Digital Primer: Trying Out a Digital Book

image My next title for the Sizzling Summer Book Club is going to be a digital book from a digital press. What does that mean? No print copies, basically. (*cue rage-waving of arms and gnashing of teeth!*) Don’t worry, I’m going to do print books, too, but I wanted to do at least one excellent digital book.

Plus, and this’ll narrow the guessing down, the book I’ve chosen comes from a small press that does not use DRM (THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU) so there won’t be any pesky registering and proving you are who you say you are and surrendering a kidney as collateral and crap like that.

What if you’ve never read a digital book before? Well, no problem. Here’s a basic primer of your options.

First: if you buy the book from all Romance eBooks, you have a choice of formats. The format you pick will determine where/how you read it.

What if I buy one format and want another one?

Because the book I’ve selected has no DRM, you can use Calibre, which is FREE CHEEZY BREAD FREE, to convert it to another format. The details on how to convert a file format to another are bone easy: you click one button, select the format you want, and move on. So if you buy one format and decide you want to convert it, it’s no problem… because there’s no DRM. *Snoopy dance commences… NOW!*

You can download Calibre – it’s a wonderful tool. If you read ebooks, you should totally have a copy.

The easiest way to determine which format you want, or which format you want to convert to, is to ask:

Where Do You Want to Read?

If you want to buy the book and read it on a laptop or desktop computer:

Your easiest bet is to download an Adobe PDF and read it using Adobe software. PDFs can be hella big, so if you’re on dial up, another option may work better, but PDFs are pretty straightforward. They’re like the Hulk of digital books: big, simple, not a lot of bells and whistles, but they get the job done.

You’ll need Adobe Reader – which you probably already have installed – and be warned, Adobe LOVES to update itself. It’s like Lady Gaga and Madonna all mixed up with Garth Brooks when he did that Chris Rockstar something-or-other. Constantly with the updates. So annoying.

If you use Linux, however, first, whoa, that’s kind of cool. I’m still struggling to figure out customization of my Asus EEE running Linux. Anyway, HTML files work nicely on the Linux/Unix computers. Feel free to correct me on that one.

If you want to buy the book and read it on a PALM Handheld:

You have so many options. It’s kind of awesome.

You can use Mobipocket on a slew of other devices, including Windows Mobile, Blackberry, and Windows desktops. Most likely you’d buy an ePub (more on ePub in a moment) and convert it.

I rather like Mobipocket, generally. It was easier for me to figure out in terms of how to load the book and where to read it or transfer it. Plus, if you happened to be on a work computer (*ahem*), I never had a problem installing Mobipocket. :-)

Keeping with the “If they were people” motif, I think Mobipocket is Reba McEntire. Accessible, looks good, friendly, diverse, happy to collaborate, and flexible across multiple forms of media/platforms.

Blackberry users can also use Mobipocket, and I did a LOT of reading on the BBerry when I had one. I am pondering replacing my iPhone with a Blackberry, in fact, but that’s a whole other rant/whinefest.

If you want to buy the book and read it on a Windows Mobile device:

Are you a Pocket PC user? I used to notice Pocket PC users everywhere in the bus station in New York City, and now it’s Blackberry as far as the eye can see. Anyway, if you’re rocking a Pocket PC, you can opt to use .LIT format, and you can read that book both on the Pocket PC and on your Windows PC using MS Reader.

Personally I loathe MS Reader as it is a pokey slow thing, but if you want to give it a whirl and read on it, you can download it here. I think .LIT is awfully limited in what it can do and not very accessible, even though it’s everywhere. Kind of like Misha Barton.

(What, you didn’t know about the work-the-metaphor-until-it’s-limp-and-gasping thing around here? Oh, yesssssss.)

You can also use Mobipocket, above, instead of MS Reader. You have choices, man, choices. WOOT.

If you want to read the book on an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad:

I think your best bet is buying the ever-sexy .epub format. ePub is like Hugh Jackman: exceptionally talented in any number of locations/devices, and DEAD SEXXXY

If you’re using ePub books, you might like using the Stanza app, because you can do so much with it. From the ARe FAQ, here are the steps for two different methods to move books onto an iPhone or iPod Touch:

“There are 2 ways to get books onto your iPhone or iPod Touch Stanza library. 

(1) Direct download – First access your on-line library at http://www.allromanceebooks.com via Stanza. You will need to go to the home page, login, then click on the library link in the top navigation bar.

Scroll down the page until you find the title you want to read.

Select the ePub link to the right of the title. The book will automatically open in Stanza.

Note: If you previously selected an alternate file format, that format will show to the right of the title. In that case you either (a) need to send in a report request to have the link changed to ePub, or (b) use the method below to transfer the title onto your iPhone. 

(2) Wireless transfer – Sharing using Stanza Desktop 

The dedicated Stanza iPhone application, which can be downloaded onto the iPhone via the Apple App Store, can synchronize with Stanza Desktop. The Stanza Desktop application is currently available for Apple Macintosh and Windows computers from http://download.lexcycle.com.

(a) Launch Stanza Desktop.

(b) Go to File->Open, and open a book or document in one of Stanza’s supported formats. Note: The text of eReader books will not be displayed, but you can still use this interface to share books with Stanza iPhone.

(c) Go to the “Tools” menu, and ensure that the “Enable Sharing” menu item is checked.

(d) Ensure that your iPhone is connected to the same wireless network that your PC is on.

(e) Launch Stanza on your iPhone.

(f) From the top-level library menu, select “Shared Books”. You should see your computer name. Select it.

(g) Stanza Desktop will then notify you that your iPhone is attempting to connect to your shared library, and request your permission to allow the connection.

(h) Once you have granted permission, Stanza iPhone will display a list of books that are open in Stanza Desktop.

(i) Tap on the book to download it Stanza on your iPhone. It will appear in Titles and Recent Downloads.

If you run into problems with sharing, please refer to http://www.lexcycle.com/faq/troubleshooting_sharing for common solutions to issues that users may encounter.

You can also try this method outlined by Jane at DA if you have problems.

If you want, you can use iTunes to add books to your iPod/iPhone/iPad’s Stanza documents folder. Check out the instructions on the Lexcycle FAQ.

If you want to read the book on an Android device:

Android is a pretty new operating system but there are ways to read on the device.  One is Aldiko (how do you say that? AL-dih-ko? Al-DEE-ko?) and ARe has instructions on how to buy and read through the Aldiko app.

Aldiko is not a software I’ve tried, though other folks have nice things to say about it.

But what about Amazon and BN? They have apps!

Yup, they sure do! And you can, if you want, download any of the free apps for Amazon or BN.com, and buy the digital book through Amazon or BN.

I’d like to say that Amazon’s Kindle format is Justin Bieber but I think it’s has greater longevity potential than He Of Odd Hairdo. Perhaps it’s some other celebrity who has eternal popularity in that, “You’re still around? Go away! Oh, crap I kinda like that new song of yours” kind of way.

So why aren’t I linking the hellacrap out of this section to the Amazon and BN downloads?

If you buy the book through Amazon or BN.com, you are electing to add the DRM from those two vendors to the book, limiting your options to read it on other devices and using other apps. You would be able to read the book on the Amazon iPhone app then pick up where you left off on the Kindle and do the same at your desktop computer through the wireless syncing, but you are locking yourself into Amazon-only apps and programs. The book in question is DRM-free, and part of the reason I chose it was that it would enable folks to try a digital book with as few restrictions as possible. Plus, you can purchase the DRM-free file as a PDF and put it on the Kindle or Nook if you want, though you will not be able to read it and have your progress sync across devices.

My final and most important reason: the Summer Book Club is being produced in partnership with All Romance eBooks, and ARe is a romance-friendly independent digital bookstore – the kind I like to frequent as often as possible! – that doesn’t add DRM to their files. Plus they’re offering a 50% rebate on the purchases of the book club selections.

That said, you can buy the book wherever you want, including the publisher’s website.

(Moment of zen: “desktop” was just autocorrected to “despot” – which is kind of funny considering what I was just writing about Amazon.)

So stay tuned for the next book club pick announcement, and if you have questions or you think I missed a very obvious method of reading an ebook, please send up a flare. The difficult thing about ebooks is that there are SO many formats and so many options and devices, but if you start with the question of, “Where am I going to want to read, and on what device?” it becomes a little easier to make your selection. It’s all about you, right? ABSOLUTELY!

Happy reading!

Categorized:

General Bitching...

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  1. 1

    Hi Sarah, interesting post! 
    I have an off topic question.  I participated in the first Sizzling Summer Bookclub read and loved it and the discussion.  Thanks so much!  I’d love to put the SSB button in my sidebar but I need the html.  Can you send it to me?  I’m on wordpress so I don’t know any other way to add it.  If you do know, let me know!  Thanks.  Have a great weekend :)

  2. 2
    SB Sarah says:

    On it – check your email!

  3. 3
    Scribblerkat says:

    Hi, Sarah!

    Rather than the gnashing of teeth…. I’ve asked you to review my book, and I have self-published it in print form. Would you be happier if I sent you a print copy? (It is a great object in me to make my reviewers happy people.)

    Catherine Dove

  4. 4
    krsylu says:

    Sarah, I LOVE what you said about Mobipocket! Reba McIntyre indeed. I use Mobipocket on my PocketPC, as a matter of fact.

  5. 5
    Perry says:

    Yay – I’m looking forward to it.

  6. 6
    Suze says:

    You know, Chris Gaines was about the only time I found Garth Brooks at all interesting.

    I have to say, between you and Dear Author, I’ve learned AMAZIN’ amounts about how to make digital reading more workable.  Thanks for that.

  7. 7

    This probably isn’t the thread to bring this up, but I have finally fallen victim to a Shoddily Produced E-book and I’d like to vent.

    Katie McAllister’s Up in Smoke – major romance writer, major publisher – Signet, a Penguin Line. I’m reading along on my Sony and I come to the end of the chapter round about p. 190 – the chapter ends on a bang—literally. It’s a big fight, lots of dragons, May gives herself up to a big ball of dragon fire, chapter ends.

    Turn the page – May’s in the car with her twin, discussing stuff.

    I’m like wha? Major continuity glitch here, Katie. Very abrupt segue – but okay. Within a couple pages I’ve figured out what happened in the immediate aftermath of the big fire fight and I’m back in the story.

    So I’m reading along and boom – it happens again. Chapter ends on a tense moment, turn the page – and it’s the immediate aftermath of the big dragon ball fight some 50 pages earlier.

    I can’t recall ever reading a romance in paper with a big chunk of pages out of order.

    It’s probably just me being tired and grumpy from working all week and dealing with Tweenie Drama Girl tonight, but I swear, print publishers don’t care about their electronic product. They’re publishing books in electronic format because they have to, and they’re charging way too much for them, but they can’t be bothered to put the same care and attention into their e-products as they do their print products, and that pisses me off.

    I plan to participate in this next book discussion – I was too sleepy on Wednesday to hang around.

  8. 8
    sweetsiouxsie says:

    I have never read an ebook before. I own no ebook friendly devises, but I am willing to try to get this next book into my computer so I can read it. I really enjoyed the book club meeting or chat on Wednesday night. I don’t want to miss any of the books. My eyes get really tired and blurry when I read too much on the computer, but I’ll try anything once! So, carry on!!! ;)

  9. 9
    cories says:

    Adobe Reader and pdf files are fine but Adobe Digital Editions gives me fits.  Something has happened to my computer and now some of my eHarlequin books will not open in Digital Editions.  Gack!

  10. 10
    CourtneyLee says:

    I read ebooks on my laptop using pdf files and Foxit, a free pdf reading software a friend turned me onto. The big up for me: when I hit the spacebar to page down, I still see the last two lines of the previous “page”/screen frame of text (I don’t know what to call it, but I’m sure you know what I mean). Paging down with Adobe, I have read until the end of the very last line I can see because that line disappears almost completely when I page down, which can get annoying.

    I don’t know if Foxit can be used with DRM’d pfds because the ebooks I read are DRM-free from places like ARe (who totally rock) and the publishers who feed them like Dreamspinner and Samhain.

    I had to install Kindle for PC on my in-laws’ computer and help them order the $0.99 thingy they wanted (I tried to walk them through it over the phone but they didn’t know if they had a Mac or PC or what Amazon even was—they got the name of the book from a well-intentioned librarian who apparently didn’t notice the looks of utter confusion they must have sported when she said words like “Amazon”, “ebook”, and “Kindle.”)…ah, where was I? Oh, yes. The one-click ordering was wicked convenient and if I wasn’t opposed to leasing my books instead of buying them, I’d absolutely be seduced by the user friendliness of Kindle. (I might have to take advantage of those $9.99 bestsellers while I can, though. *snort*)

  11. 11
    meoskop says:

    B&N lost a Nook sale over that comment – this post made me decide to buy my aunt an e-reader for her birthday (I loves her) and I wanted something requiring no tech ability at all to use. Just as I was ordering her a refurbished Kindle2, I thought “Hm, maybe I should get her the Nook so she could browse in a physical store & use the library with more ease -” and then I thought “No, I’ll get a Kindle so she can enjoy her $9.99 bestsellers.”

  12. 12
    Faellie says:

    I read on a laptop, and for that I find MS Reader much better than Adobe/pdf.  The advantages are that it’s one full page on the screen, that looks like a paperback book, and the page turn is a simple button.  By contrast, pdf doesn’t automatically fit the screen and it has the problem noted above about losing the continuity of the text every time the page is moved down.

    “Slowness” isn’t an issue on a laptop (don’t know about other devices), and I just read, so don’t need any extra functionality, such as notes, other than the “last page read” facility which comes from clicking on the title page (I don’t dog-ear or write in hard copy books, either).

    Horses for courses, and there are always new software products coming along, but as long as I’m reading on a laptop I doubt it’ll be worth my changing to anything else.

  13. 13
    ghn says:

    There are also readers out there that handle several formats. I have a BEbook One myself, and I am delighted with it. I buy books in prc/mobi and epub format and the reader does just fine with both of those (as long as they do not have DRM) and a number of other formats (also presumably free of DRM, but I am not sure about that). If there is DRM on the e-books you can read DRM’ed prc/mobi OR epub, but not both.
    pdf format looks like cr*p, though. Not that I have any ebooks in that format – I just loaded one once in order to find out what it looked like on the reader.
    I bought an EZreader for my eldest niece last Christmas, because that one also handles a lot of formats.

  14. 14
    Jan says:

    The article mentioned that you’d need Adobe Reader for PDFs several times but that’s hardly true anymore. You can use any of the lightweight alternatives (for all operating systems) listed here: http://www.pdfreaders.org/

    I have not used Adobe’s variant for years and the only files that were really problematic had DRM in them. (Okay, I have rendering errors but those occur on the order of 1 in 2000 PDFs.)

  15. 15
    Becky Moore says:

    Before I sold my first e-book in December, I had never purchased or read one myself. But in the real world, I’m a freelance writer and journalist, and the managing editor at my news station told me to get with the times and try something new as I tried to break into publishing. My foray into e-books, as both an author and a reader, has been positive. I sold my first book (The Right Words) on December 28, and on December 30 the UPS truck arrived at my doorstep with a New Year’s surprise from my husband: a Kindle. “If you’re going to write e-books, then you need to have a mobile e-reader.”

    Sound logic, and a great surpirse! I also have the free Kindle app on my PC, and about a month ago my husband got an iPad (which is, to say the least, extremely cool and versatile). So I’ve got three readers as comparison, and the handful of books that I’ve purchased or downloaded for free have been pretty reliable. The Kindle is black & white, one page at a time, and easy to read. I take it with me to the gym to read when I’m riding the bike. PDFs read on it used to be miniscule and headache-inducing, but the latest software upgrade makes PDFs regular size and great. The iPad costs more, but is beyond wonderful. It’s touch-screen and when you put your finger on the screen page, and drag it slowly, the digital page has the appearance of curling just like a real book does.

    But I’m with you: I supplement my library with e-books because it’s a green industry and it’s certainly the here and now of technology (and the future), and you can store a hundred books in a tiny space … but I will always buy and check out at the library paper books. The feel of them, the weight of them, the smell of them, bookmarking them … there’s nothing like it. But as an author you have to start somewhere, and I’m perfectly happy with and proud of where I started: in eBooks. This was a great post, by the way.

  16. 16
    Carin says:

    I read on my Android based phone using Aldiko.  I LOVE Aldiko.  It’s FREE and very versitile.  I found it easy to use.  I put my books on it by hooking it up to my computer.  It reads .ePub books, but it can’t do DRM right now. 

    The only reader I’ve used before my phone was my Sony Reader.  I really like it, and I think eink is hard to beat.  But Aldiko can do SO much.  My phone may be smaller than my Sony, but my Sony forces a big margin around the edges and gives me small, medium, and large font sizes that seem to be randomly chosen.  Aldiko uses every millimeter of my screen and lets me pick from 9-30pt font.  It has much better use of space and user choices.  Reading on a backlit phone isn’t as nice as eink on my Sony, but Aldiko lets me dim the screen and pick a rainbow of background and font colors.  So, reading at night, gray on black worked well for me.

    In summary – Aldiko rocks, but I have eink and digital library books on my Sony, so I’ll keep both.

  17. 17
    FD says:

    I read a lot on my linux netbook, and it very happily handles html, doc, rtf, pdf, and txt.  Other formats are possible, but you have to tinker.

  18. 18
    EL says:

    Thanks SB Sarah. Good info.  Calibre is great. 

    If your ebooks are DRM free, you can just use the Calibre reader software that comes with it to read the books in any format without downloading different software for your pc or mac.

    I have a Nook and love it.  Bought it over Kindle due to it having the functionality I wanted.  Looked at the Sony months ago too and thought it was just ok.  After some of their comments that SB Sarah posted from ‘Untethered’ convinced me they were just as big as jerks as B&N in regards to the consumer.  iPad I couldn’t read on due to the nasty sun glare.  I suppose they make an iAnti-iGlare iScreen ieReader for an additional 200.00 by now, so maybe I missed out.  Sorry.  Won’t get going on Apple for now.  There are lots of iPad tablet alternatives coming out within the next few months. I’m patiently waiting.

    I’m not tethered to BN with the Nook.  I buy from anywhere I want and load the books up.  It can use DRM or DRM free just like the majority of ereaders.  Can you say “Strip ‘em, Danno!”

    If you are in the market for an eReader (or tablet), I’d wait a bit.  There will be more available and at a cheaper prices especially during the holiday push.

    BN just dropped the Nook pricing and is offering 2 versions.  WiFi only or 3G with WiFi.  Amazon then dropped its Kindle2 price accordingly.

    Lastly, if you are new to ebooks, there are lots of free ebooks out there to be had and it’s all legal.  I’m finally getting around to “The Mysteries of Udolpho”. ;)

  19. 19
    Kinsey says:

    Speaking of DRM – what programs do y’all use to strip your ebooks of DRM? Months ago I poked around on the Web, found a program and tried to use it, then couldn’t. Either it didn’t work or I just couldn’t figure it out. I’m fairly computer adept – certainly good at following instructions – if I can use DVD ripping programs, why can’t I figure out how to do DRM stripping programs?

  20. 20
    EL says:

    @Kinsey:  I think I saw some DRM programs that ‘strip’, but I don’t know if they work well or not, plus they cost. 

    There’s a great article on DA on how to install Python and Pycrypto for what you are looking for.  If you want to know how to use Python, you’ll have to do some googling on that.  Sorry.

    http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2010/02/21/how-to-install-python-and-pycrypto/

    “persons35”— I’ve asked 35 different ‘persons’ on how to remove DRM and so far I’ve received 35 different answers.  Now I have 35 more questions.

  21. 21
    ghn says:

    When you have python installed, you need the right scripts. They are available out there, but I suspect that too much straight information on this subject would cause problems for the Smart Bitches.
    include57: Yes, I would have beeh happy to include those scripts

  22. 22
    Kilian Metcalf says:

    but I will always buy and check out at the library paper books. The feel of them, the weight of them, the smell of them, bookmarking them … /quote]

    Aaah – the weight of them.  I wanted to reread the Raj Quartet by Paul Scott.  I swear that book weighs 10 pounds.  It’s not a book, it’s a doorstop.  I am so spoiled by reading in bed with my Kindle, if a book is bulky, it goes back to the library.  Since I love Victorians and epics, that means Amazon gets a lot of my $$$, but I’m happy because I can hold the Kindle in one hand, and the weight doesn’t change no matter how big the book.

    Mark my words, you young ‘uns, this *will* become a factor as you age, and the carpal tunnel catches up with you.

  23. 23
    Kilian Metcalf says:

    but I will always buy and check out at the library paper books. The feel of them, the weight of them, the smell of them, bookmarking them … /quote]

    Aaah – the weight of them.  I wanted to reread the Raj Quartet by Paul Scott.  I swear that book weighs 10 pounds.  It’s not a book, it’s a doorstop.  I am so spoiled by reading in bed with my Kindle, if a book is bulky, it goes back to the library.  Since I love Victorians and epics, that means Amazon gets a lot of my $$$, but I’m happy because I can hold the Kindle in one hand, and the weight doesn’t change no matter how big the book.

    Mark my words, you young ‘uns, this *will* become a factor as you age, and the carpal tunnel catches up with you.

  24. 24
    Ros says:

    Well, I need a place to vent and this looks as good as any.  @CourtneyLee, you can’t read DRM’d pdfs on Foxit. Guess how I know?

    I have a pdf file of Lord Perfect that I bought about a year ago.  I read it, loved it, and want to read it again.  Easy, right? Hah!

    When I bought the book, I had just one reading device – my laptop.  I read it using Digital Editions, which worked fine.  Then a few months later, I bought a little netbook.  I spent several hours trying to sync my digital books across both computers.  It wasn’t easy, but I managed.  Except that when I came to open Lord Perfect today, I got an error message telling me it was licensed to another user.  That is not true.

    My first thought was to try to download it again.  Easy, right?  Hah!  I found the original email, clicked on the download link, signed in and then… blazing lights and warning signs all over the place.  I wasn’t even allowed to look at the ebook cover on my ebookshelf.  Why?  Because of the clamp down on geographical restrictions.

    So then I decided it was time for serious action.  DRM stripping.  Not for piracy – to READ A BOOK I HAVE BOUGHT.  Honestly, in good faith, with real money.  Is that too much to ask?  IS IT?? Yes, yes, apparently it is.  I found all kinds of sites where people were trying to read books they had bought and failing BECAUSE OF DRM.  Anyway, I followed Dear Author’s instructions on installing Python and Pycrypto, googled for the relevant scripts, ran them, and… error message.

    So, trying to open the book on any pdf reader (whether Acrobat or Foxit) gets an error message about encryption, and trying to open it on ADE gets an error message about licensing, and trying to download it from the place where I bought it gets an error message about geographical restrictions, and trying to strip the DRM gets an error message I don’t understand.  WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME FEEL LIKE A CRIMINAL?  All I want to do is read a book that I ALREADY OWN.

  25. 25
    Ros says:

    Sorry for hijacking the thread for my rant.  I feel better having got that off my chest.

  26. 26
    Carrie says:

    Nooooooooooooo!!!!!  I’m such a luddite!  Paper, paper, for the win!

  27. 27
    Scribblerkat says:

    Ros: I know how you feel. I had the same problem with a music album, which I was stupid enough to move to an external hard drive attached to the same PC. After two or three days of wrestling with, to paraphrase you, AN ALBUM I ALREADY OWN, I just bought it again, this time as a CD that I can burn whenever and wherever I want.

    I am not sure, but I do believe that DRM for ebooks is not widespread. Phew.

  28. 28
    MeganB says:

    OK, here’s something I want to know: How do I know for sure that a format is DRM’ed before I buy?  I have no problem figuring it out after I buy the damn thing, but before?

    I am assuming that if I can’t find any place on a publisher’s website that states they aren’t DRM’ed, then they must be.  (God forbid I should email and ask, because that would take too long.  Except I would have had my answer by now, instead of still wandering around the internet, wondering.)

  29. 29
    Ros says:

    @ScribblerKat, I think it depends what you mean by eBooks.  Almost all the ebooks I buy are copies of previously/simultaneously published paper books, and they are all DRM’d.  I think that there are some epublishers who put out only non-DRM books but I don’t read so many of those, sadly.

  30. 30
    EL says:

    @Ros:  That is so irritating.  I had something similar happen to me when I got a new PC.  Make sure your Adobe Digital Editions registration email address matches where you bought the book.  After I got the email addresses straightened out, I had to reauthorize the computer and ereader.  Then downloaded the book again and all was well.  I have no idea why all that was necessary, but it worked.  It’s stupid.  DRM needs to go away.  If you need some help slapping it around a bit, let me know.

    @MeganB:  Here are some DRM free sites, Belgrave House, Carina Press, Samhain, LooseID, Ellora’s Cave, Baen, Smashwords and Changeling Press.  AllRomanceEbooks and Fictionwise have mostly DRM free ebooks, but not all, and I’m not sure how to tell anymore with FW.  If it says Secure by the format, then it’s encrypted (DRM’d).  Usually if you go to the site’s About page, it should tell you about the formats.  If you’re not sure, just email customer service before you buy. I haven’t bought from all the ones I listed, and some I haven’t bought from in a while, so I can’t be 100 percent sure on if they are encrypted or not anymore.  Still cloudy to me too.

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