E-books are convenient, but beware of the drawbacks

Watch for impulse purchases. One-click purchasing makes it easy to overspend. (Photo courtesy of Sony)

There may be more to e-books than consumers think.

When readers buy books on an e-book reader, they’re not actually buying the book, according to SmartMoney. Many consumers don’t realize they’re actually buying access to the books, not ownership.

Amazon Kindkle and Apple iBooks are among companies using formats that are inaccessible to other e-readers. So, consumers who own one of those two can’t transfer their books to other e-readers.

Because of that, experts say shoppers should weigh both the device’s features and the library of contents available before purchasing one.

Another e-reader warning: Because publishing platforms are so easy to use, just about anyone can publish a book on an e-book platform, so it’s possible book-buyers could be buying spam.

To make a good purchase, experts say readers should look at page counts, reviews and a sample page or two. Often, private-label books don’t list the author’s name on the covers. The covers are often poor quality.

While sales on e-books may seem great, be aware that prices on them are getting more expensive. They’re now just a buck or two less than the paper versions.’

The extras publishers are starting to offer, including soundtracks and 3D aninimations, also push up the price.

Another thing to keep in mind is that people who opt to read books on the phones may not realize how large the files are and how enhanced features, such as video, can add to the amount of data consumed. That data could push up the phone bill.

To read more, check out 10 things ebooks won’t tell you at SmartMoney.

WTOP’S Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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