Tips on how to Get Free eBooks

With the recent changes to epubBooks I removed the option to search the popular ebook stores for free EPUB books – titles now found on epubBooks are still free, but are direct downloads only.

Lots of people are now wanting to know how to get free ebooks from those popular sites like Kobo,, Diesel-eBooks, etc. To help with that, I’ve now created a special page with tips on how to navigate those sites to find all their free ebooks.

So, head over to my epubBooks Free eBooks tips page … and happy searching!

New epubBooks: Mobile First Design

I’m pleased to announce the brand new, ground-up rebuild of epubBooks! For this release I wanted to create a design with an emphasis on mobile users, which will give a much improved experience to those with tablets and smartphones.

Over the last coupe of years the type of visitor coming to has been more and more mobile based, with almost 60% using the site on a smartphone or tablet — the old design didn’t work too well on any device with a screen resolution less than 1024 px, which meant anyone viewing the site on an iPhone, Windows Phone, or any other small screened device had a difficult time reading the text and navigation the site. Even those of you on 7 inch tablets, like the Google Nexus, spent a lot of time zooming in and out.

The new site uses what’s called a responsive layout, which means that the page sections move to best fit whatever screen size you’re on; text and some images will resize, especially for those smartphones with screens of just 480px. Continue reading “New epubBooks: Mobile First Design”

PressBooks: self-publishing via WP

Yesterday I discovered an interesting new self-publishing platform called PressBooks. What caught my attention was that this is built upon the popular WordPress blogging platform. As authors generally already run their own WP Blog, this should make it a very familiar and easy to use system for most people.

Although it is possible to import a previously made ebook (EPUB) the core premise of the platform is that you write your book on itself. You get all the same styling and formatting tools found in WordPress, along with the WP auto-save and versioning support, and as all web browsers come with a built dictionary, you also get your spellcheck for free.

Each book section (chapter/part/introduction/etc.) is written as a separate post, which may make editing somewhat difficult, but after a few minutes of playing it does all seem very straightforward. Continue reading “PressBooks: self-publishing via WP”

Drablr: A new self-publishing platform

We live in a connected world; emails, social networks, endless Twitter updates, all of which like nothing better than to soak up our precious time. For years there’s been articles and studies stating that we’ve all forgotten how to read long form text*. So, if we have neither the time nor motivation to sit and read novels and other long works, how are we to get our fiction fix?

Perhaps sir and madame would like to try our Drabble menu?

drabble (plural drabbles)

  • A fictional story that is exactly 100 words long.

The purpose of a drabble is brevity, testing the author’s ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in an extremely confined space.

Earlier this year I discovered the world of the Drabble while reading the newsletters from the Elite:Dangerous Kickstarter campaign, which included many 100-word stories written by Michael Brookes and various other authors. In fact, I enjoyed them so much I went and built; a website dedicated to the Drabble.

Drablr is a self-publishing social network for authors who like the challenges of 100-word (micro) fiction, and is similar in functionality to Twitter and Tumblr. It’s still very new and very much in the Beta phase, so for the moment only invited authors can post Drabbles. Still, anyone can sign up, read Drabbles, vote, comment, and follow authors.

There’s plenty of features still to be added but why not come along, sign up, and enjoy some great fiction while they’re still hot.

Sign up for an account here; – streaming Drabbles 100 words at a time.

* Not that I agree with these arguments.

New Countries Supported: UK & AU

UPDATE: Due to a site rebuild these features are no longer supported.

Since epubBooks had its first major facelift back in May we’ve received a great deal of positive feedback. However, the one question that’s continually asked was when our ebook search features would be made available to countries other than the U.S.

I’m pleased to announce that now supports ebook catalogues for two additional countries; United Kingdom and Australia.

Most people will be automatically directed to the appropriate pages but just in case this doesn’t work for you, then you should scroll to the bottom of the homepage, click the “Change region” button and select your country. Visitors from Great Britain will now have all the prices displayed in GBP, and like-wise Australia will have AUD.
Continue reading “New Countries Supported: UK & AU”

Reading Free EPUB books on the Nook

A few weeks back Barnes & Noble released their hugely successful Nook eReader in the UK. To help them promote their reader to the Brits they’ve partnered with a large number of existing retailers, which will mean you’ll be able to buy the Nook from over 2,500 locations throughout the UK including; Argos, Asda, Blackwell’s, Dixon’s, Foyles and Sainsbury’s.

One of the big advantages with the Nook, as with Amazon’s Kindle, is that you can buy books directly from the device itself. However, and unfortunately for us, B&N charge for many of their classics (as much as 3.99!), but not to fear. Here on we have all the most popular classics and all of which are free to download and read. Continue reading “Reading Free EPUB books on the Nook”

New epubBooks Now Live!

Many long-standing visitors to epubBooks will certainly have noticed that I’d released an update to the site a few months back which added plenty of new functionality, along with a nice update to the styling. Although a new design, it was only a Beta and so was released with little fanfare.

Today’s update has fixed a large number of bugs from that release, added some more design tweaks, and a whole bunch of improvements to the search algorithms.

The original (live since 2008) was merely a simple catalog for browsing the free EPUB Classics that were (and still are) available for download. It served its purpose well, but demand for more modern titles and better search features led me to re-think not only the design, but the core purpose of the site. Limited time and resources have made it difficult to achieve all that I’d like but I think the site now has some interesting features. Continue reading “New epubBooks Now Live!”

EPUB3 Books & eReaders

Even though the specification for EPUB v3.0 was finalised last October, we’ve yet to see any production ready EPUB3 books out in the wild. The likely reason for this is that EPUB3 compatible eReaders have only come on the scene recently and without an eReader, there’s no way to test how the ebooks look – a bit of a catch-22.

Version 3.0 ebooks may seem non-existent at the moment but this will no doubt change before the end of the year, so now is a really good time to look at how we’re going to transform our Masters to EPUB3 – you do have your books in a master format right?

This last week I decided to convert one of the titles from to EPUB3 and set to work on Gulliver’s Travels (download link below). I’ve only found two ways to view my newly generated EPUB3 ebook; Azardi and iBooks. Continue reading “EPUB3 Books & eReaders”

jetBook K12 Colour E-Ink Reader

A couple of weeks back Ectaco announced their new 9.7 inch E-Ink eReader (WiFi and Touch Screen), nothing special in that, but the big news about this is that it will be the first colour E-Ink device to be available for purchase!

The jetBook Color EDU.12 has been in development since earlier this year in Russia and will be made available in the States during Q4 2011. The new eReader is actually being pushed as a K-12 device, or as Ectaco put it, “Educational eTextbook tablet with Test System, Home Assignments, Remote Tutoring and eBook studies”.

Anyone outside of the education system us unlikely to get their hands on one, or want to for that matter, as the it seems to be tied heavily to the “Teacher’s Console” and purchasing looks to be only possible via the Ectaco website; so you’ll probably need appropriate credentials. Continue reading “jetBook K12 Colour E-Ink Reader”

Amazon Kindle/EPUB Rumour…true?

Rumours are abound right now that Amazon is on the verge of providing support for EPUB ebooks on their Kindle eReader. What’s getting peoples tongues wagging is a post from an eReader blog* stating that Amazon is telling publishers to start providing them with titles in the EPUB format.

As vague as the details are from that post, there is some substance in the concept that Amazon are preparing to add EPUB support.

Back in April Amazon announced the introduction of their new Library Lending Program in co-operation with OverDrive, who [currently at least] deliver their ebook titles as EPUB files. The OverDrive blog also states, “[y]our existing collection of downloadable eBooks will be available to Kindle customers”. We also know that the Kindle Previewer software (for ebook developers) will import EPUB files, which internally converts them to MOBI.

Liz Castro, well-known ebook developer and author of EPUB: Straight to the Point, has her own thoughts on how the Kindle will support EPUB, believing that Amazon will just convert titles to their proprietary MOBI format for use on the older Kindles.

In my opinion, Amazon can do better than just convert the EPUB’s. Continue reading “Amazon Kindle/EPUB Rumour…true?”