Many Australians are under the misconception that when it comes to e-books, they do not have much choice where to purchase from. While that may have been true at some point, it’s no longer the case, and people may be spending more money on that best-selling thriller than they have to.

Big W, a discount department store, has matched the retail trends of international growth of e-books by introducing a new website, which allows customers to download their favourite titles to mobile devices.

Indeed, Big W has a great deal of bargain e-book titles that can be downloaded to almost any device.

Unlike other e-book companies engaged in online retailing, Big W’s new website is designed specifically for the Australian audience, according to the store’s Head of Books, Scott White. The site, ebooks.bigw.com.au, has more than 250,000 e-books on offer and therefore caters to a wide variety of people looking for a range of different titles.

“The e-books market in Australia is dominated by overseas-based companies focused on overseas customers,” said Mr White. “Big W e-books is different – we are an Australian retailer with a focus on the books Australians love, with downloads at Australia’s lowest prices,” said Mr White.

According to research by Big W, 58 per cent of customers embrace the opportunity to purchase low-cost books, or get a free download. To accommodate these bargain hunters, the Big W will be offering a steadily rotating choice of e-books for the ultimate value of $0.99 in addition to several hundred titles free of charge.

The titles people most enjoy seems to be crime novels, with 67 per cent of e-book readers downloading a book that fits that description. Contemporary fiction ranks a close second, as 61 per cent of readers have downloaded that genre, and around 41 per cent have read at least one e-book in the adult fiction category.

Women are really taking advantage of the rise in popularity and accessibility of digital books, with 57 per cent more ladies downloading e-books, surpassing the growth in downloads by men.

Over the last 12 months women have also been reading a good deal more than men, with 43 per cent downloading more than 10 e-books during the course of the year, in comparison to 33 per cent of men.