Tips & more

How to find foreign-language books on Smashwords

1. Smashwords offers thousands of foreign-language ebooks, but it’s hard to find them.
2. In the search field, type your language and select “tags”.
3. You will find more books using a special phrase on Google web search.

What is Smashwords?

  • Smashwords is a popular ebook platform where you can find ebooks self-published by authors from around the world.
  • It offers well over 500 thousand ebooks across all popular categories.
  • Smashwords ebooks are compatible with major ebook platforms, including Google Play Books, Amazon Kindle, Kobo, Nook, or Apple Books.
  • Each day, between 70 and 100 thousand books are offered for free. You have to register to start downloading them.
  • Thousands of ebooks are in other languages than English.

Problem

Foreign-language ebooks are not easy to find on Smashwords as no direct language filter is available.

There are two indirect ways to find foreign books.

Find foreign-language books on Smashwords – method 1

1. Head to Smashwords and find a search box in the top-right corner.

Smashwords find foreign-language books - use search box

2. In the search box, type the name of your language – in your language. For instance, if you are looking for books in Polish, type “polski” or “po polsku.” Don’t pick up any of the suggestions from a drop-down menu.

3. Right at the top, you will see three search options: “all,” “tags,” and “titles.”. Select tags. You will see all books that were tagged by their authors with this specific word.

Find foreign books on Smashwords - select tag search

4. Try other words that describe your language. If you use an English name for your language, you will see language instruction books at the top.

Not all books marked with the language tag are offered in this specific language. Many of these publications are actually in English. Plus, different authors use different tags to define the language of their books. You will have to run several search queries if you don’t want to miss any book.

Find foreign-language books on Smashwords – method 2

Running a site-specific search on Google will let you quickly find all tags related to your language and find relevant titles.

1. Go go Google web search or open a new tab in your browser.

2. In a search box type:

site:smashwords.com “Language: [language]” -“Language: English”

Replace [language] with a name of your language in English.

Note: Keep quotation marks around the search phrase to see exact matches.

Find foreign-language books on Smashwords using Google web search

This search query will display all tag search pages and single book pages that include a “Language: [language]” phrase used by Smashwords to describe a language of a book.

  • The phrase site:smashwords.com is to search only pages within Smashwords.
  • The phrase “Language: Polish” is to find exact matches – they appear in not only on single book pages, but also search and list pages.
  • The phrase “-Language: English” is here to double-check that no books written in English appear on a list of results.

3. If you want to limit your search only to single books, use the phrase that includes a text “Add to Library” which is displayed as a button only on single book pages:

site:smashwords.com “Language: Polish” AND “Add to Library” -“Language: English”

Have you found other ways to search for language-specific books on Smashwords?

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