All our books come in two downloadable ebook formats (PDF and EPUB); the PDF format is also available as a compressed Zip file. You can download any or all of these, and can read them on almost any device. Which format(s) you choose depends partly on which device you plan to read it on, partly on which app you prefer to use, and partly on personal preference. This page helps you understand the options and transfer our books to the places where you want them to be.
Here’s how our ebook formats compare:
- PDF: This format has carefully chosen fonts, spacing, and other visual aspects to provide an excellent onscreen reading experience. PDF uses a page-based layout, which means page numbers are fixed, and each page always shows the same contents, regardless of how far you zoom in or out. That makes it an ideal choice for reading on a Mac or PC, or an iPad (or other tablet) with a medium-to-large screen; it’s also the right format to use if you plan to print any of our ebooks yourself. On the other hand, PDF is generally not the best choice for devices with small screens, because zooming in far enough to be able to read the text may also mean you’re unable to see an entire line without a lot of tedious swiping.
- EPUB: EPUB is a “reflowable” format, meaning that you can change the font, size, or screen orientation and the text will reflow to fill your screen accordingly. This makes EPUB an ideal choice for reading on small-screen devices, but some people prefer it even on larger screens because it offers more control over the display than PDF and can require less scrolling. Page numbers in EPUB are variable, so they won’t correspond to page numbers in the PDF format. Graphics in our books remain at a fixed size, regardless of your font size or other settings. In addition, captions, sidebars, and other complex visual elements may reflow oddly, and we have no control over that.
We formerly offered Mobipocket (or MOBI) files as well, as that was for many years the only suitable format for Kindle devices and apps. However, as of December 22, 2022, Amazon now fully supports the EPUB format for Kindle and is phasing out support for MOBI, so we have followed suit.
Viewing Our Ebooks on a Mac or PC
Begin by downloading the ebook to your computer:
- Download it from the “order complete” email: When you buy a Take Control book, we immediately send you an email message with the subject “Your Take Control Books order is now complete.” (Don’t see it? Please check your spam folder.) This message contains download links for the book(s) you just purchased. Depending on which browser you use, you may also see download links on screen.) Open that message on your computer and click the format you want—PDF, EPUB, or PDF (Zip)—to download that format onto your computer using your default browser. Plain PDFs normally display within your browser window; other formats go into your default Downloads folder. From there, you can open them in the app of your choice (such as Preview, PDFpen, or Acrobat Reader DC for PDFs; or Books/iBooks, the Kindle app, or Calibre for EPUBs).
- Download it from your Take Control Library: You can always go to your Take Control Library page to download any book you’ve purchased from us. If you’re not already logged in, enter the email address you used to make the purchase and your password. If you don’t know your password, don’t worry: go to our password reset page. Enter your email address there and we’ll send you a link you can tap to set or change your password. Once again, the book either appears right in your browser (plain PDF) or goes to your default Downloads folder.
Double-clicking a book opens it in the default app for that file type, assuming you have it installed. On a Mac, unless you’ve changed your settings, Preview is the default app for PDFs and Books/iBooks is the default for EPUBs, though the Kindle app can also read them. You can also open books on a Mac by dragging them onto the appropriate app’s Dock icon, or—in most cases—dragging it into the app’s window.
Viewing Our Ebooks on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch
There are many ways to get one of our books onto your device so you can read it there in the app of your choice (such as Apple Books or Kindle):
- Download it from the “order complete” email: When you buy a Take Control book, we immediately send you an email message with the subject “Your Take Control Books order is now complete.” (Don’t see it? Please check your spam folder.) This message contains download links for the book(s) you just purchased. Depending on which browser you use, you may also see download links on screen.) Open that email message on your mobile device and tap the format you want—PDF, EPUB, or PDF (Zip)—to download that format onto your device using your default browser. (Be sure to see “Downloads in iOS/iPadOS,” below.)
- Download it from your Take Control Library: You can always go to your Take Control Library page to download any book you’ve purchased from us. If you’re not already logged in, enter the email address you used to make the purchase and your password. If you don’t know your password, don’t worry: go to our password reset page. Enter your email address there and we’ll send you a link you can tap to set or change your password. (Be sure to see “Downloads in iOS 13/iPadOS 13 or later,” below.) Note: Do not attempt to download our books using the built-in browser in 1Password for iOS/iPadOS. It does not handle file downloads properly. Use Safari or another standalone browser instead.
Downloads in iOS/iPadOS: If you tap PDF in the email message or in your Library, the book will display in your browser, but it won’t be saved on your device unless you tap the Share icon and then tap Save to Files (to save it in the Files app), or tap a different option to save it to another location.
IMPORTANT! In iOS/iPadOS, downloads in other formats go directly to the Files app. Open Files to see the downloaded book(s). (If you don’t see the book(s), tap iCloud Drive under “Locations” and then tap Downloads.) Tap a book there to open it in the appropriate app. For EPUB, Books is the default choice. (Note: On an iPad in landscape orientation, you must first select the file, then tap the Open button. On an iPad in portrait mode, or an iPhone, just tap the file.) Once the book is in Books, it should sync automatically to the Books app on all your other devices; see the next bullet point if it does not.
- Sync it from another Apple device using Books/iBooks: If you’ve already downloaded the book and added it to Books/iBooks on your Mac, you can use this technique to get it onto your mobile device. Books in PDF or EPUB format that you add to the Books (or iBooks) app on any of your Apple devices can sync automatically with Books/iBooks on your other devices signed in to the same iCloud account, as long as your preferences are correct. On a Mac, go to System Preferences > Apple ID > iCloud (Catalina or later) or System Preferences > iCloud (Mojave or earlier). Make sure iCloud Drive is checked. Then click the Options button next to it and make sure Books (or iBooks) is checked. If it is, uncheck it and re-check it—sometimes, this odd procedure jogs syncing back to life. On an iOS/iPadOS device, go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud and make sure Books (or iBooks) is turned on; again, even if it is, you might try turning it off and back on again. With those settings in place, adding a PDF or EPUB book to Books/iBooks syncs it to your other devices automatically, usually within a minute or less.
- Send it from a Mac or PC to the Kindle app on your iOS/iPadOS device: See the Viewing Our Ebooks on a Kindle Device or in a Kindle Mobile App topic below for details.
- Sync it from another device using a cloud service: Having downloaded one of our books on a Mac, PC, or other device, you can of course put it in a cloud storage location (such as iCloud Drive or Dropbox) and then use the Files app, or the applicable third-party app, on your iOS/iPadOS device, to open it. Refer to the instructions above for working with Files.
- Sync it from a Mac to Books/iBooks using the Finder (Catalina or later):
- Download the book to your Mac and add it to Books/iBooks (see the instructions earlier on this page).
- Connect your iOS/iPadOS device to your Mac using a USB cable.
- In the Finder, select your device in the sidebar.
- Select the Books category.
- Make sure “Sync books onto device name” is checked.
- Select All Books to sync all your books, or Selected Books to sync only those checked in the list below. (Note that there are two separate lists—one for “Books,” which in this context means EPUBs, and one for PDFs.)
- Click Sync.
- Sync it from a Mac (Mojave or earlier) or a PC:
- Download the book to your Mac or PC.
- Connect your iOS/iPadOS device to your computer using a USB cable.
- In iTunes, select your device at the top of the window.
- Select the Books category in the sidebar on the left.
- Make sure Sync Books” is checked.
- Select “All books” to sync all your books, or “Selected books” to sync only those checked in the list below. (If the book is not already in that list, drag it into the list now.)
- Click Sync.
- Email it to yourself: A low-tech approach but one that may help in a pinch: email a book to yourself as an attachment, then open the message on your iOS/iPadOS device and open the attachment from there. Note that you may run into attachment size limits, depending on your email app and provider and the size of the book.
If you purchased a book directly from us (not from Amazon), there are numerous ways you can get it onto your Kindle device, or into the Kindle app on a mobile device:
- Use the Send to Kindle webpage. Amazon now has a webpage that lets you upload files to your Kindle devices and apps, and unlike most other methods, this page has a generous 200 MB file size limit (which easily handles all our books). This is the best choice for most people. Each country-specific Amazon store has its own version of this page—for example: United States, Canada, and United Kingdom.
- Use the Send to Kindle app (on any platform). The free Send to Kindle app, available for most platforms, lets you send EPUB and PDF files (as well as several other document types) to your Kindle account; from there, they sync to your physical Kindle devices and to the Kindle mobile app (but not to the Kindle desktop app). Note: This app does not support files over 50 MB. In addition, Amazon does not state the system requirements for this app, and it may not work correctly in older versions of macOS.
- Email the EPUB file to your account. Every Kindle device, as well as the Kindle app on each of your mobile devices, has its own email address, which you can find by selecting your device on Amazon’s Devices page. (You can even edit these addresses to make them easier to remember, if you like!) Email an EPUB file as an attachment to that address, and it syncs to your physical Kindle devices and to the Kindle mobile app (but not to the Kindle desktop app). If you’re sending this from Mail on a Mac, be sure “Send large attachments with Mail Drop” is disabled for the sending account in Mail > Preferences > Accounts > Account Name > Account Information. Note: Again, this method does not support files over 50 MB.
- Copy it to a cloud storage location (mobile apps only). If you put an EPUB file in Dropbox, iCloud Drive, or some other cloud storage location that’s accessible from your mobile device, you can then open that location on your device (for example, in the Files app on iOS/iPadOS), tap the file, and then open it in the Kindle app. Note: Behind the scenes, this process relies on the Send to Kindle app, which means it’s still subject to the 50 MB size limit. Also, with this method, cover art may not appear.
- Email the EPUB file to yourself. You can email a EPUB file to yourself as an attachment from your Mac or PC. Then open that email on your mobile device and copy the file to local storage. From there, the same process and limitations (including the 50 MB limit) apply as copying it from cloud storage.
- Download it directly to your Kindle: Most Kindle devices have a built-in web browser, which you can use to access your Take Control library. There’s no file size limit with this method, but it is quite cumbersome:
- On a Kindle device, tap the More (⠇) icon in the upper-right corner of your toolbar and then tap Experimental Browser.
- Tap the address field, enter
https://www.takecontrolbooks.com, then enter your email address and password and tap Log In. (If you don’t know your password, go to our password reset page. Enter your email address there and we’ll send you a link you can tap to set or change your password.)
- Near the top, next to the Log Out button, tap your name (next to “Logged in as”). Tip: It takes some trial and error for the browser to register taps correctly. Keep trying!
- On the right side, scroll down if necessary and tap Library.
- Tap the EPUB link for the book you want, and then tap OK. The book downloads from our site onto your Kindle.
- Sideload the EPUB file. When you sideload a book, you copy it directly from a computer to the device. (Note that books installed this way appear in the Docs category on your device, not in the Books category.) This technique also works regardless of file size:
- To sideload a book onto a physical Kindle device, connect your Kindle to a Mac or PC using a USB cable. When the Kindle volume mounts, select it in the sidebar of the Finder or Windows Explorer. Inside you’ll see (among other things) a Documents folder. Drag a EPUB file to that folder to install it on your device.
- To sideload a book onto an iOS/iPadOS device, connect the device to a Mac or PC using a USB cable. When it mounts, select it in the sidebar of the Finder or, for Windows PCs and Macs running older versions of macOS, iTunes. Then click Files and locate the Kindle icon. Drag the EPUB file onto this icon. (To sideload a EPUB file into the Kindle app for Android, see these instructions.)