Do Different Self-Publishing eBook Formats Confuse You?

Do you find eBook ePublishing Formats, such as EPUB, MOBI, AMAZON KINDLE, (AZW), and PDF or even Print on Demand book publishing confusing?

Considering the cosmic increase of writers, currently self-publishing digital eBooks and Print on Demand books, (POD), there is a challenging need for authors to learn more about the fundamental formats and processes required. Existing and aspiring authors command more information and education on how to format an eBook, including accepted formats for POD publishers and distributors.

I have been self-publishing and selling my PDF and HTML executable eBooks since 2003. Yet, it has been only since the modernization of digital e-Book eReader devices, and their explosion onto the marketplace, that self-publishing eBooks has revolutionized the publishing industry. The quick advancement brings a greater need to understand the varied eBook formats available. This is especially true, if you, the writer and self-publisher, expects to accomplish the entire digital eBooks and POD books self-publishing process on your own.

Formatting preparedness for Print on Demand self-publishing books is uncomplicated and undemanding. POD self-publishing requires converting your existing writing file into a PDF format, then uploading it to the publisher/distributor; namely, Createspace.com, Lulu.com, etc.

Conversely, digital formats for self-publishing eBooks requires a tedious and supplementary process, when converting formats for different companies and eReader devices.

The most popular and recognizable digital eBook formats are EPUB, MOBI, TEXT, PDF and HTML. Although, PDF is a format preferred on computer systems, people utilize it on some eReaders, if images, charts and technical drawings display imperfectly and disproportionately on devices. Generally, PDF eBooks require converting to an ePub, mobi or text file when viewing on eReaders and tablets like the Kindle, Nook, Smart Phones and iPad.

There are many diverse eBook formats, supported by different companies. Professionals developed the EPUB, (ePub) format as a standard for eBooks. Currently, it is the most widely accepted by the larger number of eReader manufacturers and publishers. For example, to self-publish your eBook with Barnes and Noble and Apple iBookstore, you must upload an accepted ePub formatted file; yet, Amazon.com Kindle Direct Publishing accepts the MOBI format.

Firstly and most importantly, if you plan to self-publish eBooks with Amazon.com, you should be knowledgeable their Kindle eReader utilizes a proprietary format, some with Digital Rights Management, (DRM), and utilizes formats, (.azw), (.prc), and (.mobi). On the contrary, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iPad, Sony Portable Digital Reader and other eBook devices utilize the open source ePub format recognized by the International Digital Publishing Forum.

What are the most important dynamics when self-publishing digital eBook files?

To be a self-publisher, you must purchase your own ISBN, rather than to allow the company such as Amazon.com, Lulu.com, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords.com, etc. supply the number for your ebook.

You will have to read the company’s agreement and guidelines thoroughly. It is imperative you understand the entire self-ePublishing versus ePublishing/Distribution process. If necessary, you should seek the advice of a professional if you have any concerns.

It is essential you understand ePub and Amazon format differences and fundamentals when self-ePublishing your digital files.

Additionally significant, although some companies accept Microsoft DOC formatted files, they may not be the best type to upload for self-publishing an EPUB or MOBI ebook.

It is paramount to edit and convert your files, to a correct format that provides a clean conversion without displaying errors when viewing on specific eReaders.

Many self-publishing eBook writers search for one tool that will enable easy, clean and correctly formatted files ready for uploading to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Apple iBookstore and others. Although, there are software applications that convert files into different formats, I have yet to find one tool for one easy conversion that will perfectly display eBooks in all formats, for all eReader devices.

With that said, it is advantageous to realize ePub and mobi format source is HTML, and supported by the majority of eReader devices. HTML provides the best and most proportioned display on nearly all devices. Additionally, HTML supports Table of Contents, links, images and generally everything that an online web page can display. Furthermore, HTML requires the least modifications for ePublishing eBooks, and makes the challenging process much easier to achieve. It will be to your gain, when writing your material, you keep in mind HTML display settings will be the overall result. Conversely, HTML format does not apply to POD self-publishing.

What format is easiest to learn and convert files when self-publishing eBooks?

Firstly, you should self-publish your eBooks with all available publishers and not only one.

Editing, formatting and converting variables can be equally challenging when self-publishing eBooks and converting to or from MOBI or EPUB. When you decide on the best format to utilize, it should depend upon the original written material, and how much editing is initially required.

For example, are you converting from PDF to EPUB or PDF to MOBI? Conversely, are you converting and editing a DOC file or an Open Office Writer file, preparing its format for an EPUB or MOBI?

The application, Calibre Software, eases format conversions, however, in many circumstances, displays and errors accepted for your own personal reading, will not be an accepted format to upload self-publishing files.

In some instances, when ePublishing for Amazon.com Kindle eReader, ePub files may be simpler to convert into the Mobi format. In addition, creating and or converting an ePub format can be a greater advantage in ePublishing since there are more accepting digital publishers.

It is best you understand the variables in an EPUB file to make challenging decisions easier in a self-publishing format process.

What is an eBook ePub formatted file?

Quote from Wikipedia:

“EPUB stands for ‘electronic publication’ and it’s the accepted standard format for digital book publishing. If you want to make an ebook that can be read on a digital device, you’ll need it in this EPUB format.”

An ePub file is a container that includes different type files for publishing digital eBooks. It is an ‘Open Publication Structure’ eBook file. Think of it as a zip file that contains many different type files in one holding place. The holding place is actually a folder. It might be easier to visualize a jar filled with many different types of jellybeans, the jar is the folder and the different jellybeans are different type files, all in one container/folder.

Most all eBook e-Readers will open EPUB files: namely, B&N Nook, Sony Reader, Apple iPad, smart phones and others. However, you must convert EPUB files to view them on the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle utilizes the MOBI format.

How do you convert an EPUB file to view on a Kindle eReader Device?

You can convert your documents from EPUB as well as converting other formats to EPUB.

Download Calibre free software. Install it on your computer; next, convert EPUB files to many different eBook formats, including the compatible format, MOBI for the Amazon Kindles.

You can open your Calibre software from its Desktop Icon; then follow the instructions to open the specified .ePub ebook file or any other format.

Do not simply rename a file extension to an (.ePub) in an attempt for Windows or any other PC operating system to recognize the eBook. It is necessary to convert the file into the correct EPUB format. Generally, Calibre software will provide the required conversion.

You can also read ePub files with other software applications, namely, Adobe Digital Editions, Mobipocket Reader Desktop, Stanza Desktop, and EPUB Reader: a freeware Firefox add-on that allows viewing the contents of an ePub book inside the browser without any additional software required.

There are other applications, software, add-ons and converters; however, you do not need to review every one.

You Too, can learn How to ePublish.

It is not as difficult as it may appear when reviewing the requirements to ePublish your eBooks in all formats, or only for the Amazon.com Kindle eReader.

The most difficult undertaking for some may be in actually writing the material for your eBook. The worst possible action is to do nothing about writing and creating your eBooks for e-Publication in the distinctive formats for the various eReader devices.

The opportunity awaits those who will take the steps to publish their books or eBooks.

Failure is a guarantee, if you do nothing to further your writing aspirations. Although, it is possible to experience immediate success, the commonality is achieving success over time. It is necessary to promote your products utilizing marketing strategies over weeks and months to realize steady streams of sales and receive monthly checks from Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com and others. You do not have to be on the bestsellers list to receive money from your eBook or book sales. Naturally, it is rewarding to be on a bestseller list; however, it is not required to have eBook/book sales that earn you revenue.

If you have great difficulty in preparing and or converting your writing files to the different formats, help is obtainable. There are many available web sites very willing to assist you with your formatting requirements. Normally, you will have to pay for any services rendered to convert your writing into the different formats: (.mobi, .prc, .ePub), and others.

You can convert your files to the correct formats with the assistance of special tools and software noted in this article. Additionally, there are more applications not mentioned. Some software is free and others require a purchase.

You can write your ebook/book utilizing a word processor. It can be Microsoft-Word, Open Office-Writer, AbiWord or LibreOffice. You can find a list of Free Word Processors at this link.

EPUB is compatible with the following devices:

iPhone, the iPod Touch, the iPad, the Sony Reader, the Nook, the iLiad, the BeBook, the Cool-er, the CyBook, the Alex eReader, the Kobo eReader, the Elonex eBook, the eSlick, the eClicto, the Hanlin eReader, the QUE ProReader, the Papyre, the Leqtor.

Contact me, if I can be of assistance or answer any of your questions.

 

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