While I continue to read and purchase print books, I enjoy the convenience offered by my Kindle. If it’s close to midnight and I find a particular book I want to read immediately, I don’t have to wait until morning when the stores open. A simple click of an online button downloads the book to my reader. If I don’t have my Kindle handy, I can access the books I purchase through the Kindle Cloud on various reading applications on my tablet or laptop. What’s more, I find that I have read more books in the last year than I have in the previous three because of this device.

If you have received a Kindle as a gift, or purchased one as a curiosity, you might think that Amazon is the only place you can buy eBooks compatible with it. Actually, with this eBook reader there are other options. You can shop directly with publishers or third-party bookstores that offer books in the proper formats. Choose titles that are DRM-free (that is, do not use Digital Rights Management and impose certain restrictions on readers), and you can expand your book-buying options and consequent reading enjoyment.

One advantage to searching alternative resources for eBooks is that you have the opportunity to find titles that are not necessarily available on Amazon, or else may be bought at discount. Just a few eBook resources you may wish to consider include:

1) Buying directly from the publisher. If you know of a specific author or title you want to buy, you may wish to check if the publisher sells from its website. Many smaller, eBook only presses have carts set up that allow you download titles and side-load them to your reader.

2) All Romance and OmniLit. This group of websites represents one of the largest independent eBook retailers on the Internet. Launched primarily to sell romance titles, the company known as ARe branched out to all genres and offers a rebate program for regular customers. In your personal library, ARe lets you easily send a book to your Kindle.

3) Smashwords. The Smashwords platform allows authors to self-publish their works in eBook format and publishers to expand distribution of contracted works. Over the last few years, Smashwords has instituted a premium program that expands distribution of approved titles to major retailers.

If you have no problems side-loading books in your reader, you can extend your book-buying options through various eBook retailers. Happy reading!

Kathryn Lively writes articles about romance eBooks and eBook stores.
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