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Which Digital Format For My E-Book?

Kobo e-Book ReaderIt’s all very well writing a wonderful novel but when it comes to distributing your carefully crafted words, that’s when the questions start.

Traditionally, you would need to decide on a paperback or hard cover, with the ensuing difference in price. Today, you still have that question (although hard cover books seem to be disappearing almost completely) but you also have the question of which e-Book formats should you choose?

The manufacturers of e-Book readers all seem to want to create their own format of e-Book with their own set of must-have features, so which format is best?

Thankfully, although there are currently more than 24 different formats for e-Books, you can safely ignore most of them. A thorough analysis of which formats are supported by which devices yields the following nugget of advice: most devices support the open ePub format and those that don’t, support MobiPocket or Amazon’s AZW, which is related to MobiPocket.

When we publish e-Books, we always create both of these formats so you can be certain that wherever you want to sell your e-Book, whatever e-Book reader your customers have, they will be able to read your work.

“Why not PDF?” I hear the geeks amongst you ask. Whilst it is supported on almost all devices (71 out of the 73 I checked, with 2 having “no information” rather than “no”) there are problems with Adobe’s file format. The greatest of these is that it was designed for page layout and doesn’t easily support different screen or page sizes. This means that unless you are very lucky, a PDF will have tiny writing or giant writing; you can’t change the font size and the best you may be able to do is zoom in, which will leave you having to scroll around to read paragraphs.

Our resident techno-genius and house-geek hopes you’ve enjoyed the first of his techie articles – more coming soon!

Digitally yours,

The Team