Ways to Read DRM-Free

The idea for this post came to me as I was searching for blog posts or articles on the latest in the DRM battle. I hoped that I could read library e-books without Adobe Digital Editions (the software required to download library books) collecting information such as how long I read a book and what percentage of a book I read. This, by the way, is in ADDITION to the regular information that is gathered by many apps these days: your IP address, your device ID, your account ID, and the app you use.

For those of you who don’t know what it is, DRM stands for Digital Rights Management – and it’s the protocol set in place that is supposed to prevent book piracy. The American Library Association explains the issues better. For the 101 course, go here. Interested in joining the fight against DRM? See Defective By Design.

Personally, I don’t see myself forgoing entirely reading library e-books or downloading free review copies from NetGalley and Edelweiss that have DRM and require me to use a program that makes me uncomfortable. However, I will continue to increase my vigilance when I make e-book purchases.

Collected below are ten resources you may find useful in your own search for DRM-free content:

  1. Book View Cafe. I’ve mentioned this one before, and this probably won’t be the last time. A group of authors set up this site to sell their works directly to their readers, DRM-free. This means Big Brother isn’t peering through your e-reader screen, and it also means you often get the books at a discount.
  2. Closed Circle. I only just discovered this one, but as another site founded by three authors (one of them C.J. Cherryh!), and focusing on fantasy, it looks like an excellent place to search for DRM-free books by the three authors (that’s Cherryh, Lynn Abbey, and Jane Fancher).
  3. Tor/Forge. As of 2012, Tor/Forge began publishing its e-books without DRM. YES. Binti, The Last Witness, Domnall and the Borrowed Child, The Builders, and Witches of Lychford are on my to-read list.
  4. Calibre. Open-source e-reading app that it is, Calibre supports DRM-free. They even have a catalog online.
  5. Baen. Super publisher of science fiction and fantasy, Baen has published e-books without DRM for a while. They also have a Free Library!
  6. Project Gutenberg. The original. In Canada? They have it there, too.
  7. OpenBooks. With a business model that relies on the honor system, you read first and then pay the author according to how much you believe the book is worth.
  8. Double-Dragon Publishing. An e-book publisher that is included in Calibre’s library, but whose website says nothing about being DRM-Free, they have an interesting and unfamiliar list of titles.
  9. Kevinbenyon.com. This site lists a number of DRM-free online shops and publishers that are entirely new to me.
  10. BookReader. Lastly, here is a more comprehensive list of places to find DRM-Free books for purchase, and for free! Dive in, adventurers. Dive in.

Do you know of any resources for readers looking for DRM-free genre fiction? Share in the comments!

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