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eBooks help

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Frequently Asked Questions


What is an eBook?

The term eBook is short for electronic book. It's a digital format of any type of written material, including novels, graphic novels non-fiction, reference material and more.

eBooks can be read and stored on an eBook Reader, an electronic device that stores downloaded eBooks. WHSmith searched to find the perfect eBook Reader, and we found Kobo. Kobo's eBook Readers store up to 1,000 books and with optional SD and microSD memory cards on some models, you can increase that to a whopping 30,000 titles to carry with you wherever you go

eBooks bought from Kobo can also be read on tablets, smartphones and computers - but eBook Readers are designed just for reading eBooks, so you'll probably find them the most enjoyable device to read eBooks on. They feature technology that make the reading experience pleasurable and easy, including screens that look increasingly like standard book pages.

Kobo's eBook Readers are also slim and compact, making them ideal when space and storage of books is an issue.


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Why should I try eBooks?

Anyone with a passion for books should try eBooks because eBooks and eReaders have been developed with you in mind.

The reading experience is easy and stress-free thanks to technology in eBook Readers that helps you find pages, chapters and excerpts from any eBook stored on your eBook Reader.

In particular, eBooks are ideal for:

  • book lovers with limited space at home
  • commuters who like the compact eReaders and can read with one hand.
  • holidaymakers who don't want to take a lot of heavy luggage
  • students cross referencing several books
  • people with poor vision - many eBook Readers provide a number of interchangeable font sizes
  • readers looking for hard to find titles - many out of print books are now available as eBooks
  • technology enthusiasts
  • If you have a smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac you can easily try eBooks by downloading the Kobo App and using the App to download a free eBook.

If you would like to try an eBook Reader visit one of our Kobo centres in our largest stores.


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What device do I need to read an eBook?

You can read Kobo eBooks on most eReaders. Kobo eBooks are produced in the ePub DRM and PDF formats - there are common formats and we accepted by most devices. They cannot be read on Kindle - only eBooks bought from Amazon are accepted on this device. If you're unsure whether your device accepts ePub DRM, please check your product manual.

You can also read Kobo eBooks on most tablets, smartphones, PCs and Macs using the free Kobo Apps. Find out if your device is supported and see the latest list of Kobo Apps


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Where can I buy eBooks?

Search or browse our eBooks range at WHSmith.co.uk. Once you have found the eBook you want to buy on WHSmith.co.uk click "Buy from Kobo". This will open the Kobo website in a new window.

Click "Buy" on Kobo's website - you will now be asked to create an account with Kobo or, if you already have one, to log in to your existing account. Then simply place the order and the eBook will be downloaded to your Kobo eBook library.


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Can I spend my WHSmith Giftcard at Kobo?

Yes, you can.

See full WHSmith Gift Card terms and conditions.


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Why are eBook prices different to print books?

eBook prices tend to be similar to the latest edition of that title in print format

There are a number of reasons why prices differ, these include:

  • prices for some eBooks are set by the publisher, whereas print book selling prices are set by retailers.
  • eBooks are liable for VAT, whereas print books are VAT exempt.
  • eBooks are a single format whereas print books come in a number of formats with different costs (hardback, paperback, spiral bound).
  • eBooks and print books have different costs. For instance, eBooks are digitised, encrypted, promoted and transmitted; whereas print books are printed, distributed, handled and given space by retailers.

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How do I get eBooks onto my eReader?

With an eReader you can search for and buy eBooks on your eReader over WIFI or buy them on your PC and they'll sync with your eReader over WIFI. Tablet users can download the free Kobo app and can then buy and download eBooks. Should you get another eReader just sign-in with your Kobo account and you can read your library on the new device.


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What kind of eBook titles can I buy?

The Kobo eBook store has over 2 million titles available to buy, including over 1 million eBooks to download for free.

It's not just novels that are available in eBook form - everything from reference and language, hobbies and sport to technical manuals and travel.

As well as the bestsellers you'll find titles that are exclusive to eBooks - out of print titles, shorts by popular authors and new self-published titles.

Imagine - you head off on holiday and need a great guide to New York... reach for your eBook Reader and flick to restaurants, sightseeing or shopping at the touch of a button. eBooks make flicking through a book quick and easy.


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I have a problem with my eBook order from Kobo. What do I do?

Kobo have comprehensive FAQs and troubleshooting guides to help you with any problems: Ask a question at Kobo's help centre.


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I bought eBooks from WHSmith before October 2011. How do I access them?

eBooks you purchased and downloaded from WHSmith.co.uk before our partnership with Kobo will be available in your Adobe Digital Additions account. eAudiobooks will be held in the Overdrive Media Console.

To secure your eBooks in one library and read them on your eReader, smartphone or tablet we can add your eBooks to a new library with Kobo. This is quick to do – we have sent you emails from “WHSmith Operations” – click on the link in one of these to move your eBooks to Kobo.

If you have queries about moving your eBooks to Kobo contact our Customer Service team by completing this contact form


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How do I buy eBooks for my eReader if it isn't a Kobo (eg. Sony Reader)?

eBooks bought from Kobo can be passed to your Sony Reader from Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) in much the same way you will be used to.

If you are new to ADE, it's a free application which sits on your PC and holds your library of eBooks.

The steps to read Kobo eBooks on your eReader are ...

Step 1: Set up Adobe® Digital Editions. Download Adobe® Digital Editions

  • Install the application and set up an Adobe® ID

Step 2: Download your eBook from the Kobo Store

  • Visit Kobo's website
  • Sign in to your account
  • Click My Library (near the top of the page)
  • In your list of Kobo books, find the book you want to download
  • Click Download, ADOBE DRM EPUB, or ADOBE DRM PDF depending on what's available
  • Find the file you downloaded (an EPUB, PDF, or ACSM file) and right-click it
  • Depending on where your computer puts downloads, you may have to hunt around a bit to find the urllink.acsm file. Try searching for "urllink"
  • Select Open With
  • Choose Adobe® Digital Editions, ADE will start, download your book, and add it to the ADE library

Step 3: Use Adobe® Digital Editions to transfer your eBook

  1. Connect your eReader to your computer, If necessary, follow the prompts to authorise your computer using your Adobe® ID
  2. Your eReader will appear on the left side of the ADE window. Drag the book from your ADE library to the eReader icon
  3. Note

    • Adobe® limits the number of computers and eReaders you can authorise to a total of six
    • The urllink.acsm file is not actually the eBook file. It is a license file that gives you access to the rest of your eBook. Use Adobe® Digital Editions to open this type of file. Digital Editions does not work with Kindle eReaders because the Kindle uses a proprietary file format

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    Can I read Kobo eBooks on my Kindle?

    Kindle is a closed system which does not allow you to read eBooks from other suppliers on dedicated Kindle eReaders.

    If you have a Kindle tablet you can download the Kobo app to read Kobo eBooks.

    (Kobo is an open system which allows you to read Kobo eBooks on any open device).


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    My question is not answered here. What do I do?

    Kobo has more extensive online help and support here.

    If you have further questions contact Kobo with this form.


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