If you can’t find books in your mother tongue at Kindle Store, you can try other legal sources. Here’s a list I’ve prepared for Ebook Friendly – with tips how to find books, if search by language is unavailable. Two sites, Smashwords and Feedbooks, can be a great source of contemporary books from self-published authors from your country.
Browsing for non-English books at Kindle Store is not easy. You can follow these tips to get most of it. However if you don’t find books in the categories of your interest, you can try to get them from other legal sources.
Remember, for your Kindle ereader or application, third-party books have to be:
- in prc/mobi format (also described as mobipocket or kindle),
- without DRM (unprotected).
Before you’ll buy a Kindle, check whether in your country there are any legal sources of DRM-free prc/mobi books. Some local ebook distributors may be selling books in this format, knowing that Kindle is the most popular ereader in the world – it ships to over 170 countries and is probably cheaper than ereaders officially sold by local ebookstores.
There are a couple of great services which can be a valuable source of non-English books for your Kindle.
The catalog contains over 60,000 books from contemporary authors. It’s one of the most popular self-publishing services in the world. Not only English-speaking authors use it to publish their books.
Description of every book includes also a language. But don’t get disappointed – if you click on a language it returns no results. Apparently, there is apparently a bug which prevents language search at Smashwords.
A good way is to type in a search box your language pronounced in English (f.e. Finnish or Portuguese). You can also browse Smashwords via Google. Go to Google web search page and paste into the search box (replacing Spanish with your language):
site:smashwords.com "Language: Spanish"
You can also go directly to Smashwords satellite sites for language-specific ebook collections: Spanish – approx. 750 titles French – approx. 550 titles
Feedbooks is a great source of free ebooks from self-published authors (apart from public domain classics). Search by language is available for 5 languages: English, German, French, Russian, Spanish. To reveal it, find in the left panel a section called Language and click on More options (see picture below).
Project Gutenberg is a mother of all public domain books in digital format. Books from PG can be found at Feedbooks, Manybooks or Internet Archive. The great thing about this service is that you can search by language easily and comfortably – just go to this page.
You can search for language, sort languages by popularity or alphabetically. What’s important, next to each language there is a number of books available.
Most popular languages are French, German, Finnish, Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese.
The site lists public domain books, but it’s also open for the contribution of free Creative Commons texts.
Currently, Internet Archive collects almost 3,000,000 titles. You can search for books in your language using advanced search. From a Custom field drop-down menu select language, then in a field next to contains type a two-letter tag of your language (see picture below).
Scribd is a YouTube for texts. 10 million files are shared here, majority for free. Available file formats are “only” pdf and plain text (txt), but if you’re really looking for a wider choice of books, you should try browsing this site.
Language search is easy. You can first select a category you’re interested in. On a list of result look for a bar with options (see picture) and choose your language from a drop-down menu.
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Note, that you can’t use third-party books in your account the same way as books bought at Kindle Store. For instance you can’t sync them between devices associated with your account.