Updated 09/1/2010

Do you know where you can find free ePub publications for your eReader, especially the Nook?

Earlier this year, I shared eReader Indecision.  After hemming and hawing about the monumental decision to abandon print, switch to eBooks, and selecting an eBook reader I could afford, I finally made a decision and ordered the Barnes and Noble Nook Wi-Fi. (Here’s one of the reasons why I didn’t get a Kindle…lack of format support, such as for ePub…no iPad because I just don’t see folks spending that much money for etextbooks). I’m hoping I didn’t totally make a mistake but only hands-on experience and time will tell. Also, I’m hoping that the Nook Wi-Fi will be something that will work well in a school environment where 3G access isn’t necessarily encouraged (potential CIPA violations).

Veteran “nooker” Bud Hunt shared a few Twitter direct messages with me about the Nook and its benefits. One of the ones he mentioned was support for a variety of ebook formats, some of which are included in the list below.

Here’s the list that I know of so far that works with the Nook, as well as links to book providers of that format. There are others but I’ve excluded the ones that “charge” for books (or tried to).

There are a ton of ebook sources online in a rich variety of formats, all for free (avoid that price-fixing!). And, of course, you can load PDFs on your eReader (Kindle or Nook). 

Another possibility is creating your own ePub publications…have to give more thought to that, but what a fascinating concept. And, if you format your creations in ePub, there’s bound to be an audience (if not a market) for your work.

You can also convert content for use on your Nook using a  free, open source tool known as Calibre.

Calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. It has a cornucopia of features.

Again, I’m amazed at the power of Calibre, a free open source ebook converter and manager, that converts to a variety of formats, including support for a variety of eReaders:

No matter what eReader you get, Calibre is a MUST HAVE software program.

It’s pretty amazing in that you get a preview of the cover of the book…watch a demo of how Calibre works online (Requires YouTube access). You can also see screenshots online…here’s what one screen looks like:

Content loaded into Calibre is ALL FREE. As a grade 6-12 student, I would have been in heaven with this many “books” available to read.

Sending data to your eReader is a cinch…

Note that you can right click on and convert books to a variety of formats…ePub works great on Nook and iPad:

So, the Nook makes a great inexpensive eReader solution that is MORE open than Kindle. Add Calibre to the mix, though, and you can pick your eReader of choice since you can convert to anything you want!

Update 09/06/2010: Thanks to Wes Fryer for compiling a list of ePub creation tools:

  1. Calibre (free, Mac / Windows / Linux)
  2. ePub2Go (free, web-based converter)
  3. Zamzar (free, web-based converter)
  4. ePubBud (free, web-based converter)
  5. Stanza (free, Mac and Windows)
  6. Pages (commercial, Mac only)

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure