I’ve partnered with Smashwords to distribute my ebooks to online retailers, and one of the retailers they distribute to is Aldiko, an app for Android devices. Up until recently I haven’t had a way to see how to find my ebooks on Aldiko, so tutorial will show you his to find Smashwords authors on that app. I’ll also show you how to add ebooks from other sites to your Aldiko library.
There are two versions of Aldiko, a free version and a paid version. If you spend $3.79 for Aldiko Book Reader Premium you get the ability to store notes and highlighted sections of your epub ebooks, a widget for your home page, a speed increase and the removal of ads. If all you want to do is get and read ebooks and don’t mind seeing ads then the free version may suit your needs beautifully. (I have the Premium version thanks to the kindness of a good friend.) Install it by going to the Google Play page for either Aldiko Book Reader or Aldiko Book Reader Premium tap the Install button, and follow the normal steps for installing apps.
Once Aldiko is installed it’s time to look for ebooks to read. The screenshot on the left is a collection I have in Aldiko on my Android phone. Before you can create a collection of ebooks you need to load them in Aldiko so launch it and press the icon of the books in the upper left corner. We’re going to get my ebooks from Smashwords so you want to select Other Catalogs under Get Books. There you’ll see Smashwords and you’ll want to tap on it. Drill down to Smashwords Authors > All Smashwords Authors. Searching on my full name brings up a lot of names so just tap the magnifying glass and type
Hardin and the key to launch the search. You can do a search for the specific title, but the way Aldiko handles the search it’s a lot easier to just search by my last name. I suspect that could be the choice in a lot of books on Aldiko.
You’ll see a nice list of authors with my last name but the one you want to tap is Hardin, J.M. (3). When you do you’ll see a screen with my author page and my three ebooks. If you tap on the cover for He’s With the Band you’ll see a page similar to this:
I don’t know why the covers don’t show up on the individual book pages, but it could be because I don’t have a microSD card so I’m hitting the phone’s internal memory pretty hard. Since I already downloaded it (from them in fact) I get an option to open the book. Let me show you the screen for Somewhere… and More since the copy I have in Aldiko was downloaded directly from Smashwords and was side loaded into Aldiko. (I’ll show you how to do that in a bit.)
I haven’t bought it via Aldiko so even though there’s a copy in my Aldiko library I get the same page you will. There’s a Download button that will get you the 20% sample that I told Smashwords to offer people so they can see if they want to buy it. (Each author sets their own rule for sampling before buying and it can change with each title the author has available through Smashwords. For No Budget, No Pay I set a 25% sample because the 20% sample would have stopped in a weird place. This way you get the entire Introduction.) If you click the down arrow at the bottom of the description you’ll get the full description of the ebook, as well as the price and other information Smashwords has on the ebook. If you want to download the sample you can tap the Download button but if you want to buy the complete ebook tap the button labeled Buy this book. That will open the page on Smashwords in whichever mobile web browser you prefer to let you buy the ebook.
To show you how to side load an ebook into Aldiko I’ll use an ebook that’s sitting on my To Be Read stack, Valerie Estelle Frankel’s A Preposterous Portfolio of Parodies: Free Selections from Spoofs of The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Star Trek and More. I have the page on Smashwords loaded for it and I’ll select the epub version to download. Once it’s downloaded I’ll go to my Downloads app and tap on it. Since I haven’t selected a default application for epub files yet I get the Complete action using dialog.
I select Aldiko Premium (since that’s what I have on this phone) and Aldiko not only adds it to my library it opens the ebook so I can begin reading it immediately. Once it’s open in Aldiko I can go to the Downloads app and delete the epub file there since it’s now a duplicate of what Aldiko has. Now this evening I can finally read Valerie’s ebook. It’s only been on the pile for a month, but I’m looking forward to reading it.
Have a great weekend and happy reading!