Buying ebooks is different from buying print books. You are much more tied with the ebookstore as it’s also giving you the access to your virtual bookshelf with all the titles you’ve bought.
Does comparing ebook prices between different sources make sense, then?
Definitely yes. There are at least three instances you may want to use the tools described in this post:
1. You are about to decide which ereader to buy – which is very strongly related to which ebookstore will be your primary source of ebooks. Checking prices of a device is one thing, but it’s also reasonable to check the prices of the books you’re planning to buy.
2. You own a tablet (or a smartphone) and have a couple of ereading applications installed, like Kindle, Kobo or Nook. You have accounts in all those ebookstores. It doesn’t matter which app you’ll pick to read a new book. You want to buy this book for the lowest possible price.
3. You are using price alert tools as you don’t want to overpay for the ebooks you buy. You can compare prices in different ebookstores, set up an alert at the lowest level found and wait until a bargain offer comes.
Price comparison tools are also a great way to check the general price level of ebooks comparing to print books, for instance the ones you have already bought.
This innovative site compares prices from as much as 34 sources, including Kindle Store, Kobo, B&N, Lulu, iBookstore, Smashwords as well as free ebook sites (Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, Feedbooks).
You can search by title, author or keyword. You can narrow your search only to free ebooks. This can be done by clicking a separate button next to search box.
On a front page you have direct links to lists of current free ebooks from major ebookstores. This way you can find and add free titles to your device or app from a primary ebookstore, not as third-party.
Each title on a search results page is accompanied with the information about how many sources offer the book, the list of supported devices and a first line of description. The price shown is the lowest found.
You have several tools to narrow down and sort your search. You can pick up a price range or select results by content type (i.e. textbooks, audiobooks), device and average rating.
Luzme is as simple and friendly as Inkmesh. You can search books by author, title or ISBN.
Search results are displayed in groups: book series, authors and suggestions of particular titles. Tip: it’s good to type author’s full name or the full title of the book to get most relevant results. Otherwise the list of suggestions may be too long.
On a book page you’ll see buying options split into two currency sections: GBP and USD. You also have information about available ebook formats. You’ll see whether the book has Adobe DRM. What is especially helpful, also regional restrictions are listed, so that you can immediately know whether the book is available in your country.
Another helpful option is the information about the date of a latest price check, so that you can be aware of a possible price change if you move to a bookstore.
The site is a bit slower than Inkmesh and it doesn’t have that advanced search features, but it’s a great way to compare prices and availability for readers in different countries.