Aussie Readers discussion

You and Your Books! > Where do you buy your paperbooks and ebooks??

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message 1: by Tara (new)

Tara (mrstarax) | 16 comments Hi everyone
since this group is for Aussie good reads members i wanted to ask- where does everyone buy their books?
any great stores/online stores that you recommend?
I am currently finding the book depository online store is pretty good

message 2: by Mandapanda (last edited Aug 14, 2010 09:33AM) (new)

Mandapanda I'm an ebook devotee these days unless it's a big non fiction book. I try to buy the ebooks direct from the authors if they have their own sites, or from the smaller publishers. Lastly I buy from Diesel Ebook Store or Amazon. Smaller publishing groups are flourishing these days with ebooks.

I don't have a particular physical bookstore I like but in general I love those stores where you can buy a coffee and sit around reading what you've bought.

I have quite a few "owned" books on my goodreads shelves (mostly PNR) which I'm happy to lend to Australian GR members.

message 3: by Joel (new)

Joel Huan | 3 comments I buy them from Dymock!

message 4: by John (new)

John (onemack) | 3 comments ninety percent of my book purchases are now ebooks (at least two a week) I have taken to buying from Borders Australia in the last months but I get some from Amazon and some from Sony, with occasional purchases from Waterstones and WH Smith. Dymocks is far too expensive in comparison to either overseas or other local suppliers

message 5: by Tara (new)

Tara (mrstarax) | 16 comments does anyone know of affordable online book stores in Australia?

message 6: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda I don't, but I haven't looked for a while. I tried to get ebooks through Dymocks when I first started reading ebooks but their range was appallingly limited and expensive. Hopefully we will see some independant Australian publishers enter the market because of the low overhead costs of ebooks.

message 7: by hollyishere (new)

hollyishere I get all my books from The Book Depository, free postage and cheap prices, woo!

message 8: by John (new)

John (onemack) | 3 comments Borders and Angus & Robertson have online bookstores for both ebooks and hard copies, Borders offer quite a few bargains and postage rebates for the hardcopies in their weekly email. Some recently published Aus authjors such as P M Newton and Peter Temple are published in ebooks simultaneaously with the h/cover

message 9: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 306 comments Book Depository, both sites, are my fav for paper and ebooks I buy from publishers, authors and places such as Omnilit (which also has - which isn't only romance).

I suggest if looking for the cheapest paper books you should check out Booko, which is a comparative site based here in Aus -

message 10: by Tara (new)

Tara (mrstarax) | 16 comments thanks for all the recommendations.
i am finding the book depository to be the cheapest i can find.
sometimes i find boooks in kmart and target are also cheap

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

About 90% of my books come from book depository these days - I have stopped checking booko because one or other of the BD sites is always the cheapest option. The only time it isn't is for Australian authors that haven't yet been published overseas - in those cases I usually end up at which has a flat shipping fee of $6 no matter how many books you order (so I save up my Aussie books and buy them all at once). Occasionally I will by one of these at a bricks & mortar dymocks store - but paying $33 for a new release paperback beens this doesn't happen very often (I can get 3 books for the same price at book depository)

message 12: by Wendy (last edited Aug 15, 2010 06:00PM) (new)

Wendy Palmer | 14 comments Mandy wrote: "Hopefully we will see some independant Australian publishers enter the market because of the low overhead costs of ebooks."

We're trying:
We aim to publish 4-6 DRM-free ebooks a year (though it's been a slow start...), but only in the SF/F area. We only publish Australian authors.

On-topic: I do a mix of paper and ebooks now, though I still find many ebooks to be expensive (more than the paperback...) and also because I mostly read on my iPhone Touch with Stanza, I can't buy DRM except through the Kindle, Kobo or Borders apps, all of which have their limitations.

For paper, I buy mostly from BD. The other day Borders online had a 30% off sale, and I picked out a bunch of books, then on a whim thought I would check BD for the same titles - it was still cheaper on almost every book even after the 30% discount. And of course postage is free. I don't like to not support Australian bookstores, but I also don't like wasting my book-buying budget.

message 13: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Wendy wrote: "Mandy wrote: "Hopefully we will see some independant Australian publishers enter the market because of the low overhead costs of ebooks."

We're trying:

Just purchased Bastard's Grace. Transaction went perfectly. thx!

message 14: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Palmer | 14 comments Mandy wrote: "Mandy wrote: "Just purchased Bastard's Grace. Transaction went perfectly. thx! "

Thanks Mandy! Email us if you have any problems with or feedback on the format. We test all our epubs/mobi files on various ereader devices or their simulators to make sure they work, but it can be hard to know exactly how they'll read once 'out in the wild'.

Also, we have a newsletter sign-up on the site if people want to be notifed of new releases as they come out.

message 15: by Adele (new)

Adele (turtil) | 169 comments I find Ebay really Good for bulk lots of books as well as single books. but i cannot go into a Big W without checking out its books section first. Borders is really good if your after a specific book. i'm also starting to like Borders Online. Just like Sandra, I also use you for my ebooks. You can get some good free ones from that site as well!
Another site i can reccomend is
it's cheaper than
oh and is good too (i don't have a store near me so i have to go online!)
oh and you can't go past Op shops and secondhand bookstores for bargain books.
Happy Shopping!!! (and Reading! of course)

message 16: by Bree (new)

Bree T (breeza82) | 9 comments I'm just about to start buying from the Book Depository, their prices are incredible. You can't beat booktopia during a sale, i buy 10-20 books for an average of $4 each when they're clearing out stock... I've also bought from The only time I would buy from a bricks and mortar store now is Borders just because I'm in there browsing and something catches my eye.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

I am a Book Depository convert - I love their pre-order bargains!

message 18: by Jem (new)

Jem  (toomanybooksforfaviourates) | 14 comments I don't buy books online. I stick with the good 'ol bookstores. I go to Borders and a small (but cute) book store near me. The people that work there have gotten to know me and put books they think I'll like aside for me - so its pretty nice.

message 19: by Sandra (new)

Sandra | 306 comments The personal touch is always great ··¤(`×[¤ Jem ¤:]×´)¤··

message 20: by Dee-Ann (new)

Dee-Ann | 644 comments Dangerously, there is an Angus and Robertson store near to where I work, which is on the way to where I get lunch ... thus I am always popping in and/or emailing them with requests and queries. Other than this, there are a few good second hand bookshops around, QBD bookstore, Dymocks but at times I have a lot of luck with Kmart and BigW which are significantly cheaper, though less personal. My friend recently introduced me to a bookstore called 'Absolutely' which is located in Cullen Bay which smells of incense but has a wonderful selected aray of books.

message 21: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Clyne | 5 comments I have to say I'm a bit old school still with books. I still like to have the actual book, I'm still becomeing quite curious about e-books though. Can someone please tell me how easy to share e-books are? I share books with a couple of friends and my family so it would be good to know that I can still do that. I recently started frequenting Reader's Feast. Very friendly and helpful staff and they have a nice loyalty program.

message 22: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Victoria wrote: "I have to say I'm a bit old school still with books. I still like to have the actual book, I'm still becomeing quite curious about e-books though. Can someone please tell me how easy to share e-b..."

Lending ebooks is definitely problematic. You can download an ebook to several different devices (e.g. PC, iPhone, iTouch, ereaders, iPad). But lending someone an electronic device that costs several hundred dollars is harder than lending a paperback! Barnes & Noble have an ebook lending program but I believe it's only available between Nook owners (Nook is type of ereader, not yet available in Australia I think). Libraries in Australia already have digital books you can borrow. But the range is very poor at this stage and I'm not sure how it works yet. Ebooks are such an new technology that it will take a while to work out all these problems. But I think they are the way of the future. The world could certainly do with a lot less paper consumption. Lots of ebook users complain about not being able to lend their books to friends so I'm sure the problem is being worked on. Perhaps other ebook users can add something to this discussion. :)

message 23: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Tyley (vickityley) | 1732 comments I read mostly ebooks, so I don't buy many paperbacks/hardbacks these days but check out:

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I use the Book Depository, too. The free postage is such a winner. if the currancy conversion is in our favour then the books are much cheaper than in Australia.

message 26: by Jem (new)

Jem  (toomanybooksforfaviourates) | 14 comments I have never read an e-book (which is kinda ironic since I'm a teenager and that we are stereo-typically glued to our electronics). I'm old fashioned too, I like having the actual book there, physically, so I can read it.

message 27: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 123 comments I use Basement Books at Central station (Devonshire St tunnel) for cheap pick ups (they have a website too)- especially classics and crime fiction; also harder to get older books from Abe books

message 28: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments I only tend to buy ebooks these days. and are my favourites right now.

message 29: by Anna (new)

Anna | 10 comments Unless we buy at least some of our books from regular bookshops, they'll close and we'll lose the variety of choice. The big stores stock only a limited number of books and very few backlist books.

I like to have a wide choice of books, since I read three a week, as well as writing three novels a year. Yes, I'm addicted to stories!

message 30: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 123 comments It would be very hard to replace the pleasure of browsing a bookshop without a particular purpose - I rarely leave without making a purchase. I went to Kinokuniya in Sydney the other day for the first time - a really nice place to browse!

message 31: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I love browsing through a traditional bookshop too, but you have to realistic. The corner bookstore is an anachronism and only hanging on in Oz because we are two decades behind the times, as usual. In the end, ebooks will be taking over for much of the market. They have already wiped out a lot of technical and scientific magazines and there are whole sectors of the book market in the US (the ones with mostly female readers) where they already dominate. I am a convert and have a lot of free or cheap stuff on my ereader.
I am frustrated by the mainstream publishers releasing bestselling ebooks for the same price as paper copies. That's just robbery, and they must be making an absolute fortune as a result.

message 32: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I'll just add another comment. I have an American efriend who is widely published and I recently saw one of her US books for sale in Townsville for $7. Given the iniquitous discounts our retailers demand, and the cost of freighting the book to OZ plus my friend's cut... how do they do it?
I guess by emptying US warehouses of slow moving and remaindered titles, stuffing them into a container and dumping them on our market. That might be good news for readers, but it puts immense pressure on local writers. There is no way I can put a book into the shops for $7.

message 33: by Anna (new)

Anna | 10 comments Jacqueline, you're so right that they're dumping US books cheaply on Aussie markets, which isn't fair to Aussie writers.

However, I don't think ebooks will replace 'real' books, just cut down the numbers sold an offer an alternative format.

I shan't go over to ebooks for most of my reading for one simple reason. If I love a book I want to keep it and read it again over the years. The speed with which technology changes means this probably wouldn't be possible with an ebook version. It wasn't with my video collection! Boo hoo!

Also, I go to the UK every year and need a lot of reading material to cope with the sleepless loooong flight. I'd worry that an ebook reader might run out of battery if the flight were delayed, as has happened to us several times, giving us a 48 hour journey. I don't think there's two days' worth of battery if you're reading solidly - you may know that better than I do.

That said, I'm putting up my out of print titles as ebooks, my Shannah Jay SF/F series and one of my historical romances at Smashwords, and a regency romance at It's going to be interesting to see how they sell.

My publisher has put up my historical sagas as ebooks too but they've been slow taking off.

We're all fumbling through these changes, readers, booksellers, writers and publishers together. Good luck to us!

message 34: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Anna, just being in ebooks does not help sales, believe me! Mind you, that is because ebook-only publishers generally don't do sales and promotion, so only the fans of the publisher and the author actually buy.

My ereader's battery is good for 7000 page turns. Before I go on holiday I stock up with classics, freebies and some regularly purchased titles. I find I have to plug it into a computer for an hour or so about once a week. As to whether your books keep, well, they are firstly stored on my computer as .pdf or other files and then I copy them across to the ereader. I can back up my computer files how ever I like. I like 'real' books too and I am not about to dump my old friends, but the convenience and cheapness of ebooks is irresistible.

message 35: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments My ebook reader lasts two weeks, 3-5 hours a day usage, much page-turning. I think it'd last 48 hours easily. That said, it depends on the ebook reader - anything with wifi, 3G internet or an LCD screen will chew through the battery much faster.

Jacqueline, I agree on the ebook angle. The odd thing is, MORE people seem to be reading since ebooks started gaining popularity. The number of people I see reading on the train has actually increased. I've had a few people mention that they got back into reading via a mobile phone app. And woohoo! It might not be the case that ebooks will just take market from pbooks - they might create NEW markets.

I didn't bother even trying publishers with my books. They're the wrong size, one is thoroughly the wrong style... *shrug* I'd prefer to get in on the ground floor with the ereader crowd. That's how much I believe in the future of ebooks. :-)

That said, I can't imagine paperbooks ever disappearing entirely. There'll always be a market, I think.

Anna, one reason I jumped at the chance to convert to ebooks is that I'm hard on my paperbacks, and I read my favourites over and over. I just bought all the available ebooks in Katharine Kerr's Deverry series because I keep having to replace the darn paperbacks. I've had 3-4 copies of some of them over the 20 years that series has been going! My other big reason, apart from not appreciating moving umpteen boxes of books every couple of years, is that this way I always have a book at hand to read. The occasions of a flat battery are so fewer than the 'oh no, finished that one, where's something else I can read?' panics 5 seconds before walking out the door. I LOVE my ebook reader. :-)

PS. Hope I'm not coming across as combative. That's not my intention.

message 36: by Anna (new)

Anna | 10 comments You're not coming across as combative, Naomi, just stating your point of view.

I'm glad to hear that this generation of ereaders last much longer than previous ones. Will remember that. There are some books I buy and enjoy but know I won't want to read again afterwards eg the Mills & Boon medical romances.

But we'd have to buy two ereaders because dh and I pass books to and from. He has some I don't want to read and I have some he doesn't want to read, but we have a solid core of shared books at the centre.

We both adored 'Major Pettigrew takes a stand'. Have you read it? I love quirky books.

And now, I should get back to my writing. Stop saying interesting things, please, and tempting me!

message 37: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda This is all so fascinating reading what our authors think of the new ebook market and changes in sales of books. I had no idea that the situation of US books being dumped cheaply on our market existed. They certainly know how to market their stuff too. The sheer volume coming onto our market must overwhelm local sales. I agree with what Naomi said. I work with lots of young students and they all have the ereader apps on their iphones. They are certainly reading more than they used too because you have the book at your disposal anytime, anywhere.

message 38: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Over in the US, the ebook market is driven by women. They took to ebooks early on, spurring the growth of many small epublishers specialising in various aspects of romance. And many women discovered a taste for naughty romance this way - much less confronting than taking something really sexy to the checkout of your local bookshop.

The bigger publishers have eventually got onto the wagon, and people like Mills & Boon are doing very well, thank you.

Of course, once you have an ereader, you want to have everything available. Mainstream bestsellers are now available, but at very high prices considering there are no printing or distribution costs. You can imagine publishers are raking it in.

Anna, ref lending books. If you buy an ebook from, say, Fictionwise, they ask you to nominate 4 devices you can read it on. For instance, your desktop, laptop, ereader and one more. That one could be a friend's ereader...

message 39: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Tyley (vickityley) | 1732 comments "Anna, just being in ebooks does not help sales, believe me! Mind you, that is because ebook-only publishers generally don't do sales and promotion, so only the fans of the publisher and the author actually buy."

Ummm, I have to disagree. My novel, Thin Blood, sold over 25,000 copies and was #1 Kindle mystery in the Amazon bestseller list (#6 ALL paid Kindle books). My next novel, Sleight Malice, has been out for a week and is selling well, too. I'm doing very well, thank you very much. :)


message 40: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Good for you, Vicki. I should have said 'does not automatically help sales'. I have books with two US ebook only publishers and they both expect someone else (i.e. me) to do all the promotion. I got caught in the year long period when Amazon stopped selling ebooks prior to their grab for the whole market through the Kindle, and that hurt.

message 41: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Tyley (vickityley) | 1732 comments A number of writers I know are buying back their digital rights and doing very well going the self-pub route. Do you follow J A Konrath's blog? He's considered an Indie pioneer/guru.


message 42: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) I have gone to self-published paperback in Australia only (for the moment) and our regulations allow that to work on relatively small sales. Would work a lot better if I could get a decent distributor...

message 43: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Tyley (vickityley) | 1732 comments Yes, part of the problem is that Australia is such a small market. Ebooks have brought the world to us and us to them. :)

message 44: by Naomi (last edited Aug 25, 2010 04:55PM) (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments Anna wrote: "You're not coming across as combative, Naomi, just stating your point of view.
But we'd have to buy two ereaders because dh and I pass books to and from. He has some I don't want to read and I have some he doesn't want to read, but we have a solid core of shared books at the centre.

Good to hear that I'm not coming across as looking for a fight. I get passionate about my ebooks, is all. ;-)

My husband needs an ebook reader too. He knows better than to even attempt to pry mine from my fingers, even when I'm fast asleep. :-)

I haven't read Major Pettigrew. I'll have to look it up. Get back to your writing, I'll be boring, promise! ;-)

I HAVE noticed a lot of women adopting the ebook readers. Romance and erotica are certainly selling well, from what I can see.

PS. Vicki does, regularly, turn me green with envy. Bright green, too, not some delicate pastel shade.

message 45: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Anna wrote: We both adored 'Major Pettigrew takes a stand'. Have you read it? I love quirky books."

Anna are you talking about Major Pettigrew's Last Stand?

message 46: by Jacqueline (last edited Aug 26, 2010 09:33PM) (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Zosia, I think you fail to appreciate that Australia is actually on another planet - at least as far the US is concerned. I have been caught with the ebook ban too. I think it is a relic of the old Empire way of limiting trade. It would not be so bad if the Brist and Aussies could only set up some comprehensive ebook sites of their own.

I agree about the ridiculous prices we are forced to pay for books, but that does not stop me exploiting the situation to get my books on the shelves. I would never manage it in the UK or US because printing costs would take nearly all of the low sales price. Perhaps their retailers and distributors are not quite so greedy.

By the way, is that a good Polish name you have?

message 47: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Kramer (nomesque) | 66 comments Ebook geographic restrictions are getting better and worse all at once. Companies are taking them seriously and cracking down on the workarounds - but more publishers are getting their books out in electronic form, too.

Smashwords is completely geographic-restriction-free (but indie authors and small publishers only).

KoboBooks does a decent job of telling you that something's not available in your region BEFORE you buy it (doesn't sound like much until the tenth experience with getting to checkout - or beyond! - and finding out half your selection is restricted).

Borders Australia and Angus&Robertson stock only ebooks available to Australia.

message 48: by H.J. (new)

H.J. Harper (hjharper) Hello all!

Just thought I'd weigh in on where to buy non e-books. Before I started working in bookstores, I used to be completely of the mindset that wherever I could get the cheapest books would be where I shopped.

Then I got my first job in a large chain bookshop, and I completely changed my attitude.

The reason so many of the large chains can charge less for their books is because they pay their staff minimum wage and treat them like dirt. I have spoken to many, many people who have worked for the chain I worked for (I won't name it, but you can probably guess, and besides, all the chains are more or less the same) and not a single person had a positive experience. You're worked to the bone, with no support for $15 an hour. And you quickly come to realise - the reason the Front of Store books (i.e. the bestsellers out the front) are so cheap is because they have started the practice of putting up their backlist (i.e. all the books on the shelves) by 10% more than RRP. These stores are not in the market of selling books, they're selling product, and a great big hefty slice of their profits go to overseas board members.

I now have the absolute fortune of working in an independent bookstore, where the people running it actually have a passion for books and it shows. Books are never, ever sold for more than RRP, in fact, they're often discounted for the same price as the chains.

There is a prevailing myth that Indie bookshops are more expensive, but trust me, nothing is further from the truth. I've never known a good indie bookshop to put their prices higher than the RRP, because they're not just in it to make money. The staff are usually more helpful and happier because they're treated better and paid more, so you're going to have a far better experience as a customer. And as for the profits? At the end of the year, whatever extra profits our store makes comes back to all of the staff in the form of a bonus, rather than going to a group of anonymous wealthy shareholders.

But, no, at the end of the day, physical bookshops can't compete with online prices, and most people will always go with cheaper prices.

I just really worry when the lowest cost is all people think about. Because an author has actually spent at least two years of their time (at a bare minimum) writing the book in your hands. It's a long, long process, and they usually won't get paid an amount that's commensurate with the time they've taken to write the books. And when we buy books through places where they're heavily discounted, especially overseas stores, the money doesn't stay in Australia. The author gets even less money for their time, and in some cases, nothing at all depending on how much the book has been discounted. Sadly, the less we support the Australian book industry, the less they'll be able to offer in terms of Australian talent, which is a real shame.

I'm always amazed when I hear people complaining about the cost of a $30 book. Because that's easily less than a nice meal which will last maybe an hour. It's less than two movie tickets which will last two hours. But a book? That's pleasure for at least a week. And more than that, it's something someone has spent years on, for a payrate that will probably work out to be waaaaaaaay below minimum wage, but they do it because they love it.

Sorry, I know how ranty this is getting, and you've all probably stopped reading this after the second sentence, but if you love reading, and I presume we all do since we're on this wonderful site, next time you think about buying a book, try to ask yourself if you think the author deserves to be paid fairly, and above all, if the price of a week of reading pleasure is worth $30 or even $40.

I hope most people would agree it is.

Thanks for listening, rant is over now! :-)

message 49: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline George (jacquelinegeorge) Go Holly! Next time you're in Cooktown, I'll buy you a great coffee which you can drink looking out to sea over the Endeavour River mouth.

Riverina Romantics (riverinaromantics) I found the cheapest site to be I originally started out at but the .com website is a fair bit cheaper...not sure why as they are sent from the same location.

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