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A Simplified Guide on Choosing the Right eBook Format

As somebody interested in having your work in eBook form and possibly sold or distributed online one of the technical questions you would need answered is "what format should I have my eBook converted into?"

This, at face value, might seem like a technical forest you need to explore but luckily the answer recently has really been greatly simplified by the natural evolution of the eBook format Standards and eReader devices themselves!

A basic Google search on the topic will throw back terms such as PDF and KF8 however the answer (from people who have actually had work published) will be that there are only 3 formats to really pay attention to. Assuming your written work is in either MS Word or Adobe InDesign or PDF (if there is no other choice!) there are really only a few portals where you would want to be selling your eBook. (internationally)

The marketing platform of your choice (which plays the most vital of roles when deciding on your format) would generally be one or more of the following websites:

  1. Amazon.com (the lion's share of the market)

  2. Barnes and Noble

  3. Apple iBook Store

  4. Smashwords (Indie publishers choice)

Looking at the portals we can now filter many many eBook formats into three main options;

 

PDF

  • Recommended for smaller books.

  • Cheapest option.

  • Limits distribution options.

  • Does not flow across device meaning some people might not have a great reading experience.

 

Mobi/ KF8

  • Used for all Amazon Devices or Software including Amazon.com

  • Larger file size.

ePUB

  • Generally accepted anywhere other than Amazon.

  • Open and evolving format standard.

  • Currently on ePub 2.0 

  • ePub version 3 to be in use soon will support video and sound in your eBook!

 

The eBook conversion process I offer luckily supports all three meaning you will always have the file you need. Here is a technical article from Wikipedia which might cover any additional quations you might have.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_formats

I also copied the image from the article to make it easier for your viewing:

b2ap3_thumbnail_eBook-Format-Comparison-Chart.PNG

 

 

 

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