VLeBooks FAQ's

Content & Licensing

How many titles do you have?

Our catalogue is always growing as we continue to add new and exciting content as soon as it’s published. Right now we have more than 1,400,000 titles from more than 5000 publishers from all over the world.

Can I purchase individual eBooks?

Yes, all eBooks can be purchased individually. You don’t need to add credit upfront, simply purchase the books you need when you need them, and only ever pay for what you want.

Do eBooks expire?

This will depend on the license type you select when you purchase the books. Most publishers offer eBooks that are available in perpetuity – however eBooks from a select few will expire after a specified number of issues or days. This will be detailed in the license selection before you make a purchase.

Can we have many students accessing the same title together?

Yes – depending on the license type available there are many ways to allow multiple students simultaneous access to the same title. Many publishers allow content to be purchased under a Credit License that allows for multiple user access. Each title will have a certain number of access credits per year, and multiple students can access the book at once as long as there are credits remaining. We also have publishers who offer books in ‘packs’ with options for 1,3,5,10 and 9,999 users. Keep an eye out for the 9,999 user options as this usually represent incredibly good value.

Do I have to pay to renew credits?

No, unless you run out of credits before they automatically renew for free. Any eBooks purchased as a Credit License will renew automatically free of charge every year to their original value (typically 400) on each anniversary of purchase. So if you purchase a book which has 400 credits on the 1st of September, each year on the 1st of September your credits will go back up to 400 regardless of how many have been used, without any additional charges. If you run out of credits before the anniversary date and wish to add more credits, you can then choose to top up our credits if required.

How will illustrations appear?

Exactly as in the print book - each page is an exact image of the printed work.

Will I lose the eBook if a publisher withdraws a title?

No, purchased titles will remain available to you.

Will there be colour illustrations and photographs?

Yes - each page is an exact image of the printed work.

Reading Online

What software do I need to read eBooks?

VLeBooks requires only that you use a web browser and requires no additional software or plugins. Applications are available for Android and iOS Devices but they are only necessary if you wish to download books. Most users prefer to read online as it offers a richer experience without the need for additional software.

What version of each browser is supported?

Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 4 and above, Chrome 12 and above, Safari 5 and above.

Does the online reader need Java or Flash?

Javascript must be enabled within the browser, but Flash is not required.

If you open an eBook online and don’t close it will it lock it for other students?

The online reader will time out after 2 hours of inactive use. This is to ensure that titles can be accessed by other students if they have not been used for a long period.

Can the students use Facebook/Twitter to state what they are currently reading?

Yes, using the share button within the reader or against each title on VLeBooks.

How long are students’ notes kept for?

Students’ notes will remain available online indefinitely, unless deleted or amended by the student. Notes will also be removed when a student’s account is de-activated, for example if they leave the school or college.

Can I read online using a mobile device?

Yes, the VLeBooks plaform is fully compatible with mobile devices providing iOS devices are on version 5.0 or above and Android devices on 4.0 or above. Apps are available to download books for offline reading and catalogues can be browsed and online reading can take place using the devices browser.

Will it work on Macs?

Yes VLeBooks works on all Windows and Mac PC’s Laptops and Tablets.

What about students with accessibility issues.

We support a wide range of accessibility options which incude: - Coloured Overlays whilst reading to add shades, typically used by dyslexic users to improve the reading experience. - Five different zoom levels allow for users to make text and images smaller or larger as required. This is in addition to the built in zoom functionality available in all modern browsers. - Whilst searching and browsing for eBooks in the online catalogue, a variety of accessibility options can be applied which include Large Font, High Contract, Highlighting Links, Greyscale Mode and a Dyslexic Friendly Font. Setting are applied at the individual user level and will follow that user across all devices.

Do eBooks cope with the graphics from textbooks?

Yes, images appear exactly as they would appear in the physical book.

How much can a student print and copy?

Normally each student can print and copy 10% of the content, but a few publishers impose different limits. VLeBooks allows all students and teachers to copy and print directly from the eBook Reader itself and automatically manages limits to ensure there is no accidently infringement.

Does the user get a warning as they near the copying and printing limits?

Yes, the reader will clearly display the number of pages copied/printed, and the number of pages remaining for each.

Downloading for Offline Reading

What is a download?

The entire eBook is loaded on your local device (PC, Mac, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or eReader) rather than reading page by page online.

How long can books be downloaded for?

The maximum loan term is determined by the school, college or university and users can choose any number of days up to that maximum loan length. Typical download limits could be set as 1 day, 7 days, 14 days etc with the ability to set global rules for the entire library and tweak individual titles if required.

How does the App work and is it password controlled?

All access to your library of eBooks is handled through the browser on the device, and protected by your choice of authentication method. The VLeBooks Reader app will handle a download once it has been requested from the site. The app is only used for reading once downloaded, and can be used online or offline.

Can I turn off downloads for my school?

You can turn off downloads for the entire platform, for a particular licence type, or for individual titles.

Does the book automatically go back to system when the download expires?

Yes. Regardless of whether or not the device is online, the book will automatically time-out on that device and simultaneously be available again online for another student.

I am concerned that I will go over the 2000 free downloads, can we have access to more?

Yes, the cost will be 10p per download. However please note that very few customers have ever exceeded this limit in any 12 month period. We find that students prefer to read online, it’s quicker and offers a more advanced reading experience. So downloading only usually occurs where students are planning ahead for times they know they will be offline, i.e. travel and field trips.

If a book is downloaded - how does it disappear from a device?

It 'expires' so it cannot be read after the expiry date. It can then be physically deleted if required. No intervention from the administrator or librarian is required.

Is there a list of compatible devices that will allow downloads?

Any device that supports Adobe Digital Editions will allow downloads from VLeBooks. This includes PCs, laptops, Macs, Apple devices (iPhones and iPads included), most Android devices (including tablets, mobile phones and Kindle Fires), and most eReader (but not a Kindle reader).

Access & Authentication

How can I manage login and authentication?

You have many choices to make logging in and authenticating quick and easy for all users. VLeBooks supports username and passwords and IP address / IP Range authentication as well as a number of integration options with Single Sign On (SSO), Library Management System (LMS) and User/Identity Access Management (UAM / IAM) solutions including Shibboleth, Athens, Office 365, Google Apps, FireFly, Moodle, RM Unify, Oliver and AccessIT.

We don’t have a VLE or LMS, can I use VLeBooks?

Yes, whilst we can integrate with many VLE and LMS services if required, VLeBooks is a stand-alone system and can work independently of any Virtual Learning Environment or Library Management System.

Do we need to set up and manage usernames and passwords?

Only if you wish to access VLeBooks this way. Alternatively we have integrated solutions with many of the major LMS and VLE providers to provide a seamless login. Please see ‘How can I manage login and authentication’ above. If you do choose to use a stand-alone username and password system, even this can be automated by providing exports from your School Information Management System such as SIMS.

Our Library Management System is not available out of school - can pupils use Moodle to log in?

Yes, we have developed a free Moodle block that will provide seamless integration with VLeBooks.

Can VLeBooks be added to the school website?

Yes you can easily add VLeBooks to your school website or the library page on the school intranet.

Can we access from Eclipse?

Yes, the MARC records we can supply will load into Eclipse and provide a direct link to the title. This is also true for any library management system that supports MARC record uploading and URL links in catalogue records.

Installation & Configuration

How will VLeBooks be set up?

We will take care of everything! Setup will take place remotely and no installation is needed at the school. There are no on-site servers or hardware and no school resources are required, typically no input is needed from your IT department either. Browns Books offer a technical helpdesk should you want to speak to us, if you have any questions or need any support using the VLeBooks platform.

Is there a limit to the number of users?

No, we already have existing customers with thousands of students.


How quickly are eBooks made available?

Any eBooks that you purchase will become available within minutes of checking out the order online.

How do I know what license I am purchasing with the book i.e. Multiple or limited user access?

The available licenses will be clearly shown on our website as you make your purchases. Before you are able to put a book into a basket to order / checkout, you must select a license type from the drop down box. Often multiple license types are available, allowing you to choose the most suitable license for how you intend to use the book.

I currently generate records so I can tell the parents what their children are reading. Is this available for eBooks?

VLeBooks provides comprehensive usage reports that can be used to identify popular titles, and also track reading for individual students. All reports can be exported to a spreadsheet.


Is there a required minimum spend on eBooks?

No, it is up to you how much you spend.

Is there VAT on eBooks?

No, The UK rights for VAT on eBooks changed June 2020.

What happens if we don't continue with the annual support fee? Will I lose my eBooks?

No you will not lose access to your books. We will give online access to all of your purchased eBooks but some features may be unavailable, for example access to new free ebooks will be restricted as will the ability to download books. If you no longer need access to any of your e-books then let us know and we can retire your account and prevent future access.

Why do we get charged 10p for downloads after we have used the 2000 up?

We are charged by Adobe for each download as we apply the Digital Rights Management (DRM).

What is the cost per book of eBooks Vs. Print?

eBook prices generally tend to be similar to the RRP of the paperback version, although this can vary. Prices are set by the publisher and no additional charges are added by Browns Books. Often multi user licenses or credit licenses offer exceptionally good value in comparison to the cost of a printed book.

We are an upper and lower school site, can we set up multiple platforms?

Yes, you can choose to have separate catalogues for each site, or an integrated catalogue covering both.

How do I pay for eBooks?

There are no minimum order values and you do not need to load credit upfront, so you simply order the books you want when you need them from the Browns Books website. Invoices are normally sent by email and can be downloaded from our website. You can pay by credit card or provide a purchase order number to receive an invoice which will be payable within 30 days.

Is a support service included in the annual subscription?

Yes – our technical support team are available during office hours (8:30am – 5pm) for any queries, and training is available via online sessions and in-school visits. All support and training is included as part of your subscription fee. In addition there is an online user guide available along with many helpful videos with tips and tutorials on the website.


Can we as a company help promote eBooks to staff/students?

Yes, please contact our Customer Care Team. We have a talented marketing team who are able to support you in providing exciting digital materials to help promote the service.

Will you be able to do training individually? Can you visit us to help?

Yes, please contact your Area Sales Manager or our Customer Care Team. We’d be happy to visit you.

If you can't find an answer to your question above, please get in contact with our Customer Care team by using our 'Live Chat' feature or by clicking the link below.