especially to display all of the books from a series (it keeps showing the previous series reviewed instead of the new one) and all of the wishlists I'd like to add and manage (when they are too many I need to differently set webpage view and size in order to choose that one I wish)

Date of experience : March 15, 2021

Thank you very much for your review, Federico. I've passed your suggestions on to our development team. Best wishes, James www.ebooks.com

Was absolutely terrible

Was absolutely terrible. Paid for book, you then have to follow these un-helpful instructions on how to somehow download a copy of the book you purchased, but first must get this other software. Then when you receive a 'licensing error' you contact ebooks and they don't reply. Their accessible version of the book you pay for it terrible as well, so glitchy and rubbish to load.

Date of experience : April 30, 2020

Hello Jacob, I'm sorry you had a rough time. Did you manage to get things working? Shall we process a refund? Feel free to respond via TrustPilot, or by email directly to reading (at) ebooks.com. Best wishes, Anna www.ebooks.com

Terrible customer support.

I needed support with the required adobe app needed to read the book as a pdf. I made a detailed request that I needed help with the instructions. They took days to respond. Then they sent back a response, repeating the very instructions that I needed help with. Terrible customer service. Requests for phone assistance or different instructions were not forthcoming. I had to return the book. Terrible experience. Aggravating. Not a good way to start a new semester with little time.

Date of experience : January 16, 2021

Wow, Jill, I'm sorry you had such a disappointing experience. At least it looks like you got your refund. We'll strive to do better. Best wishes, James www.ebooks.com

Writing Tips Oasis

18 Top eBook Publishing Platforms

By Katrina Kwan

top ebook publishing platforms

If you want to publish your book in the traditional fashion, these 15 ebook publishers are accepting submissions . One of these might be the perfect publishing house for your digital book.

On the other hand, if you want to self-publish, below you’ll find 18 top ebook publishing platforms.

Continue reading to learn about the platforms and what you need to do to get started with them.

1. Kindle Direct Publishing (CreateSpace)

CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing (both owned by Amazon) have recently combined their services. They now operate under Kindle Direct Publishing, one of the most popular eBook publishers amongst independent authors today. The great thing about having their services combined is that KDP can not only publish your book in e-form, but as physical paperback copies, as well.

With KDP, publishing your book can take up to five minutes, and can be available on Kindle worldwide within 24-48 hours. Through this particular platform, you can earn up to 70% royalty on your ebook sales (a significant amount when compared to traditionally published authors). As a bonus, there are no fees associated with publishing your book. It’s just that simple!

Kindle Direct Publishing has been known to have excellent 24/7 customer service and support. Whether it’s a question about the publishing process itself, formatting, questions about earnings and royalty, their knowledgeable staff is more than capable of guiding you and lending a helping hand.

2. IngramSpark

You can easily publish, distribute, promote and manage your work through this platform. IngramSpark is an ebook publishing platform that has often been said to rival those services of Kindle Direct Publishing.

The platform has been designed to help independent authors succeed, offering both ebook, paperback, and hardcover printed copies of your work. IngramSpark has the capability of reaching nearly forty thousand retailers, libraries, and online retailers around the world to increase your books visibility in the market.

Unlike KDP, publishing your ebook through this particular channel is not free. Rather, there are flat rates to publish with IngramSpark, but it does come with a wide variety of support services like 24/7 customer support, affordable conversion services, accessibility to retailers like Amazon, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks, and advertising opportunities.

It costs $25 to publish an ebook, $49 if you want to publish in print, but IngramSpark also has a deal where you can bundle both ebook and print publishing together for just $49. For more information, visit their website . Their support center is more than happy to help should you have any questions.

ebook publishing platforms

3. iBooks Author

Supported by Apple, iBooks Author provides a simple way to publish your ebooks and reaches all Apple users through the platform, whether they’re on their iPhone, iPad, or Mac. When it comes to this platform, it was designed specifically with educators in mind.

You’ll be able to include a variety of texts, fonts, colors, images, interactive widgets and even charts! If you’re more of a writer than a formatter, iBooks offers a wide selection of templates to choose from to help get you started.

4. Nook Press by Barnes & Noble

Fortune 500 company and renowned bookseller, Barnes & Noble, has its very own ebook publishing platform for aspiring independent writers to use called Nook Press. In a day and age where almost everybody has a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer, self-publishing is a great way to get your book out into the world without having to go through the tedious and long process of traditional publishing.

You can easily upload your book in as few as 20 minutes through Nook Press, potentially reach millions of readers, have the option to print hardcover and paperback copies, all while making money while doing so! Through Nook Press, independent ebook authors can earn up to 60% royalty on sales.

5. Kobo Writing Life

With over a million Kobo readers, Kobo Writing Life offers an excellent and easy-to-use platform for first-time ebook authors. It’s as easy as signing up from an author account, uploading your manuscript and hitting submit! You should see your book available in the Kobo store within 72 hours. You get to set the price of your book, run your own promotions, and have detailed reports available to let you know how your book is selling.

The great thing about Kobo Writing Life is that they do not own exclusive rights over your published ebook. You’re more than welcome to publish your manuscript on other platforms as well to widen your potential readership.

6. Smashwords

For those independent writers in search of a free ebook publishing platform, considering using Smashwords. Smashwords is actually the world’s largest distributor of indie ebooks. They provide authors with free tools to market, distribute, and manage their content. Any independent author looking to publish their book with Smashwords will definitely feel supported throughout their publishing journey.

Founded in 2008 by Mark Coker, Smashwords has successfully published over 135,000 authors since its inception. The platform is able to distribute to readers using their iPhones, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, as well as other e-reading devices.

7. Draft2Digital

Independent writers who are looking for support through their publishing journey should consider checking out Draft2Digital. They will help you format your ebook, publish in both ebook and print form, and distribute on your behalf.

You get to choose the listing price and manage your sales through detailed reports and analyses. The service is completely free to use, and Draft2Digital only charges 10% of the retail prices (a really great deal in comparison to a lot of other ebook publishers).

Lulu is an online publisher that can easily turn your books into print or ebook form. It’s free to publish on this platform, and you control the details of your project from start to finish. With global distribution capabilities, easily reach readers worldwide!

In comparison to publishing platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes & Noble’s Nook Press, and IngramSpark, you can actually earn a lot more in terms of royalty. Lulu has a great forum for authors to support other authors, and even offer professional publishing services like cover design and illustration, editing, and marketing services at an additional cost.

9. BookBaby

BookBaby works closely with Amazon to help distribute your ebook to a wide readership. One of the best things about this particular platform is the fact that they don’t take any commission. You get to keep 100% of your net sales. You also get paid every week upon hitting a set threshold that you choose. BookBaby provides a great deal of support by offering expert ebook file conversion, fast and affordable editing services, and professionally designed ebook covers,

10. Inkshares

As seen in the Wall Street Journal, Jamie & Adam Tested, Wired, and the New York Times, Inkshares is an online publisher that helps independent authors from start to finish. They offer editing and proofing services, are able to produce your ebook and give you full control over internal layout design, cover design and printing, as well as distribute to hundreds of independent bookstores and online retailers like Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble. You can even set pre-orders for your book!

Create beautiful and captivating ebooks with Blurb. Compatible with Apple iPhone, iPad and Amazon Kindle, easily reach your readers through Blurb’s online publishing platform. Blurb even offers a free desktop tool called BookWrite that will help you format your ebook and make it ready for publication.

There is a one-time $9.99 (USD) fee to publish, but any sales made after aren’t subject to any royalty charges from Blurb. They offer distribution through their own bookstore, through Amazon, IngramSpark and Apple iBooks.

12. eBookIt

eBookIt was created in 2010 and offers ebook publishing services to its others, including creation, formatting, distribution, author and book promotion, print on demand services and even online courses to assist independent authors on their publishing journey all for a flat fee of $99 (USD). They only take 15% of net payments earned, and are able to distribute to retailers like Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, Kobo, Google Play, Baker and Taylor, Scribd and their own ebook store.

13. PublishDrive

Trusted by major brands like Forbes, Apple and Google, PublishDrive is an excellent ebook publishing platform for any independent author hoping to get their work out to the world. There are no upfront costs to publish, and their platform is intuitively designed to help authors get published.

Simply upload your book in the form of a word document or ebook file, watch your book get published and distributed through retailers like Amazon, Apple, Google Play, Kindle, Scribd, Barnes and Nobles and nearly 240k libraries worldwide. Easily track your ebooks sales through their analytic display screen and watch as you earn royalties.

14. Hummingbird Digital Media

While smaller than some other ebook publishing platforms, Hummingbird can help those looking to publish their ebooks or audiobooks. It only takes a few minutes to register your account as a merchant, and you can start selling your ebook right away. Earnings will be directly deposited to your account, so there’s no need to wait for your royalty cheques in the mail! You’ll earn roughly 12-23% of your retail price for each ebook sold.

15. Streetlib

With Streetlib, there are no up-front costs, no subscription fees, and you even get a free ISBN for your ebook. Streetlib only charges 10% of the list price for each copy of your ebook that you sell. Your ebooks will be compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones, as well as any desktop computer, meaning that you’ll be able to reach a wide and eager audience.

Partnered with Amazon Kindle, Google Play, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and over 150 other retailers, distribution of your ebook is a simple process! Streetlib even offers writing forums to help you connect with other ebook and indie authors to discuss reading, writing, publishing and every other related question you may have.

16. FastPencil

With FastPencil, you can choose to publish ebooks, and print books in paperback or even hardcover. The platform offers an in-browser workspace where you can write, edit and format your manuscript before deciding to publish your work. FastPencil is partnered with some major retailer names like Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Nobel and more.

There’s no need to worry about buying your own inventory and worrying about distribution. You can easily track and manage your book’s promotion, sales and calculate your earnings with FastPencil’s in-browser analyses page. And what’s more, signing up to use their services is completely free!

17. Outskirts Press

Self-publishing an ebook can be an intimidating process, and the staff at Outskirts Press understand that we all need a little guidance sometimes. Their ebook publishing services can be tailored to meet your distribution needs.

They offer four packages: ebooks for Apple iPad/iPhone, Barnes & Noble Nook ebooks, Amazon Kindle ebooks, and their 3-in-1 Elite ebook bundle that is designed to be distributed across all three aforementioned platforms. Their 3-in-1 service is normally listed at $1097 (USD). While on the higher end of publishing fees, Outskirts Press helps with professional formatting, editing, promotion and distribution to really make your ebook standout from the competition.

18. Slicebooks

For as little as $9 (USD) a month, Slicebooks can help independent writers get their ebooks published and distributed to a wide range of retailers and public libraries. With a few simple clicks and an intuitive website design, you can publish ebooks.

Founded in 2013, Slicebooks has often been referred to as “the iTunes for ebooks.” Based out of Aurora, Colorado, this ebook publisher represents authors from the US, Europe, Asia and even Latin America. Easily repackage your content and redistribute your ebook to your own preferred channels with Slicebooks!

What did you think of our list of 18 top ebook publishing platforms? Are there any others you know of? Please tell us about them in the comments box below!

K. Z. Kwan is a freelance writer based out of Halifax, Canada.

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Best ebook readers

Should you buy an ebook reader or use a tablet or smartphone app, how much should i spend on an ebook reader, best ebook reader features to look for.

Ebook readers can store thousands of books, magazines and newspapers, so you'll never run out of reading material while you’re out and about. But when it comes to extra features, there are a lot of decisions to make when choosing between different models.

Ebook readers start at about £85 for a basic model, but can cost more than £300 if you want something with all the latest features such as screen lighting, waterproofing and the best-quality screen that's easy to read no matter the weather.

Ebook manufacturers don't launch new models very often. When they are launched, they tend to stick around for a few years. Below we've highlighted the very best models from the past few years that are still available to buy. Click through to each review to find out more.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our best ebook readers in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, join Which? to get instant access to our recommendations, based on our independent lab tests, plus all of our online reviews - including laptops, electric cars and headphones. 

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Product recommendations correct as of February 2023

An ebook reader is designed specifically for reading ebooks and not a great deal else, so it's optimised for this. Some ebook readers let you browse specific web pages, but the experience is limited.

However, you can also read books on an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet using ebook apps from Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, Google Play, Kobo and more. 

If you want to read books in digital format, you'll need to decide whether to spend your money on a dedicated ebook reader or use a smartphone or tablet app instead. We've analysed the pros and cons of each option below.

Our guide on where to find free or cheap ebooks will help to keep even the biggest bookworms well supplied without spending a fortune.

Pros and cons of ebook readers

Man using a tablet and taking notes

Pros and cons of ebook reader apps

Ebook readers can cost as little as £85, but prices for the highest-end models are around £300. 

The basic software used and the books available will be the same across all models in a range. All Kindles, for example, can access exactly the same content, so if you're just after a cheap way of reading a few books on holiday, there's no need to spend more on a higher-end model. 

But as with any tech product, paying a bit more will get you more bells and whistles – such as more advanced backlights. We've highlighted some of the most useful features below.

Choose from our pick of the best ebook readers to find the right model for your budget.

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