E-books can be much more than a PDF file

By Kevin • February 11th, 2012

If you’re thinking about jumping on the e-book gravy train to earn extra dollars from previously published print books, the following should shed light on popular e-book file formats and commonly-used digital book readers. A quick Google search reveals more than 50 e-book file formats, but those most commonly used by the plethora of reading devices include PDF, mobi and epub.

All that is necessary to read a PDF is a computer and PDF-reading software such as Adobe Acrobat or Foxit Reader, then you’re off and reading a PDF-version of A Chukar Hunter’s Companion or Billy Barnstorm – The Birch Lake Bomber. Mobi and epub, however, are better suited for devices that offer users a dynamic reading experience, e-readers such as Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iPad or Amazon’s Kindle.

Most of us are familiar with the old-standby PDF, the Portable Document Format created by Adobe Systems, which is the de facto standard for outdoor communicators exchanging manuscripts and photos throughout cyberspace. Although it’s a snap to create a PDF from your print book and call it an e-book, and try to sell it from your website, the PDF as an e-book can provide an annoying experience for seasoned Nook, iPad and Kindle users because these devices allow users to alter font size and styles and adjust line spacing. Since text automatically reflows in e-readers, there is no need for page numbers, headers, footers or margins as found in PDF books created from print books without e-reader customization.

If you’re going to make an e-book, consider producing it in mobi and epub file formats to maximize the reading experience.


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