May 9 2010
Welcome to Dear Jane, a weekly column based upon reader mailbag questions on anything relating to ebooks. No question is too simple or too mundane. We are all learning together. Send your questions to jane @ dearauthor.com with “Dear Jane” in the subject matter.
I have the opportunity to purchase a Sony PRS-300 eReader. The problem is that I’ve heard that Barnes & Noble ebooks aren’t readable on or transferable to the eReader. What I can’t find is any definite information one way or the other. Does Calibre solve this issue of B&N books not being true ePub format? I have gift cards to use and don’t want to purchase a reader that can’t read ebooks I purchased or plan to purchase. I know this particular Sony is just a basic ereader and I’m fine with that, primarily because the price is reasonable (less than $140).
Debating a Sony
Dear Debating a Sony:
I am sorry to say that the digital books that you buy from Barnes and Noble are not transferable to any of the Sony devices. While Calibre is a great software program for managing your digital books, it can only convert digital books that are unlocked.
A more technical explanation:
Both the nook and Sony devices read a format called “epub” but the nook uses a special type of software lock and right now, only the nook reading device (and ereader software) has the unlock key.
I have the Sony 505 and so far have bought pdf books but found out I could do epub. Barnes and Noble’s ebooks..well I found a super duper bargain but don’t like reading at my computer! I’m assuming it’s not compabible since they’re trying to sell their own and the price is a bit steeper than I’m wanting to pay since I already have a good ereader (at least I think it’s ok!) and prefer paperbacks if I can find them for the same or similar price but some just aren’t available in paperback or the paperback is $15 and the ebook $2.50-$5.95..big difference!
Is there software that can convert esp from barnes and noble or kindle formats or am I just stuck?
Wanting my Bargains!
Good news. Unlike poor “Debating a Sony” above, the nook Reader can read books purchased at the Sony store, but it requires what is called a “side load” process.
First, you can’t download Sony books directly onto your nook from the device itself using the snazzy color browser at the bottom. Instead, you download the Sony books onto your computer, plug your nook in and then transfer the books onto the nook.
Here is a video on sideloading a book onto the nook: Side Loading a Book on a Nook
To get the Sony Books onto the nook, you have to do these steps:
- download Adobe Digital Editions
- authorize your Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) by signing in with your Adobe ID. Authorization is needed because the major publishers wrap the books up with software locks and for ADE epub books, your Adobe ID will unlock the the books so you can read them.
- Once you have authorized ADE, start ADE and go to Library. Click “Add”
- Go to the folder where your Sony Reader books are located. On
Windows it is My Documents > My Books > Reader Library. On Mac it is Documents > My Books > Reader Library.
- Select with your mouse the books you want to add
- Plug your nook into the computer. The nook should show up as an
icon on the left side of the ADE.
- Drag and drop the books you have added to the nook icon.
You can do this for any epub purchased anywhere, not just Sony epubs.
Sometimes you’ll need to restart the nook after adding content. Good luck and please write again if you have any problems.