Should you buy that ebook that sounds like the answer to all your problems? Ever bought an ebook that you never read once your Paypal transaction was complete? Find yourself lamenting over an ebook purchase because it wasn’t what you expected?
Just as you weigh the pros and cons of a physical book purchase, so should you consider how to make the most of the ebooks you buy.
What’s an Ebook?
Ebook is simply short for “electronic book.” They are digital documents that you download directly to your computer or other reading device, to be read at your leisure, electronically.
Ebooks are quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of the written word. They have been an easy and economical method of self-publishing for years, but are now hitting the mainstream as major book publishers offer digital versions of their hardcover books.
What are the benefits?
::Green — No tree needs give its life for you to own an ebook. The purchase is completely digital.
::Instant — Once you purchase an ebook, you should be able to download it almost instantly, quicker than you can say, “Amazon Prime.”
::Often free of tax or shipping charges.
::Inexpensive — In general they are not as expensive as the cover price of a hardcover book. Sometimes, the seller even offers them at a discount or even free.
::Often offer customizable options, or other digital features, like links to further online reading, something unavailable in a physical book.
What’s the catch?
::You won’t get any mail.
::You have to print it yourself if you want a hard copy.
::You don’t get to preview more than a few pages of the book. It’s not quite the same as perusing a book at length in a cozy armchair at Barnes & Noble.
::You don’t have a physical product to return if you don’t like it.
How can you make ebooks work for you?
1. Research carefully. If you find an ebook that you’re interested in purchasing, ask questions of the seller, peruse their table of contents, inquire of friends who’ve purchased. Ask as many questions as you need to in order to feel like it’s the right purchase for you. Determine the refund policy if you want your money back if it’s a disappointment.
2. Save locally. Unfortunately, an ebook is much easier to lose than a hard copy book. Make sure that you save the document before you close the screen.
3. Store strategically. Create a folder on your computer, specifically for storing ebooks that you are going to read.
4. Make a plan to read. The book does you no good if it sits on your hard drive unread.
What techniques do YOU use to make ebooks worth it for you?
Jessica Fisher, aka FishMama, regularly writes about parenting hacks on Life As Mom and shares delicious ways to act your wage at Good (Cheap) Eats. She has written several ebooks, including Organizing Life as MOM , and owns quite a few unread ones on her hard drive. She will read them — eventually.