Ebooks for Beginners
First, you need to decide which ecosystem to invest in: Apple, Google, or Kindle. Once you decide, there's a section for each below. If you're already in one of these, I'd recommend sticking with it. If you're on the fence, I personally use and recommend the Google option because it's easy and ubiquitous.
And just FYI, EPUB is the open-source standard for ebooks. It's used by Apple and Google and pretty much everyone else. Amazon Kindle uses MOBI files. Just be sure you note the difference.
Now, if you get lost anywhere in this guide, please email me, and I'll try to help you out. Your questions will help me make this guide clearer for future readers. So thank you in advance for helping me.
📕 How to Read an Ebook on APPLE BOOKS
This first option shows you how to read an ebook on your iPhone, iPad, or even on your MacBook. And your notes and reading position will synchronize between devices!
STEP 1. Download the .EPUB
If you sign up for The INFORMANT, I'll send you a free EPUB of HIGH ADVENTURE. One way or another, you'll need to download an EPUB to get started. The process may be easiest to follow on your iPhone (but you could also do it on your MacBook, and the two will sync). In your mobile browser, find the link to DOWNLOAD THE EPUB file.
STEP 2. Open the .EPUB in Apple Books
It's pretty straightforward. It will take a second to upload the book to the cloud. And then you can start reading.
STEP 3. Read!
If you don't the app installed right now, you can get Apple Books here.
📘 How to Read an Ebook on GOOGLE PLAY BOOKS
I like the Google option because you can read your ebooks in any browser (PC and Mac) or on any phone or tablet (Android or Apple).
STEP 1. Download the .EPUB
If you sign up for The INFORMANT, I'll send you a free EPUB of HIGH ADVENTURE. And I think this process is easiest to do on a desktop browser. So pull out your laptop. Then find the .EPUB file, and download it to a place you can easily access. (I like to save stuff to my desktop.)
STEP 2. Upload the .EPUB to Google Play Books
Now go to https://play.google.com/books. In the top right, click UPLOAD FILES.
(By the way, you can also do this on your phone. Just tell it to open the .EPUB in your Google Play Books app.)
STEP 3. Read!
You can read the uploaded book on any phone or tablet or computer:
- Get Google Play Books for ANDROID here.
- Get Google Play Books for APPLE here.
- To read in any browser, go to https://play.google.com/books
📒 How to Upload an Ebook to your KINDLE
This is definitely the most complicated of the three options.
To reiterate, you need a .MOBI file (not an EPUB). That's crucial.
Now, I'm not going to explain how to do it here because Amazon has a pretty good guide of their own. Unfortunately, they give you 5 different options, which in itself is its own kind of confusing. I prefer the Chrome extension option because you can do it from basically any computer. So that's my recommendation.
The cool thing about this option, though is that you can then download the Kindle app on most any device and read your books, which are stored and synced in the cloud:
- Download the Kindle app for Android
- Download the Kindle app for Apple
- Read your Kindle books in a web browser here: https://read.amazon.com/
🌱 Create and Manage Your Own Ebooks
If you're an advanced user, I wrote a guide for creating your own ebooks. It's pretty nerdy stuff, but if you want to curate your own library and change books covers and stuff like that, this'll get you started on how to do that.
🔖 Are Paper Books Better than Ebooks?
Hey, I'm not saying you shouldn't keep your paper books. I even want you to buy my books in paper. But maybe ebooks deserve a fair shake...
Pros of a PAPER Book
- You can tell how long the book is by its weight.
- You can give it to your friend Julie by setting it in her hand.
- The pages smell like paper--mmm.
- If you're reading a classic, everyone can see how awesome you are (yes—you are).
- You can smack your brother with it.
- You can see the j pressed onto the microfibers of the page, and, when you hold the top of the page toward an open window on a Thursday morning, you can see a million tiny dimples in the paper's surface.
Pros of an EBOOK
- An ebook costs less.
- You always have your book with you because it fits in your pocket--I mean in your phone.
- You can highlight your favorite quotes even when you're not carrying a pen. Boom.
- You can carry an entire library in your handbag--just like Merlin in Sword in the Stone!
- If you're reading a young-adult adventure novel, no one will know you're an escapist.
- It's not heavy, so it's not hard to hold open with just your pinkie on the right side while you're lying on your back in bed.
- Because the screen is illuminated, you can read in the dark (so you don't have to get up to turn out the lights when you're finished). This also enhances all monster scenes.
- If you fall off a bridge and your pants and phone get swept downriver, you still won't lose your place because your book is synced with the cloud.