Frequently Asked Questions about e-books

  • What is an e-book and an e-reader?

    In order to read e-books, you need a device with an electronic screen that will make the text visible to the reader, just as printed books need paper on which the text is printed. You can read e-books sold in Apollo's e-store with the help of a regular PC, smart phone, tablet or an e-reader designed specifically for e-books. The latter, i.e. devices designed especially for reading e-books, are the most handy, and include models by Sony, Prestigio, Kindle, Nook and others.

    To read e-books, you will usually need software compatible with your e-reader. This software normally comes with the device (e-readers and tablets) or downloadable for free from the Internet (PCs and smart phones). Further information on the range of reading software and on how it looks is readily available online or can be found in the instruction manual of your device.

    The first thing to do before reading an e-book is to install the e-book file you bought in the e-store on your reading device. This usually means that all you have to do is to connect the reading device to your computer with a cable and copy the e-book file sent to you by the e-store from your computer to your reading device. This is of course not necessary if you have a laptop or PC, in which case you can start reading right away (however, your computer needs to have an application enabling EPUB files to be read – you can download it for free from e.g. www.epubread.com).

    Further instructions on how to install an e-book on your reading device are available in the instruction manual of your device or online. Don't be disheartened: we can assure that it is easy to install an e-book on your device, and after having done it once, it will take you only a moment. As a rule, books can be downloaded to an e-reader simply by connecting it to the computer with a USB cable and copying the files to the respective folder. The exact folders vary by reader. Some readers also come with software that enables books to be sent to the reader. It is not possible to give detailed instructions that work with every reader; instead, please refer to the documentation enclosed with your reader. However, if you still fail to download the books on your reader, look for help under DEVICES FOR READING E-BOOKS.
  • What is an EPUB and a DRM?

    EPUB (Electronic Publication Format) is the most common e-book format. Most devices suitable for reading e-books can read books in this format and the e-books in Estonian sold in Apollo are also in this format. The files you can download from the store come with an .epub extension which it contains all of the files related to the book, including both images and text. When you buy an e-book from a store, you can download it in the readable format right away, so you don't need to do anything else with the file. Books sold are marked with a social DRM, i.e. when you buy a copy of the book, your data is transferred to the publisher and used for marking the e-book sent to the buyer. If the file is subject to DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection, this is indicated on the book you intend to buy. In this case you have to link it to your reading device or application and activate it. In order to read the book, all you need to do is open it with the right application.
  • What are the advantages of e-books over regular books?

    The e-books you buy contain materials protected by copyright and therefore the whole content of an e-book is subject to copyright law. The copyrights of an e-book are owned by the publisher of the e-book and thus it is allowed to use the e-book only as agreed with the publisher and on their terms and conditions.
    • It is easy to buy e-books online and start reading them right away.
    • It is easy to make searches in the content of e-books and you can also make inquiries in dictionaries.
    • As e-books are saved in a packed format, your e-book reader can accommodate thousands of books.
    • Some e-readers allow users to make comments in books and underline paragraphs that are of interest to them.
    • You can save e-books in a number of devices, such as a PC, e-reader or smart phone and thus the books are available in several places.
    • If you happen to lose your e-book, you can simply download it again (as many times as is allowed).
    • Readers who have problems reading small print can easily use a bigger font in e-book readers.
    • Although you need electricity to read e-books, they are not made of paper and ink and are thus much more environment-friendly than traditional books.
    • E-books do not sell out so you can buy them at any time.
  • DEVICES FOR READING E-BOOKS

    Tablets

    iPad You can use the following to download EPUB books:
    • The device has the iBooks application downloaded, which will recognise the downloaded file and will automatically add it to your e-book list. You can read the book right away. The iBooks download is available at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks/id364709193?mt=8
    • Should the device not recognise the book for some reason, you will have to resort to your computer and iTunes for help. To do this, drag the desired book with an .epub extension to the iTunes window. iTunes will automatically recognise the file and will regroup it into a respective e-book section. Next, connect your iPad to the PC and select the option in the iTunes settings which also synchronises books and synchronise the device with iTunes. Then launch the iBooks application on your device, choose the book and start reading.
    • iBooks is designed for reading EPUB books on Apple’s iPhone, iPad or iPod but the application also has a desktop version called Stanza. Stanza has some shortcomings, e.g. it is not able to display images and does not support font or colour settings. However, the application is minimalistic and suitable for reading books on a mini laptop with small screen resolution.

    E-books protected under Adobe DRM can be read on iPad, iPhone and iPod with a free Bluefire application.

    Tablet with Android OS:
    To read books in the EPUB format on devices with the Android OS you can use a number of free or paid applications. The most popular are Moon+Reader and Aldiko.

    To install, initiate Android Market on your tablet, select for instance Aldiko Book Reader and install it..

    To make sure that Aldiko can find the books on the device, you first have to copy the files to your device. Copy your e-books to the tablet. Disconnect it from your computer and initiate Aldiko.

    Open the menu (this is done differently in every device with Android; usually there is a separate button for it at the bottom of the screen) and select the ‘Import’ command. Aldiko will find the added books, analyse them and divide the books in folders based on authors.

    To read your books, select the ‘Bookshelf’ section on Aldiko’s opening display. All the books you have added will be listed here. To read the book, touch it with your finger.

    E-readers

    The most convenient way of reading e-books is to do so with special devices: Prestigio, Sony, Kindle, iRiver etc. As a rule, books can be downloaded to an e-reader simply by connecting the reader to the computer with a USB cable and by copying the files to the respective folder. The exact folders in which books are downloaded vary by reader. Some readers come with software and instructions that help you download books. Unfortunately it is not possible to give detailed instructions that work with every reader and therefore we will only cover the issues asked about most often.

    Sony Before taking the next step, you have to make sure that you have installed Sony’s eBook Library in your computer. This software will install drivers on your computer that make it much easier to proceed.

    This software is available at http://ebookstore.sony.com/download/

    Connect the Sony Reader to your PC using a USB cable and initiate Adobe Digital Editions. Digital Editions will find the connected Sony Reader and will ask you whether to authorise the device with your Adobe ID. So that Digital Editions and the Sony Reader can exchange files protected under DRM between them, they both have to be authorised with the same Adobe ID. Books not protected under DRM can be copied between Digital Editions and a Sony Reader without authorisation.

    After authorisation, a Sony Reader link will appear in the left-hand menu of Adobe Digital Editions, to and from which you can transfer books.

    Kindle
    • Kindle is an Amazon e-reader that needs to be discussed differently from other e-readers, because it does not support the EPUB format. Fortunately, it is quite easy to convert the e-books protected under DRM, including the books in Estonian sold via EDRK (Estonian digibook centre) for Kindle. To do this, install the Calibre application (link added) (refer to item 3 below and then proceed from here).
    • Select the book on the Calibre opening display which you would like to convert for Kindle and press the C key or right-click on the title of the book; select the ‘Convert Books’ menu and then the command ‘Convert individually’. When a new window opens, select the ‘MOBI’ option in the drop-down menu ‘Output format’ on the right. Click OK. The software will convert your book to a format supported by Kindle; this will take a minute or two. Next, connect your Kindle to the PC. Once Calibre realises that the reader is connected, the ‘Send to device’ icon will be added to the toolbar. Activate the desired book in the list and click on the ‘Send to device’ icon. The book will be copied to Kindle’s internal memory and, this done, a tick will appear in front of the book in the first column of Calibre's opening display. Now you can disconnect your Kindle from your PC and start reading.
    • Calibre is a very resourceful application: among other things it also makes it possible to read EPUB books. Calibre is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Download the appropriate version at http://calibre-ebook.com/download and install it. Users of Ubuntu can also find and install Calibre via Synaptic.
    • Upon launching it for the first time, you will see the set-up wizard. Do not click on the ‘Next’ or ‘Cancel’ buttons, but check the folder path in the cell ‘Choose a location for your books’. The issue here is that Calibre will copy all books to the folder defined in this cell and thus create a copy of every book. It does this in order to create an author-based structure of folders. Check the folder path and make the necessary changes. Click on the 'Next' button. In this display you can choose the reading device for which Calibre will optimise the formatting of books. If you have a reading device, select it in the list; if you don't, click on the ‘Next’ button. Depending on the device you selected, the next display offers you varied options, e.g. with Kindle you have the opportunity to specify your www.kindle.com e-mail address to which Calibre can send your books; and with Android smart phones, Calibre offers the option to immediately initiate the server through which you can access your books. If you don't know what to select, click the ‘Next’ button.

      When the application has been launched, select a suitable command from the toolbar in the ‘Add books’ menu. If you have several e-books in one folder, select the command ‘Add books from a single directory’; if you have divided your e-books based on your own folder system, select the command ‘Add books from directories including subdirectories (Multiple books per directory)’. By clicking on the ‘Add books’ icon, you can select books by file. Add some books.

      All the e-books you have added will be visible in the list in the middle pane. To read a book, double-click on its title. A new window will open where you can read the book. Now you can close the main window of Calibre, as you do not need it open for reading.

    PCs

    In order to read an e-book on a computer you must first have an application that enables EPUB files to be read. The most popular and the simplest solutions for reading an e-book on a PC are EPUBReader and Adobe Digital Editions.

    EPUBReader works on every computer that has the Firefox browser installed. It does not matter if it has a Windows, Linux or Mac OS X operating system.

    To install this application, go to www.epubread.com with Firefox and click on the 'Add to Firefox' button on the webpage. A dialogue box will open and you will be asked to confirm that you agree to the installation of this application from that address. Click on the ‘Install now’ button. Within seconds, the application will be downloaded and installed. To use it, you will have to restart Firefox.

    After restarting, you will see a new icon with a book sign on the Firefox toolbar (on the right). By clicking on it, a catalogue of e-books will open in a new tab, but it will still be empty. You can read books directly on some websites offering EPUB books for free, but you can also add your own books.

    The easiest way to add your books in the EPUBReader library is to do so simply by dragging the books with the mouse to the book catalogue window. Open the folder on your computer that contains your EPUB books, grab a book file and drag it to the Firefox EPUBReader window. The book will be added to the catalogue and automatically opened in a new tab.

    If you cannot drag the books to the window or if this is inconvenient for some reason, select the command ‘Open’ in the ‘File’ menu (with newer Firefox versions, select the command ‘Open File’ from the ‘New Tab’ submenu of the ‘Firefox’ menu and display the book that way.)


    Adobe Digital Editions functions on almost all computers, tablets and e-readers on which it is installed. It allows you to read e-books protected under Adobe DRM, such as PDF/A and EPUB. If you want the software to transfer your existing e-books to your e-reader or from your e-reader to your computer, you will also have to register your Adobe ID. You will be asked for the necessary information upon installation. With Adobe Digital Editions, it is possible to authorise a maximum of five different devices. You can download the software at http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/


    In addition to the above, you can also try the following programmes:

    Smart phones

    iPhone ja iPod Touch
    There are two ways of downloading EPUB books:
    • If the device has iBooks downloaded, it will recognise the downloaded file and automatically add it to your e-book list. You can read the book right away. The iBooks download is available at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks/id364709193?mt=8
    • Should the device not recognise the book for some reason, you will have to resort to your computer and iTunes for help. To do this, drag the desired book with an .epub extension to the iTunes window. iTunes will automatically recognise the file and will regroup it into a respective e-book section. Next, connect your iPhone to your PC and select the option in iTunes settings that also synchronises books and synchronise the device with iTunes. Then launch the iBooks application on your device, choose the book and start reading.



    Smart phone with Android OP
    To read books in the EPUB format on devices with the Android OS you can use a number of free or paid applications. The most popular are Moon+Reader and Aldiko. To install, launch Android Market on your smart phone, select for instance Aldiko Book Reader and install it.

    To make sure that Aldiko can find the books in the device, you first have to copy the files to your device. Copy your e-books to the tablet. Disconnect it from your computer and initiate Aldiko.

    Open the menu (this is done differently in every device with Android; usually there is a separate button for it at the bottom of the screen) and select the ‘Import’ command. Aldiko will find the added books, analyse them and divide the books into folders based on authors.

    To read your books, select the ‘Bookshelf' section on Aldiko’s opening display. All the books you have added will be listed here. To read a book, touch it with your finger.

    Most popular e-book software

    Aldiko Book Reader
    Smart phone with the Android OS. To read books in the EPUB format on a smart phone with the Android OS you can use a number of applications. One of the most popular is the Aldiko application, which is free. Initiate Android Market, select Aldiko Book Reader and install it.

    iBooks
    iBooks is an application designed for Apple’s devices which will recognise the downloaded file and automatically add it to your e-book list. You can read the book right away. iBooks is available at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ibooks/id364709193?mt=8

    Stanza desktop application
    Stanza is an application that is mainly designed for reading EPUB books on Apple’s iPhone, iPad or iPod, but it is also available in a desktop version. Stanza's desktop application is minimalistic and also works on mini laptops with small screen resolution. Stanza’s versions are constantly updated and Stanza 2 has now been launched. You can have a look at it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZmm8-8n3Tw
    Download Stanza according to the operating system you use at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stanza/id284956128?mt=8 or http://stanza-desktop.en.softonic.com/ and install it.

    Sony Reader Library
    If you use a Sony e-reader, it would make sense to download Sony Reader Library.

    Calibre
    Calibre is a very resourceful application: among other things it also makes it possible to read EPUB books. Calibre is available for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Download the appropriate version at http://calibre-ebook.com/download and install it. Users of Ubuntu can also find and install Calibre via Synaptic.

    Bluefire Reader
    A free application for iPhone, iPad and iPod that also makes it possible to read books protected under Adobe DRM.

    Adobe Digital Editions functions on almost every computer, tablet and e-reader on which it is installed. It allows you to read e-books protected under Adobe DRM, such as PDF/A and EPUB. If you want the software to also transfer your existing e-books to your e-reader or from your e-reader to your computer, you will also have to register your Adobe ID. You will be asked for the necessary information upon installation. With Adobe Digital Editions, it is possible to authorise a maximum of five different devices. You can download the software at http://www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/

    Lucidor (Windows, OS X, and Linux)

    Openberg (plug-in for Firefox,)

    FBReader (Windows, Linux, OS X)
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