How to Buy Ebooks at the IBooks Store on IPad and IPhone

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Introduction to Buying Ebooks at the IBookstore

buying ebooks at the iBooks Store
image credit: Hero Images/Getty Images

Forget the Kindle; the iPad and iPhone are terrific ebook reading devices. Just like the Kindle, they also have their own built-in bookstore store: ​iBooks.

Buying ebooks through the iBooks Store is very similar to buying music, movies, and other media from Apple's iTunes Store. One key difference, though, is how you access the store. Rather than using iTunes or a dedicated app like the iTunes Store app on the iPad and iPhone, in this case, you access it through the iBooks app. Read on for step-step instructions on how to buy ebooks at the iBooks Store.

What You Need

In order to buy books at iBooks, you'll need:

  • An Apple ID with a valid form of payment of file
  • An iPhone, iPod touch or iPad
  • The iBooks app installed on your device (in recent versions of the iOS, it comes pre-installed)
  • An Internet connection

Accessing the IBooks Store

To access the iBooks Store, follow these steps.

  1. Launch the iBooks app.
  2. In the bottom bar of icons, tap Featured or Top Charts (Search works, too).
  3. When the next screen loads, you're in the Store.

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Browse or Search Ebooks at IBooks

Buying at ibooks, step 2

Once you've entered the iBooks Store, the browsing and searching experience is very similar to using the iTunes Store. Each different way of finding books is labeled on the image above.

  1. Categories—To browse books based on their category, tap this button and a menu presents all the categories at iBooks.
  2. Books/Audiobooks—You can buy both traditional books and audiobooks within iBooks. Tap this toggle to move back and forth between the type of book.
  3. Search—Know exactly what you're looking for? Tap the search bar and type in the name of the author or book you're after (on the iPhone, this button is at the bottom).
  4. Featured Items—Apple maintains a front page to the iBooks Store packed with new releases, hits, books relevant to current events, and more. Swipe up and down and left and right to browse them.
  5. NY Times Bestsellers—Browse the titles on the New York Times Bestseller list by tapping this button (access this on the iPhone via the Top Charts button).
  6. Top Charts—Tap this to see the best selling books at iBooks in both the paid and free categories.
  7. Top Authors—This screen lists the most popular authors on iBooks by name. You can also refine the list by paid and free books, all-time bestsellers and release date (access this on the iPhone via the Top Charts button).

When you find a book you're interested in knowing more about, tap it.

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Ebook Detail Screen

buying at ibooks, step 3

When you tap a book, a window pops up that provides more information about the book. The different features of the window are detailed in the image above:

  1. Author Detail—Tap the author's name to see all other books by the same author available at iBooks.
  2. Star Rating—The average star rating given to the book by iBooks users, and the number of ratings.
  3. Buy Book—To buy the book, tap the price.
  4. Read Sample—You can sample a book before you buy it by tapping this button.
  5. Book Details—Read about the book on this screen. Any place where you see a more button means you can tap it to get more details.
  6. Reviews—Tap this tab to read reviews of the book written by iBooks users.
  7. Related Books—To see other books Apple thinks are related to this one, and thus might be of interest to you, tap this tab.

To close the pop-up, simply tap anywhere outside the window.

Buying a Book at IBooks

When you decide to purchase a book, tap the price button. The button turns green and the text in it changes to Buy Book. Tap it again to buy the book. You'll be asked to enter your Apple ID password to complete the purchase.

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Read Ebook

buying at ibooks store, step 4

Once you've entered your iTunes account password, the eBook will download to your iPad. How long this takes will depend on the book (its length, how many images it has, etc.) and the speed of your Internet connection.

When the book is done downloading, it will automatically open so you can read it. If you don't want to read it right away, you can close the book. It appears as a title on the bookshelves in the iBooks app. Tap it to when you're ready to begin reading.

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