Seven years of ebooks

2017 - 2024, and still going. The story of Libreture so far, DRM-free bookshops, and a birthday present.

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I uploaded the very first DRM-free ebook to my Libreture library on the 1st of March, 2017.

Libreture is your online ebook cloud library - a place to store all your DRM-free ebooks, digital comics, magazines, and RPGs, while tracking your reading and directing others to the ebookshops where you bought your collection.

It was a Wednesday, and I started with 250 Indie Games You Must Play by Mike Rose (which I must have bought from a now-defunct bundle site). I followed that with 500 Ways To Write Harder by Chuck Wendig, and continued throughout the day. I stopped uploading at around 5:30pm with Cassandra Rose Clarke's The Assassin's Curse, after adding hundreds of ebooks from my collection to a place where I could see them in all their glory, covers and all. A busy day.

250 Indie Games You Must Play by Mike Rose500 Ways to Write Harder by Chuck WendigThe Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Over the next days and weeks I added more and more of the DRM-free digital library I'd built up since starting to buy from bookshops other than Amazon in the early 2000's. Testing out the system, spotting bugs, requesting changes and fixes from the developers I paid to do the work I wasn't 100% confident I could do myself.

Slowly and surely, the site was working smoothly. Today, Libreture is home to over 16,000 digital books in thousands of readers' personal libraries.

Where did I buy this ebook?

I stopped using Amazon after news broke of the scale of their UK tax-avoidance. Owning a Kindle Keyboard, it was where I bought almost all my ebooks. Rather than depend on Amazon, I opened a Shelfari account to track my reading.

In 2008 "Shelfari joined the Amazon family", and I moved all my data to Goodreads.

In 2013...

Exciting News About Goodreads: We're Joining the Amazon Family!


(Goodreads! And they got rid of Shelfari?!)

I finally closed both my Goodreads and Amazon accounts, and continued to buy ebooks, digital comics and magazines from the mostly independent ebookshops I'd discovered.

As my ebook and digital comic collection grew, so did my need to keep them all in a safe place. I couldn't just store them all on my e-reader or PC. What if I needed to download them again, how would I remember where I'd bought them? As any mildly techy person would do, I started a list.

My DRM-free bookshop list started life as a blog post on my personal website. The first shop I added was Snowbooks. Snowbooks no longer sells ebooks direct, but still hold pride-of-place as the first on the list.

Where can I buy DRM-free ebooks?

It was followed by Rebellion Publishing, Weightless Books, Smashwords, Book View Cafe, and many more. Seven years later, it's grown to 449 ebook, digital comic, magazine, and RPG bookshops, and I add more every week.

The list is an integral part of Libreture. Not only does it direct readers to where they can browse and buy DRM-free titles, knowing they'll be able to actually own and keep them, but it also goes the other way. By selecting a bookshop from the list when uploading books, Libreture readers can help others find where to buy particular titles in DRM-free formats. The bookshop is displayed on the book's page as a link. Click it, and you're directed to to where to buy the book itself. Every reader's library becomes a place to promote DRM-free bookshops and the books, comics, and RPGs they stock.

I built Libreture as an alternative ebook infrastructure. It provides readers, authors, publishers, and digital bookshops a service where they're not locked in to a particular device vendor or online retailer-distributor.

Libreture is built on fairness, privacy, shared promotion, and (as a family business) the undying guarantee that it will never join anyone else's family!

Celebrate Libreture's anniversary

Today is Libreture's seventh birthday!

Throughout March, I'll be sharing more milestones from the last seven years, along with what we have planned for the future. But first...

To celebrate, here's a coupon for 25% off any new Libreture paid plan (from 30GB up to Unlimited) every month for an entire year! That's 3 months free!

A Free Forever account provides enough storage for hundreds of ebooks, but if you want to add your digital comics, magazines, or even your graphics-rich RPG books, you're gonna need a bigger library.


Upgrade your Storage from your Account page, and enter the code 'HAPPYBIRTHDAY7' in the Add a Coupon field during checkout.

But be quick! The coupon code expires at midnight on 31 March, 2024, GMT.


In the meantime...

Happy Reading,

kevin's avatarKevin
What I'm reading

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Readers are storing 16,716 DRM-free ebooks with Libreture.