Enjoy your favourite authors and books in eBook format! Be inspired by our featured titles or browse our entire ebook catalogue. If you have any questions, help is at hand in our FAQs.
What is an eBook?
An ebook is a book that has been transferred to a digital copy to be read and stored on an ereader device (see 'What are e-readers?). They are also called e-books, electronic books, or digital books.
Ebooks can be purchased, freely downloaded or streamed from selected websites to an ereader device. In most cases an ebook file is saved permanently on the device, but some files can be set to be temporary (eg renting an ebook from your local library).
There are thousands of ebooks online, and they come in many types of files. Naturally, these files don't necessarily work on all of the devices, for example Amazon.com ebooks can't be read on Sony ereading devices.
The most common format of ebook is called an .epub. This is a type of file which is 'reflowable'; that is, the text adjusts in size and layout when presented on different sized screens. Most devices on the market can read these files and publishers prefer them as they can be protected by digital rights management (DRM) which ensures the book can't be copied, printed, swapped or pirated by third parties.
Another common format of ebook is .azw. This is a format made by Amazon.com whose DRM means it is exclusively for the Amazon Kindle reading device and like .epub also has reflowable text. Only Kindles are allowed to read these files, however Amazon have so many ebooks in their catalogue that it is rare that a new book is not available on their device.
The final common sort of file is the .pdf file. You probably already use these files on your home or work computer. While .pdf files may look like an ebook, they are not reflowable and are generally intended as a print file. .pdfs are often used as the best format for free books or illustration-heavy text books. However as these files can't be protected from piracy, printing or file transfer, they tend to not be used by publishers.
What is an e-reader?
What is a tablet?
Why buy an eBook?
eBooks can be stored on your computer or eBook reader and carried wherever you want. eBooks can be downloaded quickly, have features that allow you to search for text, look up words in a dictionary, and some readers allow you to make notes and some may contain extra content. If reading an eBook on a device connected to the internet, some hyperlinks could be active, and you will be able to click through to the link.
Why buy an ereader?
Everyone has differing reasons to read or not read e-books. There is certainly a large community of readers who simply can’t imagine putting down a traditional printed book in favour of a screen. However there are many benefits to e-readers which should be considered before giving them the cold shoulder:
Storage – without a doubt the most siginifcant benefit of an e-reader is their ability to store many hundreds of books in a small device. In the modern world, very few have space in their houses for libraries of books. An e-reader can be an invaluable de-clutter device particularly suited to apartment living and those who travel frequently.
Weight – Dedicated e-readers often weigh less than an average book. This makes them very portable and very helpful to those who are unable to lift much weight. As the technology and manufacturing improves, each subsequent generation has become lighter to hold and many are lighter than a traditional paperback.
Font (text) sizes – The font size is adjustable in e-books which is very useful for those with vision impairment.
Instant purchasing – ebooks can be purchased instantly from the minute of publication and are often cheaper than their paper counterparts.
Exclusive content – Some books (often short stories) are only available as digital ebooks. They can be a great way to stay in touch with your favourite authors and receive extra content, and a good way for authors to offer individual short stories to readers (in print books, short stories are often only available in compendiums of many short stories).
Stock levels – ebooks are never out of stock and assuming it's online, will never need to be out of print, so if you have a hankering for a title asap you'll always be able to get it fast.
Where can I purchase Random House eBooks and e-readers?
Our titles are available to New Zealanders through:
Click here to see a selection of the exciting eBook titles available.
How many eBooks does Random House New Zealand have?
We currently have approximately 10,000+ eBooks ready to read, including international and New Zealand titles, and an ongoing eBook program of new releases. Click here to see a selection of the exciting titles available now in eBook format!
What format are Random House New Zealand eBooks in?
Our eBooks are available in ePub format. An ePub (electronic publication) is a free and open eBook standard for 'reflowable' content, meaning that the text display can be optimized depending on the device or hardware being used. It has been embraced by most publishing and technology companies around the world.
Will Random House New Zealand release eBooks to coincide with the publication of the physical book?
Yes. Our goal is to minimise delay and to release eBooks at the same time as the new physical book hits bookshops, so that you have greater choice.
Will Random House New Zealand release illustrated eBooks?
Yes but currently we only have a limited range available. We are still investigating ways to publish more illustrated eBooks, including children's picture books, that will be of a high standard and hope to have more available shortly.
What price are Random House New Zealand eBooks?
The retail prices of our eBooks are displayed by retailers and may vary.
I can't find the book I want to buy in eBook format, why isn't it available?
At Random House our aim is to have all our books available to purchase in eBook format as quickly as possible. However, there are a number of processes that need to be completed before a book can be made into an eBook, including approval from the author and agent, conversion to the appropriate eBook format, and delivery to suppliers. Some of these processes can take longer than expected. If you would like more information on a particular title or author, please contact Customer Service at email@example.com or phone 09 441 2710.
Why is the book I want to buy available as an eBook in other countries, but not available in New Zealand?
Some books are published by various publishing companies throughout different regions of the world. Each company will have their own eBook publishing schedule and will need to seek approval from the author or agent to publish a book into eBook format in their particular region. At Random House our aim is to have all our books available to purchase in eBook format as quickly as possible, but we must first ensure that the appropriate author/agent approval is completed in order for the eBook conversion to take place. If you would like more information on a particular title or author, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What format of eBook is right for my device?
- epub ebook – most ereaders can use epub files, and most ebook retailers sell these.
- azw or Kindle ebook – Amazon bought ebooks only work on Amazon Kindles
- PDF – Not a true ebook. PDF's are print files that can be viewed on ereaders.
Can you print an eBook out?
No, the digital rights management of an eBook does not allow this.
Can you copy ebook files and share them?
No, generally you are not allowed or able to share ebook files or distribute ebooks where this contradicts the copyright of the title. Many online retailers allow you to gift ebooks though you will not get access to the file. Some files are free and can be freely copied in accordance to the publishers stipulations.
Can you gift ebooks?
Can you change languages within an ebook?
Are ebooks cheaper than their print cousins?
Glossary of ebook terms:
ebook or e-book, eBook, digital book; is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices.
eInk or electronic paper – A type of electronic paper used in many eReader screens. eInk screens have ultra low power consumption allowing the device to operate for a long time between charges (a whole month in some cases). As the screen reflects light rather than projects it (giving it a paper look); it is able to be read in direct sunlight. New versions of eInk screens such as eInk Pearl are touch screen capable. The latest type is eInk Triton which is in colour.
ereader – An e-book reader, also called an e-book device or e-reader, is a portable electronic device that is designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital books and periodicals.
File formats – There are many different types of eBook file. The main three are: .azw Amazon.com's file available for use only on Kindle .epub Open source file available to everyone and without DRM .pdf Adobe print file (doesn't deliver the true eBook experience such as font control)
Tablet or tablet computer, is a complete mobile computer, larger than a mobile phone or personal digital assistant, integrated into a flat touch screen and primarily operated by touching the screen.
Digital Rights Management or DRM – A term describing access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals to limit the use of digital content and devices. Amazon use DRM to restrict Amazon eBooks to Kindles only.
Reflowable text – certain digital formats of ebook are reflowable, meaning the text will change size and shape to fit any device used to view it. Font size can be increased or decreased for the comfort of the reader.