My personal eBook library contains a little over fifteen hundred books. This library is totally under my control. It holds books I’ve bought from various sources over the years, mostly from Kindle. It is available to me wherever I am. It can be loaded into any device or reading app which supports EPUB format. Most reading devices and reading apps support EPUB. In fact, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks use EPUB format.
For your collection of books to be truly yours, it must reside in a location of your choice. It must be usable by any reading app you choose, in the device of your choice. It must be accessible anywhere you go and anytime. No seller has access to it or the right to remove it from you. You bought your books, not rented them.
Before you can do anything to a book file, you must transfer a copy of it to your computer. I work on a PC running Windows 10. Most of my books are Kindle, but I do have books from other sellers and sources.
Kindle books are easily transferred to your computer. Kobo also makes it easy to transfer books. Barnes & Noble has made it very difficult by removing their Nook desktop app. I no longer buy their books because of this. Apple also makes it difficult to transfer your books out of their domain.
In order to liberate your books, you must address the removal of DRM from them. DRM are coded locks the seller uses to limit your control of the book. DRM removal is not illegal. In some cases, such as removing DRM from library loans, it is unethical and morally wrong.
Each book seller uses different DRM methods. There are many articles online which address DRM removal tools, and I advise you to do a little research on the topic. There are apps which claim to remove different types of DRM. Most of them you have to buy and seldom do they work on every seller.
I use Calibre with DRM Removal plugins. Both the app and the plugins are free, open source. I use Calibre version 6.1.0 Created by Kovid Goyal. There are newer versions, but this one has worked perfectly for me. Install the Calibre app as you install any other download. Be careful to choose the 64 bit for a 64 bit system.
Calibre is free and safe to use. It is capable of creating an incredible library with myriad management tools. You’ll love it! Calibre, with the right plugins, will remove the DRM from most books. It works especially well with Kindle books as well as Kobo and Nook. It will not work with iBooks.
EPubor is also a popular DRM removal tool for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Adobe Digital Editions. It has a limited free edition, but you must buy the paid version for full capability. Again, it does not remove Apple DRM. At the time of this writing, their Ultimate Edition was on sale for $24.99 (reg $59.99)
In my opinion, the most difficult DRM to remove is Apple DRM. There are few options for Apple DRM. You can buy a DRM removal tool specific to Apple books. Since I have never used it, I cannot vouch for it, but you can visit the website and read the reviews. It’s for Mac’s only and costs $30. If your library has many iBooks, it may be money well spent.
To liberate your eBook collection, you must transfer a copy of your books out of the seller’s control and then remove the DRM restriction. Not all books have DRM. I do not choose to add DRM to the novels I’ve published. All traditionally published books are sold with DRM restrictions. Publishers insist on it.
Once your books are free of DRM, they are truly yours. You can change their format, open them in other apps, move them to other directories, etc. In this post I tell you what needs doing. In my next post, I will tell you how to do it!
Next post: Downloading your Kindle books to your computer.