Got a different brand e-reader?

Continuing from the post about Kobo from the other day, I have been wrestling with their systems for a while now. The upshot is this:

If you are a reader who owns an E-Reader device that is NOT a Kindle or a Kobo brand device, you may now be able to buy DRM books and read them, no conversion or other shenanigans needed.

What will you need?
First, check your device supports Adobe DRM. Your device will have the red adobe logo on it or its packaging somewhere usually, but check the user guide if unsure. I have the old first version MiGear device, which is about as cheap as they come, and it supports this. The majority of the super cheap readers are based on the same hardware and software. If your device does not, check your manufacturers website for a firmware upgrade (a little program you run that will add this feature) as many of them have provided these in the last twelve months to take advantage of the possible new legal sales channels opening up.

Second, you need to download the Adobe Digital Editions software to your PC or Mac. Think of this as Itunes for your ereader. Get it here

Third, you will need an account with (that’s right, you are going to buy books from kobo)

What do you do?
Before trying to get any books, you need your Adobe Digital Editions software to be registered to you, and synced with your ereader. To do this, load the software, plug in your ereader device to the PC with a USB cable, and follow the prompts. If you buy and download a DRM protected book before you do this, you may not be able to access the books after.

Once that is done, you are ready to buy. Go to, and find the book you want (or follow a link from the bookshop page here if it is one of mine – I will work on getting them up soon). Log in and buy the book in the usual manner.

Click on the words “my library” at the top right of the kobobooks website. You will find a list of books you have purchased, each with a blue button labeled either “adobe DRM Epub” or “Download Epub”. Click the button for the book you want.

A box will likely pop up asking whether to save or open a file. Open it. This will open the Adobe digital editions software, download the book to it, then open the book for viewing.

In the top left of Adobe Digital Editions is an icon that looks like a few book spines on a shelf. Click that. You will see your library on the right and a list on the left. The bottom of the list is your ereader (if it is plugged in to the USB port of your PC). Find your book, click and hold the mouse on the book, and drag it to your ereader. The book will be placed on the device, and you are all set to read it anywhere you like.

Many of you with sony and other cheaper brand devices may already be using places like Smashwords to source ebooks, but some ebooks are not released to sites like those that do not support DRM – and until now you may have been stuck with major hassles sourcing or ‘converting’ those ebooks. If you go this way, you can expect a lot of those books in coming months to arrive at Kobo, and you will have access to them on your ‘other brand’ ereader.

As I said before, given that I have already had to tackle pirates in relation to my books, I am reticent about using smash words or other non DRM sales avenues. The ability to distribute in a DRM format to all ereaders is very tempting for that reason! (and note the adobe digital editions does have a lending system like the kindle does, but I am not sure how it works at this time)

Anyway, I hope some of you find this information useful, and enjoy many good reads as a result.


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