We hope this FAQs section will provide the answers to any queries you might have about buying and downloading ebooks from [Insert Publisher Name]. It is divided into the sections listed below. If you have a query that is not answered here, do contact us.
An eBook (short for ‘electronic book’) is a digital version of a printed book, optimised for on-screen reading. While many eBooks do indeed start off as conventional printed books, more and more eBooks are now starting life as an eBook, rather than as a version of a conventional printed book.
eBooks are available in various formats and can be read on a range of reading devices, including eReaders (hardware devices specifically for reading eBooks), computers, smartphones and tablets. (See ‘What formats do eBooks come in?’ and ‘What devices can I read my eBooks on?’)
eBooks are available in various formats. The most popular and widely used type of eBook file is ePUB. Almost all reading devices support (are compatible with) ePub files (see ‘What is ePub?’ and ‘What devices can I read my eBooks on?’).
All the ebooks on [Insert publisher name] are in ePub or Adobe PDF format.
Among the few reading devices that do not support ePub is the Amazon Kindle. To read an eBook on a Kindle, it has to be in Mobi format if it is DRM protected (see ‘What is DRM?’). If the eBook is digitally watermarked or has no DRM, however, you can download it directly from [Insert Publisher Name] onto your Kindle (independent of Amazon), using the standard Send-to-Kindle functions.
PDF files have been around for some time and are still fairly common, especially in the academic world. They were originally created for computer screens, however, rather than eReaders, and can therefore be a quite unwieldy to read compared with ePub when viewed on a mobile eReading device like a smartphone, dedicated eReader or tablet.
ePub (short for ‘electronic publication format’) is an open-source eBook format (meaning anyone can use it freely to create eBooks). It is the industry standard (i.e., supported by the International Digital Publishing Forum, IDPF).
The content in an ePub eBook is reflowable, enabling you to resize the text or alter the size of the display, and the text will rewrap itself to fit the available viewing area. All this creates a comfortable reading experience.
‘DRM’ stands for ‘Digital Rights Management’. Although free eBooks are often DRM-free, most eBooks available for purchase include DRM. This is the case with the [Insert Publisher Name] eBookstore.
The term ‘DRM’ refers to technologies used to control distribution and access to digital information. There are currently two types of DRM technologies:
In these FAQs, we use ‘DRM’ to denote ‘strict DRM’ and we use ‘digital watermarking’ to denote ‘social DRM’.
The purpose of DRM and digital watermarking for eBooks is to prevent them being illegally shared, copied or printed. Firsty Group uses Adobe® Content Server 4 (ACS4) software to provide DRM protection, and iContact’s BooXtream software to provide digital watermarking protection for publishers who wish their eBooks to use strict DRM. For publishers using social DRM, you are free to share and read the eBook on your preferred reading device.
eBooks can be read on a range of reading devices:
An eReader is a portable device on which you can store and read your eBooks. There are many types of eReaders on the market, such as the Amazon Kindle, the Barnes & Noble Nook, and various Sony Readers.
eReaders differ from computers, smartphones and tablets in that they have a special eInk screen, which is not backlit. This mimics the appearance of ordinary ink on paper, making the text easier to read than it currently is on most other reading devices.
For more detail on these devices, see ‘Where can I find out more about these reading devices?’
If you wish to read your ebook(s) on dedicated eReaders such as the Sony eReader and the Nook, or on a computer (PC/Mac) you will need to install Adobe Digital Editions first (see ‘What is Adobe Digital Editions?’ and ‘How do I install Adobe Digital Editions?’). If you have a Kindle, you can download non-DRM and digitally watermarked eBooks; you do not need Adobe Digital Editions.
If you wish to read your ebooks on smartphones or tablets (including iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Galaxy tablets, etc.) you will need to install an ePub eReader app, such as Bluefire Reader, onto your smartphone or tablet (for more on the Bluefire Reader app, see www.bluefirereader.com).
Although you can read your eBooks on your computer, smartphone or tablet, there are several reasons why it’s worth considering buying an eReader:
Connectivity: With most eReaders you need to hook up to the net to download eBook content. Most eReaders lack WiFi and have to be connected to a PC/Mac via a USB cable. Some have WiFi or Bluetooth for short-range connections.
Price: The price of most eReaders is fairly similar, so it might be a good idea to pay a little extra for a better service. If you don't need features such as connectivity or a touchscreen, then consider buying a device without these functions.
Screen size: This is a major factor in choosing an eReader. For business applications where you might want to look at full-size PDFs, you'll need larger screens. For most personal users, however, small is a virtue, enabling you to hold the device easily in one hand. The 6-inch screen is currently the most popular size.
File formats: The main eBook formats are ePub and Mobi. Mobi is the format used on Amazon’s Kindle; ePub is the format used by almost all other devices. There is also LRF format, used for Sony eReaders. Most eReaders will also support several graphics formats and audio. All eReaders support TXT and PDF formats. (See ‘What formats do eBooks come in?’)
You can have your eBook simultaneously on several reading devices. If you have purchased a DRM Free eBook then you don’t need to worry ... there are no limits! If Adobe DRM is applied then each device needs to be registered on your Adobe ID in order to be allowed to have a DRM-protected eBook on it. You obtain this ID by downloading installing Adobe Digital Editions. (See ‘What is DRM?’ and ‘What is Adobe Digital Editions?’).
Here is a selection of the most popular reading devices (eReaders, smartphones and tablets). With the exception of the Amazon Kindle devices and apps, all these devices support ePub. (See ‘What is ePub?’)
To find out more about reading devices and services, it’s best to contact the manufacturers directly. Click below to view some useful contact details for the major device manufacturers.
For queries about the Amazon Kindle, use the following contact details:Tel.: 0800 496 2449
For queries about Apple devices, use the following contact details:
For queries about the Nook, use the following contact details:
For queries about Blio devices, use the following contact details:
Tel.: 1.209.720.2280 (US)
For queries about Google Play, log into your Google account to view the options
Website help is available at: http://support.google.com/mobile/?p=books_helplanding
For queries about Kobo devices, use the following contact details:
For queries about Scholastic devices, use the following contact details:
For queries about Sony devices, use the following contact details.
Tel.: 0844 8466 555
Tel.: 0870 240 2408
Yes. You simply click on the title you want, then click ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Add to Basket’ and then go through the usual payment procedures via the ‘Checkout’. You can put multiple eBook titles in your basket.
[Insert Publisher Name] accepts payment via the following credit/debit cards:
If you have been sent a [Insert Publisher Name] Gift Card, you follow the same procedure. In the ‘Checkout’ section, however, instead of making a payment you input the promotional code that appears on your Gift Card.
You can buy eBooks from [Insert Publisher Name] from any country in the world, unless we do not have the right to sell certain ebooks in your particular country.
At this stage you can only use GBP (£) to buy eBooks from [Insert Publisher Name]. We will be adding other currency options in due course.
[Insert Publisher Name] is a UK-registered company and, in the UK, eBooks are subject to Value-Added Tax (VAT).
The VAT component is included in the purchase price shown. and will be displayed on your electronic receipt.
Purchasers outside the EU, or who have VAT-exempt status for any reason, should use normal channels to reclaim any VAT charged.
Yes, your e-receipt will be emailed to you.
All eBook titles bought from [Insert Publisher Name] are non-refundable and cannot be exchanged or returned. Of course, if there is a serious fault and we can’t rectify it we will naturally refund the purchase.
If you’re experiencing technical difficulties buying or downloading an eBook, please contact us immediately.
Not necessarily. If the eBook you are buying is non-DRM or digitally watermarked, you will not need software to download it.
For DRM ePub eBooks, however, you will need to download Adobe Digital Editions (if this software is not already on your computer). When you download this software, you will be asked to create an Adobe User ID. This is Adobe’s way of identifying you each time you download a new eBook or add a new device to your account. (See ‘What is Adobe Digital Editions?’ and ‘How do I install Adobe Digital Editions?’)
Adobe Digital Editions is a free desktop reading application for PCs and Macs that enables you to download eBooks in ePub format that you have bought from a retail outlet such as [Insert Publisher Name]. (See ‘What is ePub?’)
With Adobe Digital Editions, you can open the eBook on your computer and transfer it to other reading devices, such as eReaders, smartphones and tablets (see ‘What devices can I read my eBooks on?’). It also enables you to organize your eBooks into an eLibrary, and to annotate pages.
Adobe Digital Editions supports more than 50 eReaders, including the Sony Readers and the Barnes & Noble Nook. In addition to supporting ePub, Adobe Digital Editions also supports PDF.
If you use Amazon Kindle, you need to link to the preferred third-party retailer for DRM eBooks. The same applies if you use Blio, or Scholastic apps.
As eBook technology is constantly changing, we strongly recommend that you check with the manufacturer to see if your device is compatible before buying an eBook from [Insert Publisher Name] (see ‘>Where can I find out more about these reading devices?’).
You can install Adobe Digital Editions on your system in several ways. The simplest is to visit the installer page on the Adobe Digital Editions site, from which you can install the software.
To install Adobe Digital Editions on a Windows PC:
To install Adobe Digital Editions on an Apple Mac:
When the installation is complete, Adobe Digital Editions will open.
Alternatively, you might be asked to install Adobe Digital Editions when buying or borrowing an eBook from another site, in which case the installation will be part of the download process.
After installation, you’ll be asked to activate Adobe Digital Editions. During activation, you’ll have the option to create an Adobe User ID. If you don't have an Adobe ID, creating one is free and takes less than a minute. An Adobe ID enables you to transfer DRM-protected eBooks between multiple reading devices and restore them after a data loss or system reinstallation (see ‘What is DRM?’). If you don’t create an Adobe ID, the software will still download but you will not be able to download any eBooks until the User ID is created.
Once you’ve downloaded Adobe Digital Editions, it will appear on your desktop as a new icon. The default setting is that it will open automatically every time you download an eBook from [Insert Publisher Name].
Once you have bought an eBook from [Insert Publisher Name] (and have installed Adobe Digital Editions), the eBook will be ready to download. It will be held in your ‘My Account’ section, which you will receive a link to via email after completing the ‘Checkout’ process. (See ‘How do I install Adobe Digital Editions?’ and ‘What are the main features of the My Account area?’)
In the ‘My Account’ area, you will see all the eBook titles you’ve downloaded from [Insert Publisher Name], with the most recent listed at the top. You will also see a ‘Download’ button, which you use to download the eBook you’ve just bought.
You'll be able to download a DRM protected ebook from [Insert Publisher Name] a maximum of three times without incurring any additional charge. Thereafter, if you want download it a fourth time will need to purchase the eBook again!
If you have any problems downloading an eBook that you’ve bought from [Insert Publisher Name], please contact us.
This depends on your computer's Internet connection. With a typical broadband speed of about 7 Mbps, it should take just a few seconds. You can check your download speed by contacting your broadband supplier.
Bluefire Reader is an e-reading application for ePUB and PDF eBooks. It is used by eBookstores and libraries around the world including ours and it allows you to read eBooks with or without DRM on your iOS device or Android tablet. All the user has to do is authorize the app with a free Adobe ID and sync books either through iTunes or Dropbox to get them in the library. Since the app supports Adobe’s digital rights scheme this is also one of the few apps that can access eBooks on loan from public libraries.
Working out the whole DRM thing can be confusing so we recommend that you view the short User Guide included within the app. Its very helpful and takes you through the simple steps you need to follow in order to start reading your eBook.
Like other eReading applications and software the Bluefire Reader has a few features that are designed to enhance your reading experience. In our opinion the Bluefire delivers a pleasing, no-nonsense reading experience. You can personalise your reading experience by changing colour themes, line spacing, font choices, and more. You can also create and browse through notes, highlights and bookmarks.
You can read your eBooks on your computer or you can transfer them to other reading devices. To transfer DRM eBooks from your computer to your eReader, smartphone and/or tablet, in most cases you need to follow this procedure:
If you have any queries about transferring your eBooks to reading devices, we recommend that you contact the relevant device manufacturer (see ‘Where can I find out more about these reading devices?’)
An eLibrary is where you store your eBooks on your computer. It is therefore also a back-up for all books on your other reading devices.
With [Insert Publisher Name], every time you buy and download an eBook, it is automatically stored in your eLibrary, which is in the ‘My Account’ section (see ‘What are the main features of the My Account area?’).
The eBook remains on your computer unless you manually delete it. You can re-download your eBook through your ‘My Account’ section. All eBooks you’ve bought from [Insert Publisher Name] in the past 3 months are displayed in this section, and you can also view your entire eLibrary of titles bought from [Insert Publisher Name].
You can access all eBooks you’ve bought from [Insert Publisher Name] at any time by logging into your ‘My Account’ area (see ‘What are the main features of the My Account area?’).
Publishers of some eBooks allow you to print a limited number of pages or all pages, depending on the book. This is built into the DRM (see ‘What is DRM?’). You will need to check with the publisher of the book from which you’d like to print pages.
If the ebook is protected by DRM then you are limited to six devices. Each device needs to be registered on your Adobe ID in order to be allowed to have a DRM-protected eBook on it (see ‘What is DRM?’). If the eBook is DRM free then there is no limit to the number of devices onto which you can download it.
[Insert Publisher Name] will allow you to download the same eBook title three times, at no additional cost. For example, you might want to download a copy onto your desktop, tablet and smartphone. Thereafter, if you want download it a fourth time will need to purchase the eBook again!
Yes, to buy eBooks from [Insert Publisher Name], you do need to open an account with us. The benefits of having a [Insert Publisher Name] account (‘My Account’) are:
The ‘My Account’ area is divided into: