Kindle, eReaders and eBooks in South Africa – Frequently Asked Questions

Posted on July 21, 2011

Many visitors to this site arrive through search queries. People looking for information about which Kindle to buy, where to get the Kindle in SA, features that work (or don’t) and similar. There are also many people looking for answers about eBooks.

Previous posts cover some of these answers. To make it easier to access this information from one place I have started a FAQ to deal with common questions and answers (and links to previous posts). This will grow over time.  Enjoy, and feel free to post any further questions,  I will answer as best I can.

The direct link to the FAQ is : http://j-j.co.za/ebooks-faq/ otherwise find it on the menu at the top of the page.

Buying eBooks in South Africa

Posted on June 19, 2011

There are a number of different eBook stores you can make use of in South Africa and abroad. Here we look at some of the features and pricing of these stores.

I list Angry Robot first as they are DRM free, and then the rest of the SA based bookstores. Amazon can never be excluded as so many have Kindles (awesome reader) and their reach is so wide (Kindle software works on so many devices).

  • Angry Robot (UK Based) – Good source of Sci Fi books. The only one of the stores listed that don’t DRM your books (big big plus). You can read them on any of your devices (use Calibre to convert them if you need another format).  Support them.
  • Kalahari.net – Wide range of books, including local South African titles. Prices not always great, do a match with Amazon first before buying. Mostly in ePub Adobe Editions (DRM) format. They have their own “Beta software” reader which you are pushed into using. It’s OK but nothing special and not close to the Kindle.
  • Amazon.com (USA Based) – Wide range of books, not too many South African books. We are relegated to buying from the “Africa” region store which prices books $2 about the USA price and restricts us from buying many of the latest titles. Titles come in Kindle format, with DRM. Many devices support kindle software, including iPad/phone/touch, Android devices, Blackberries etc.
  • Exclusives online – Mixed selection of ebooks. Also uses Adobe DRM, though you use the standard Adobe client rather than a customised version (as per Kalahari). Seems slightly cheaper than Kalahari. See examples below.
  • Little White Bakkie – A site focussed on African ebooks. Again it uses Adobe DRM through digital editions and like Exclusives you use the standard Adobe client. Our test book , The Girl who kicked the hornet’s nest, was not available and books seemed to generally sell for between R120 and R200 which is a little pricey for ebooks, though on par with Kalahari.
  • eBookDiva – A site focused on Romance fiction. Yes, they have Mills & Boon, as well as all sorts of other romance novels. Prices range from R210 for a set of 3 Mills & Boon to much cheaper less known authors. They have 1615 titles under R45 and 165 under R20. If this is your thing check them out. It also seems you can write your own books and get them published. Haven’t checked this out in any detail.  As with most of the other South African sites their books are in the Adobe (DRM) ePub format.

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