WHSmithEbooks.Com

Just wanted to do a quick post about WHSmithEbooks.com which is powered by Overdrive, Inc.. It’s a UK site that I browse regularly when I can’t find a digital copy of an ebook in the US ebookstoreswhsmithebooks. And no, I don’t use nor buy Kindle ebooks because I find it akin to throwing my money away. Anyway, what books have I found there? Quite a few “must read” titles. The question is: why are these titles still not made available to US etailers?

You can find Alison Goodman’s Rise of the Dragon Eye (Eon Series, Book 1) in Adobe ePub format as well as Graceling by Kristin Cashore.

If you enjoyed Eva Ibottson’s work, you can find what looks like all of her adult stories (A Company of Swans and The Morning Gift) as well as her children’s stories like Which Witch? available digitally. Elizabeth Chadwick has a digital catalog of her historical fiction listed as well but the street date of release is set for August 09. Unsure if her digital catalog will be available to US readers via Fictionwise or BooksOnBoard.

ePub can be read on your Sony Reader and just for completion – on Stanza as well but in a non-secure format. It’s my preferred format despite it’s flaws. All ebooks at WHSmith’s store are secured with barbed wire DRM and can only be read on applicable devices. I have noticed a pattern where ebooks that were not available in the US were available in ePub format.

Are you a fan of P.D. James? Val McDermid? Both authors have an extensive list of ebooks. As another reader stated and this is so true but ironic in that US readers have access to these ebooks in the UK but UK readers do not have the same access to US ebooks due to geo restrictions. What is up with that?

Am not going to discuss prices as each reader has his/her own budget and I know the prices are quite steep for some titles. In that case, why bother and get the print copy when it’s cheaper? What I will remark on is the functionality of the site. WHSmithEbooks is not the easiest site to navigate, unfortunately. No. Often just inputting the author’s name for a search doesn’t always bring back accurate results.

I don’t like the choices for search criteria: all, title, ISBN and creator? Huh? Who searches by ISBN? I know I don’t. Also, tapping on Adobe ePub doesn’t give you a list of all ebooks in ePub, now what you will get is a long drawn out page explaining what ePub is and so on and so forth. But then as someone will point out, just tapping on ebooks for Sony Reader will give you the results you’re after.

As a consumer, I am aware that there are copyright restrictions and author’s rights, etc that restrict accessibility of ebooks. What I don’t understand is why these restrictions are still in place as more and more readers are turning toward digital books.

Just for the sake of transparency, I do not have affiliate links with WHSmith’s ebookstore nor am I getting any type of kickback for highlighting any of the titles posted. As a reader and ebook enthusiast, I shop at this website and wanted to let other readers know about it as well (in case they didn’t).

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2 Responses to WHSmithEbooks.Com

  1. Li says:

    For some reason, I always forget to check WH Smith’s when buying ebooks. I’m pretty impressed they had Eon (just read and really liked) and Graceling. Agree their search functionality is rubbish, but so is Waterstones and Borders, IIRC.

    The one problem I have with ePub is that I don’t like how it renders on my Sony Reader. Text isn’t full-justified and also if I increase the font size to M, there is a lot of empty space on the left and right margins. But all in all, that’s just cosmetic stuff and the benefit of being able to load the book onto the reader without fiddling around with conversion totally outweighs that – I totally agree we need a common format.

  2. Avid Reader says:

    I know it sucks on Sony reader but it seems as if most publishers see ePub as the format standard. Wish there was a universal standard that renders well for the money that we pay for these dedicated readers.

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