I have just started to explore book market for English literature. I found that all of the big sellers use DRM. It's extremely inconvenient for me, as I have gotten used to the DRM-free Russian Ebook site (litres).

Is there a DRM-free bookshop with a reasonable stock of English books?


After a quick google I have found this website.

It suggests the following sources for DRM-free books:

  • Lulu
  • Calibre Open books
  • Smashwords
  • OpenBooks
  • Leanpub

I hope this helps you :)

  • 1
    Thanks. Unfortunately, they provide a rather limited number of titles... Probably, current dreaded state of the English-language book market is a fact of life. DRM is everywhere and that's all. I still have trouble to get used that people value freedom and ignore DRM existence at the same time... – George Shuklin Sep 7 '18 at 12:53
  • I agree, it is maddening. I think Amazon's market dominance, plus the commitment of the biggest NY publishers to favor DRM solutions discourages people from selling in alternate channels. – idiotprogrammer Sep 10 '18 at 2:22
  • @GeorgeShuklin smashwords has almost half a million books. I am not sure how that is a limited number of titles. – James Jenkins Sep 15 '18 at 8:23

There are actually lots of sources for books that are DRM-free.

Some provide free books (i.e. books that you do not have to pay for), and others are just publishers who choose to sell books without DRM, and trust you for not giving away copies, since they need to sell the books to make a living. It may also be authors who sell or give their books directly on the Internet.

For example, many retailers like Kobo, Smashwords or Amazon have most books for sale, but also have books available for free. Both kinds may be with or without DRM. Amazon uses private standards which, though not DRM stricto-sensu, may be very inconvenient for some users (such as myself, using Linux and Android) unless you run Windows or a Mac.

Where to look depends very much on the kind of books you are looking for. For example, I am interested in science fiction in English and classical literature in French.

Sites I would recommend for a start are Project Gutenberg and Internet Archive (see sites: Project Gutenberg - Internet Archive)

Macmillan is a major publisher who sells a lot of books without DRM. A lot of smaller publishers do that too (such as Baen, Phoenix Pick, Wildside Press and others in Science Fiction and Fantasy). Most occasionally give books away for free.

Book bundles sellers, such as HumbleBundle and StoryBundle, sell bundles of books that are usually DRM-free (in several years I encountered only one bundle that was under some kind of DRM control, and the seller actually accepted to reimburse me with no fuss). These can be very interesting sources of good books that are otherwise sold only with DRM. And they are usually rather cheap, compared to their standard price.

Most books in the public domain can be found for free and/or without DRM if you look hard enough.

Note that when books have no hard DRM (the kind that may be bothering you), they may still have watermarks, i.e. unique identifiable characteristics, so that the origin can be traced when those books are not supposed to be redistributed by the purchaser.


Ebooks.com has plenty in their DRM-free section. You can also filter your searches by DRM-free content.


Baen Books and Tor publish without DRM.

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