Even if you’re been around ebooks forever, you may be overlooking one of the easiest ways to search dozens of digital bookstores and public domain sites at once.
It’s the Get Books function of our old friend, the Calibre ebook management program (cost: $0). And as you can see from the screenshot it’s in the top menu bar. You can search by titles, author names, and keywords—and blend your criteria, so that, for example, you can exclude works with identical titles but different writers.
With this approach, your books public domain books can go directly into your Calibre library for immediate reading via the Calibre ebook reader or another program.
That won’t happen with commercial books—your Web browser will direct you to the appropriate store page—but there are other pluses, such as the ability to short by prices. Who knows? “Free” may be at the top of the list. Just keep in mind that copyright laws vary. What’s free in countries with shorter copyright terms may be legal in the U.S. and elsewhere only as purchases at stores.
Among the included sites are Project Gutenberg, the Internet Archive, Feedbooks, Google Books, Ebooks.com, Amazon, Kobo and B&N.
Imagine all millions of titles in your searches—for instant or almost-instant download. This is why one the major reasons why anti-bookers annoy me. Can p-book ever match ebooks when it come to finding the books about which you most care?
At a time when ebooks are under assault from other media ranging from video games to Netflix, choice is A Good Thing.
Detail: Calibre’s book search isn’t the last word. It didn’t show The Brass Check, the Upton Sinclair classic on sleazy journalism, as being available from Google Book even though it’s indeed there.
Interesting and useful — although you should uncheck as many options as you can to prevent search from dragging. This is especially useful for Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive. Two interesting results from books I have published: 1)it makes it very easy to price check the same ebook across stores (to my dismay I see some free ebooks on amazon.com cost differently on different Amazon country stores. 2)I don’t know if this is Amazon or Calibre, but I notice erratic results of whether a non-DRM ebook has DRM on Amazon stores or not. Some do; some don’t (even though I disabled DRM for all of them).
One final thing. Apparently buying an ebook through smashwords earns the Calibre developer some affiliate marketing royalties. (I actually think is a reason to use this feature).
@Robert: Great tips, especially about helping Calibre with Smashwords purchases. Thanks.
What a relevant book (in these times) you have chosen for the screen shot!
@Jens: Thanks. Yes, even our screenshots are issuing can-happen-here warnings. Meanwhile check out The Atlantic’s anti-Trump, pro-Hillary editorial. It’s only the third time the magazine has endorsed a Presidential candidate, and the reason is not so much Clinton as it is the dreadful alternative.
Also see a Washington Post editorial:
“How much damage could a President Trump do? We can only begin to imagine.”