Which E-Book Format Should You Buy?

Welcome to Dear Jane, a weekly column based upon reader mailbag questions on anything relating to ebooks. No question is too simple or too mundane. We are all learning together. Send your questions Jane@DearAuthor.com with "Dear Jane" in the subject matter.


Dear Jane: Unless I am missing something, it does not appear that I can buy e-books from the eHarlequin bookstore for my iPod Touch. Instead I have to wait a full month for the books to show up on Fictionwise. Any chance Harlequin is developing an app? Or can I use one of the formats already available?

 - Phyl

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Dear Phyl,

Thanks for writing. This is essentially a "what format can I buy" question. I've made up this handy chart for you to follow based on the device you plan to read on. Harlequin sells its digital books in four different formats:

  • MS Lit also known as MS Reader
  • Adobe Epub
  • Adobe PDF
  • Mobipocket

There are two additional formats that are sold at other retail locations:

  • eReader
  • Kindle

To address your answer specifically, the quick answer is yes. Buy Adobe ePub and download the Txtr App.

The long answer is this: The only app that allows you to read books bought at the Harlequin store (thus allowing you to take advantage of their one month early release program), is the Txtr App by German developers. Txtr App isn't the easiest App to use and it isn't the nicest to look at, but it does allow you to read secured Adobe ePub files on your iPhone, iTouch, and yes, even your iPad. Let's assume you have purchased your books from eHarlequin.com and you have downloaded them using Adobe Digital Editions. You will find those downloaded files in the following folders:

  • On Windows: My Documents/My Digital Editions
  • On Mac: Documents/Digital Editions

First step is to sign up for Txtr. You then have to upload your books to the Txtr service. You can do this by using the upload feature. I was not able to get the synchronizer to work.

Txtr upload

Once your books are uploaded, you can go to your iThing and install the Txtr App. You will need to sign in with your Txtr username and password that you created in Step 1. In the upper right hand corner, you will see this button "Enable DRM".


Click the button and enter your Adobe ID. Go to the "Inbox" and you should see the Adobe ePub files you uploaded.


For more discussion about the Sony, please see RT's Reader Forum: E-book Questions Answered Here.

Have an e-book question? Send it to Jane@DearAuthor.com and your question may be featured in her next column.