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Ebooks: EBSCO Ebooks

An overview of ebooks and ebook collections available at the Baylor University Libraries, including information on downloading ebooks for offline reading.

EBSCO Ebook Tutorial

Step 1: Adobe Digital Editions

EBSCO ebook content is protected by "digital rights management" (DRM).  DRM manages things such as how many people can access a single e-book, how much can be printed, copied, or saved, and the off-line reading (downloading) function.  EBSCO uses the Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) to manage DRM for e-books that are downloaded.  Consequently, you will need to use a device that works with ADE or (for desktops, laptops, netbooks) install ADE on the device. 

EBSCO identifies some devices that work with the ADE: Barnes & Nobel NOOK; Sony Reader Daily Edition; Sony Digital Readers (PRS-300, 505, 600, and 700BC); iPad (works with third-party applications: Bluefire and Txtr).  A long list of Digital Editions Supported devices is available from Adobe.  NOTE: The Kindle uses a proprietary interface and does not work with Adobe DRM, and consequently EBSCO ebooks cannot be downloaded to a Kindle.

To download Adobe Digital Editions (at no cost) and/or set up your Adobe ID, do the following:

  1. Create your Adobe ID (if you don't already have one) by going to:, click on the "Don't have an Adobe ID?" link, and complete the information to set up your Adobe ID.  You will need to associate your Adobe ID with Adobe Digital Editions on any device that uses ADE or on which ADE has been installed.
  2. Go to this website:
  3. Download the version (Windows or Macintosh) of ADE that is appropriate for your computer and follow the installation instructions.
  4. After ADE is installed and you open it for the first time, ADE will ask you for your Adobe ID and password.  This is a one-time set-up, but it does have to take place for each ADE device and on each computer where ADE has been installed.  For more information, look at the Adobe Digital Editions FAQ.

Step 2: EBSCO Account

In order to download ebooks from EBSCO, you also have to have a personal account set up with EBSCO.  If you do not have this account, do the following:

  1. Click on the "Sign In" link that is available on the blue horizontal bar at the top of the display from any EBSCO database.
  2. Click on the "Create a New Account" link and complete the information on the form.

Step 3: Download an EBSCO Ebook

For an EBSCO e-book to be available for off-line use (downloadable) it must be in the PDF format.  Most of the EBSCO e-books are in this format, but if an EBSCO e-book isn't available for downloading, either it’s not a PDF or it’s possible that EBSCO was unable to get those rights from the publisher.

  1. Make sure you are using a device compatible with Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) or that you have downloaded and installed ADE on your computer.  See step #1, above.
  2. Make sure you have set up an account in EBSCO.  See step #2, above.
  3. Once you identify an e-book from the EBSCO Ebook collection that you would like to download, sign in to your EBSCO account.
  4. Click on the "Download (Offline)" link associated with an e-book record.  Note: If you haven’t signed in to your account, you will be prompted to do so at this point.
  5. Select the checkout period (1-7 days; this time period is controlled by the DRM and is in accordance with publisher agreements).
  6. Click the “Checkout & Download” button.
  7. You should get a message indicating that the e-book was successfully downloaded.  If Adobe Digital Editions is installed, you should see a window that prompts you to open it in Adobe Digital Editions.  At this point, you can read and view the book at any time during the checkout period without being connected to the Internet.
  8. At the end of the checkout period (1-7 days, depending on what was selected), the e-book will “disappear” from your device.

Download an EBSCO Ebook to an iPad

Because Apple products do not work with Adobe Digital Editions, you need to download an app to use downloaded EBSCO e-books on iPhones, iPads, and iPad Minis.

  1. Obtain the Bluefire or Txtr app from the App Store.  Once it is installed, associate your Adobe ID with it.  This option should appear the first time you open the app.
  2. Use the iPad’s browser to go the the EBSCO Ebook Collection.  Login to your EBSCOhost account, and search for an e-book.
  3. Click on the “Download (Offline)” link associated with an e-book record.  Note: If you haven’t signed in to your account, you will be prompted to do so.
  4. Select the checkout period (1-7 days; this time period is controlled by the DRM and is in accordance with publisher agreements).
  5. Click the “Checkout & Download” button.
  6. If the app has been properly configured with your Adobe ID, you should see a button that states: “Open in 'Bluefire Reader'” (or similar).  Click on that buttom.
  7. If this action is successful, you will be transferred to the Bluefire app and you will see that it’s downloading the item.  If it completes the process successfully, you will receive an option to “Read Later” or “Read Now”.
  8. If this action is not successful the first time, go back to the browser, and click on the “Open in Bluefire Reader” button again.  Sometimes takes a couple of times for a successful download.

Transfer an EBSCO Ebook from a Computer to an iPad Using iTunes

This process assumes that the ebook has already been downloaded to a laptop or desktop computer, specifically a PC; but the general process should be the same for a Mac.

  1. Open iTunes.
  2. Dock the iPad (or other iOS device) with the computer.
  3. In iTunes, click on the iPad device that displays on the left panel.
  4. Click on the “Apps” tab.  On this display, you will see all of the apps available on the iPad.
  5. Scroll down to the “File Sharing” section of this display, and click on the “Bluefire Reader” icon (or Txtr, depending on which app you've installed).
  6. In the document library to the right, you will see all of the items currently available in this app on your iPad.
  7. At the bottom of this display, you will see an “Add” button.  Click on that button.
  8. On the PC, navigate to “Documents--> My Digital Editions--> and find the PDF file for the book you want to transfer to the iPad.
  9. Double click on the file to add it to the app's inventory in iTunes.
  10. Go to the app on the iPad.  The book from the PC should now be available in the app on the iPad.  If it is not, try syncing your iPad.
  11. Disconnect your iPad from the PC after the transfer is complete.

Transfer an EBSCO Ebook from a Computer to Other Devices

If you own an e-book reader (Nook or Sony Reder, for example) or other device that is compatible with Adobe Digital Editions, use this information to transfer an EBSCO ebook to this device.  This process assumes that the e-book has already been downloaded to a computer.

  1. Open the downloaded e-book in Adobe Digital Editions.
  2. Connect the portable device to your computer.
  3. Adobe Digital Editions automatically detects the presence of the ADE-compatible device and offers to authorize it with your Adobe ID.
  4. After authorization, the device appears as a new “bookshelf” in your library.
  5. Transfer items to and from the device bookshelf by clicking on the book title and then dragging and dropping the title into the device bookshelf.
  6. Disconnect your device after the transfer is complete.

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