Many Australian publishers now make their titles available in Amazon’s Kindle store (for reading on the proprietary Kindle or via Amazon’s Kindle apps), through Kobo’s website and apps (Kobo also power ebook sales for Collins, Borders and Angus & Robertson) and Apple’s iBookstore (which is exclusively available to iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Mac users).
The second biggest player in ebooks in the US, Barnes & Noble, does not sell its ebooks, or its Nook ereader, into this market.
Google eBooks was a late arrival in the Australian marketplace in November 2011, and operates its own bookstore as well as stocking those of Dymocks and Booktopia. Partners soon to come on line include The Co-op Bookshop and QBD The Bookshop.
Smaller ebook players building on relationships with a growing list of Australian publishers include Adelaide-based Booku, the ebook arm of online retailer Boomerang Books, and Melbourne start-up Booki.sh, which partnered with Victorian independent chain Readings early in 2011 on an ebookstore and has since launched stores with Gleebooks, Fullers, Avid Reader, Mary Ryan’s and Books for Cooks.
Some 200 independent booksellers, including Sydney’s Pages and Pages and Better Read than Dead, are working with another Australian start-up, ReadCloud (“the world’s first social ebook reader”), on their own ebookstores. The first few launched their stores late in 2011.
Smashwords is a US-based ebook retailer that accepts manuscripts direct from authors, cutting out agents and publishers altogether – Amazon and Kobo offer a similar but more complex process. There are many services offering out of copyright titles as free downloads too.