Okay, so Booktopia is selling eBooks… what are they and how do they work?

by |November 9, 2011

Booktopia has partnered with one of the world’s largest companies and leading internet businesses, Google ™ , to bring you their Google eBooks ™ system.

Buying eBooks from Booktopia.com.au using the Google eBooks ™ platform will give you the flexibility to read books on devices you own today and devices you will buy in the future. Google eBooks ™ uses the ePub format which has become the global standard for eBooks and e-readers.

With Google™ eBooks library, you are able to keep all of your eBooks in one place. Each eBook can be read on phones, handheld devices, e-ink e-readers, tablet PCs, notebooks and desktop computers. Whenever you open your Google eBook, the Google eBooks™ system will remember where you are up to, making it ready to continue reading on whatever device you choose to use next.

NB: The following FAQs are current at the time of posting. As more questions come in more answers will be posted on the Booktopia website – here.

Booktopia & Google eBooks FAQ


What is an eBook?

An eBook is a digital version of a book that can be read on personal computers, tablet computers, many mobile devices, and dedicated eReading devices. Booktopia has partnered with Google to offer a wide selection of eBooks to our customers.

What eBook formats are available on Booktopia?

Depending on the title, the following formats may be available for downloading:

Scanned Pages (PDF)
Epub (flowing text)

If you want to read an e-book offline, your eBook reader device or application must be compatible with both the file format and the DRM format of the e-book. Our ebooks support Adobe DRM.

All Google eBooks can be read online.

Which eBook format should I choose?

The format you choose entirely depends on the device or application you intend to use for reading your eBook. EPUB or flowing text allows you to reflow text according to screen size and change font size and typeface. If you intend to read your ebooks on ereading devices or smartphones, EPUB is recommended.

If you prefer reading original or scanned pages of print version of a book, choose PDF. Google eBooks allow you to access both ebook formats and switch between EPUB and PDF within Web Reader and Apps.

Please note the available devices on each ebook’s detail page.


There is an eBook tab at the top of the page listed on all search results and categories if eBooks are available for that search or category. There is also an eBook tab in the book section of the Booktopia website.

What devices can I use to read eBooks purchased at Booktopia?

You can read Google eBooks on the Web, Android phones running version 2.1 (Eclair) or later, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch (iOS 3.0 or later), and supported eReaders.

For more information about supported devices, click here

Can I read a sample of the eBook before purchasing it?

For select eBook titles, click the Google Preview graphic on the eBook’s details page.

What is ePub?

ePub is the standard eBook format that makes it possible to optimise and customise text and images for both large displays like a desktop computer and small screens like a smartphone. ePub has become a popular worldwide. ePub files are also referred as “flowing text”.

What is a PDF?

PDF, or Portable Document Format, is the standard format for document interchange created by Adobe. PDF is a file format which presents the book in its original layout and visual formatting. These files are generally larger in size, and the text doesn’t adjust to fit the device or computer on which you are reading. And these can be difficult to read on smaller screens. PDF files are also referred as scanned pages.

Why are different eBooks priced differently?

Prices can vary depending on the publisher, the eBook provider, and differing sales agreements. eBooks from most publishers are sold in exactly the same way as printed books.

A few publishers operate according to an “agency model”. In this case, the publisher sets the price to the consumer and ALL retailers agree to sell that e-book at that price to the consumer.

Which devices can I read Google eBooks with?

Google eBooks can be read on an iPad, iPhone, Android phone and tablets as well as dozens of Adobe-supported devices in the market, and more supported devices will be added in the future. If you are unsure whether your device is supported, please contact us.

Why doesn’t this store sell reading devices?

We’re experts in books and content not consumer electronics.

Purchasing & Downloading

Can I purchase multiple eBooks at the same time?

Yes, just click the “Buy Now” button to add the eBook to your shopping basket. You cannot buy multiple eBooks of the same edition.

Can I purchase an eBook and a physical product at the same time?

Yes. You will be able to confirm the formats of the different items in your shopping basket before you proceed with your order.

Can eBooks be returned?

No, eBooks are not returnable.


What if my online connection was lost in the middle of a purchase or download?

The first thing you will want to do is log into your Google Account or check your email inbox. If your purchase was successful, you will see the title in your eBook Bookshelf as well as in an email with your order number from Booktopia

If you do not have an email from Booktopia and your purchased title is not in your eBook Bookshelf, then the transaction did not complete and you will need to try again.

Why do I get a file with the extension .acsm when I try to download certain eBooks?

ACSM files are small downloads that are used by Adobe® Digital Editions to generate an encrypted eBook, which is then downloaded to your personal computer.

In order to work properly, Adobe® Digital Editions must be both installed on your computer and activated. Activating Adobe® Digital Editions using an Adobe ID allows you to do more with Adobe eBooks, such as downloading them on multiple computers and transferring them to supported portable devices.

Google eBooks™

What is Google eBooks™?

Google eBooks is a new way to discover, buy, and enjoy your favourite books, online and offline, powered by Google. You can read Google eBooks on your computer, tablet, smartphone, or electronic reading device.

Google eBooks are kept in the cloud (Google’s computer servers), which means you can do more than just read your book. You can buy new and out-of-print books, switch from one reading device to another without losing your place, and manage your digital book collection on your digital bookshelf.
We offer you a choice of titles ranging from new bestsellers to out-of-print classics. Please note that not every book on this website can be purchased as a Google eBook. If you find a title that cannot yet be purchased as a Google eBooks, please check again soon.

What is the benefit of buying a Google eBook in the cloud?

Your Google eBook purchases are kept on Google’s computer servers, or ‘cloud’. This system provides you with a lot of benefits in your reading experience.

Keeping your place. Since you’re accessing the same digital book every time, Google’s system knows where you stop reading in that book.

Accessibility. Since Google eBooks are kept in the cloud, you don’t have to worry about moving a downloaded version of your book from one device to another. As long as you have a Google account, and internet access, you should be able to access any Google eBooks you have purchased, from any computer, as well as most phones and e-readers.


How do I read my Google eBook on my web browser?

Once you have purchased a Google eBook, you can easily access your purchased title from your Booktopia eBook Bookshelf.

After logging in to your Booktopia account, click My Account, which is always located near the top of your screen. Now, just click “View your eBook library”, located under “View Your Order Status and History”.
Find your Google eBook, and click “Read Online” to view it in the full screen Web Reader.

How do I use the Web Reader?

The Web Reader allows you to take advantage of a full screen for a more pleasant reading experience, accessed directly from Booktopia. If you re-size your browser window, the Web Reader will scale the book pages up or down to fit.

At the bottom of the page, a slider allows you to easily flip through and jump to different sections of the book. The current page number is displayed in the lower corner of the Web Viewer at all times.

My Booktopia Bookshelf: Clicking the book icon will return you to your Booktopia Bookshelf, where you can browse your bookshelves.

Content: The “list” icon provides you easy access to the book’s table of contents, with links to chapters and notable sections within the book.

Settings: The “Aa” icon contains book viewing settings. For many books, this includes the ability to choose to view original page images or Flowing text (when available). The flowing text mode allows you to adjust the font, text size, line height, and justification, but you might find the original page images more suitable for specially formatted books, such as for poetry.

Search: The magnifying glass icon allows you to search for words and phrases within the book you’re reading. You can easily switch between viewing search results sorted by order of appearance or by relevance.

About this book: The “i” icon displays the title and publisher of the current book alongside a link to assist with viewing your Google eBook on a number of devices. You can also see the average rating, check out reviews – or write your own – and view additional bibliographic information.

Help: The “?” mark icon allows you to view help about using the Web Reader.

Keyboard Shortcuts

The Web Reader supports the following keyboard shortcuts to easily navigate through book pages:
Page Forward: J, Right Arrow, P, or Page Up keys
Page Backward: K, Left Arrow, N, or Page Down keys


Google eBooks can be read with any dedicated eBook reader that supports Adobe DRM (Digital Rights Management), including the nook™, Sony® and Kobo® Readers. At the moment, Google eBooks are not compatible with Amazon® Kindle devices.

Make sure your eReading device is compatible with Adobe DRM. The full list of Adobe-compatible devices can be found at www.adobe.com/products/digitaleditions/devices/

To transfer downloaded Google eBooks between your computer and eReading device, follow the procedure below.

  1. Download, install, and activate Adobe Digital Editions software on your computer.
  2. Download your Google eBook from either of the following locations:
    Your Booktopia eBook Bookshelf
    Web Reader: While viewing a Google eBook in the Web Reader, select the information icon

Every Google eBook can be downloaded in one of two formats, and sometimes both: PDF and ePub.

The actual file that you download will have an .acsm extension; these downloads are for use only on devices which run Adobe Content Server 4’s DRM (including the Adobe Digital Editions software for your computer, or these devices). Opening the ACSM file will then trigger the download of the actual PDF or ePub and open your Adobe Digital Editions program.

  1. Go to Library View in Adobe Digital Editions by clicking the library view icon.
  2. Connect your eReader device to your computer using the USB cable that came with your device.
  3. Authorize your device (you can skip this after your first time).
  4. In the Adobe Digital Editions program, drag and drop your downloaded Google eBook from the All Items bookshelf to your device’s icon.

Note: Some publishers may opt to provide DRM-free downloads, in which case you can download the PDF or ePub file directly and transfer it to the machine or device of your choice.

Can I put my Google eBooks on my Kindle™?

At the moment, Google eBooks are not compatible with Amazon® Kindle devices.

Why do I need to link my Booktopia account with my Google account?

Google eBooks are stored in the cloud within your Google account, and by linking your Booktopia account to your Google account, you will be able access all your Google eBooks on your bookshelf on Booktopia. You can always unlink the accounts if you so choose, in which case you will no longer be able to access your Google eBooks on your bookshelf on Booktopia.

Google eBooks can be read on Android devices that is running version 2.1 (Eclair) or later and has access to the Android Market, the iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad. (iOS 3.0 or later), eReaders, and more. The Google eBook lives on Google’s servers so you can access it anywhere, anytime. By linking your Booktopia and Google accounts you will be able to read on all these devices and enable additional features.

Do I need to have a Gmail account or Google email address to set up a Google account?

No. You can use any email address you wish when you set up a Google account eg @hotmail.com, @live.com, @bigpond.com or whatever else you choose.

Can I share Google eBooks?

Google eBooks are designed to accommodate one book per user. Google eBooks does not yet support the ability to lend or give an ebook you’ve purchased to another user. This means that sharing books among multiple users is not currently supported.

Booktopia chose the Google eBooks™ platform for ease of access to buy and read books at globally competitive pricing.

Booktopia’s customers can purchase their physical books and eBooks all in one transaction. Digital eBook links are sent to the buyer for immediate reading online or ready for download, whilst physical books will continue to be shipped from Booktopia’s Sydney warehouse. Booktopia currently ships 1,000,000 physical books per year to Australian customers and employs 48 staff in its 3,500 sqm Sydney warehouse.

Buying eBooks from Booktopia.com.au using the Google eBooks ™ platform will give book readers the flexibility to read books on devices they own today and devices they buy in the future. Google eBooks ™ uses the ePub format which has become the global standard for eBooks and e-readers.

With Google™ eBooks library, users are able to keep all of their eBooks in one place. Each eBook can be read on phones, handheld devices, e-ink e-readers, tablet PCs, notebooks and desktop computers. Whenever someone opens their Google eBook, the Google eBooks™ system will remember where the reader is up to, making it ready to continue reading on whatever device they choose to use next.

Enjoy this great new reading experience!

Kind regards

Tony Nash

Chief Executive Officer
Booktopia Pty Ltd

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About the Contributor

While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. ​Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, will be published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.

Follow John: Twitter Website


  • Annie Greig

    November 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    An eBook is Exactly what my elderly Aunt needs. She has just had her 86th Birthday, and has been an avid reader all her life. Recent health issues have made it difficult to “Read” now. Though we have tried her on Large Print and Read Aloud books, it is just not the same for her. Her house is full of Books, they are her friends, and she misses them so very much.
    Is there some kind of scheme where people with Disabilities can access eBooks? She does not have a computer, but I would dearly love to give her one, but am not in a financial position to do so.
    Any help or suggestion you could give would be greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards,
    Annie Greig.

  • not happy

    May 17, 2012 at 10:20 am


    My play account shows no books my gmail account shows the books i purchased from booktopia but does not show them in my library and my booktopia account shows the books i puchased but no way to sync them to my google account.

    • May 17, 2012 at 5:08 pm

      Dear Unhappy, Thank you for your message. You can relink your account by clicking this link > http://www.booktopia.com.au/google-authorise.ep?deauthorise which can also be found in our Help Centre under Google eBooks – FAQs. See pertinent information below:

      How do I unlink my Google account?
      You can unlink your Google account from your Booktopia account. You may want to do this if you bought Google eBooks while logged into another Google account, and you want to link that one instead to view your eBooks.

      When you unlink a Google account, Google eBooks that you purchased with that account will no longer be visible inside your Booktopia account.

      Click on this link to unlink your Google account.

      When you log into your Booktopia account, your eBook bookshelf will reflect the fact that no Google account is linked, and you can link another account.

      Thank you

      If you have any further questions I can have IT contact you directly.

  • Helen Livingstone

    March 28, 2016 at 10:49 am

    I ordered 2 books on 9th Feb.—- “Swallow This”—ISBN:9780007548330 which I received. The other was an E book–“What to Eat”—-:ISBN9780007341436 which I have not been able to read.

    Since that time,connection to NBN has caused computer problems.
    The email address with which I ordered was achjeel@chariot.net.au
    The new address is achjeel1@dodo.com.au
    Can you please send me the E book.

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