What is an eBook?
eBook is an electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.
The Oxford Dictionary of English defines the eBook as "an electronic version of a printed book," but eBooks can and do exist without any printed equivalent. eBooks are usually read on dedicated eBook readers or general purpose computer tablets. Personal computers and many mobile phones (most smart phones) can also be used to read eBooks.
You can start reading an eBook as soon as you've paid for it, so
there is no waiting for delivery. eBooks also offer the convenience of
size and portability; you can store your entire library on a laptop or
In order to read an eBook, you need to download a small piece of free software known as an eBook reader. eBooks come in different formats and each format has its own reader software. The format you select will depend upon your operating system (Windows, Mac, etc) and whether you would like to read on a hand held device or on your computer.
Comparison of eBook formats
A writer or publisher has many options when it comes to choosing a format for publication. The following is a comparison of eBook formats used to create and publish eBook.
How eBook Formatting is Different From Print Formatting
eBooks are different from print books, so do not attempt to make your eBook look like an exact facsimile of print book, otherwise you’ll only frustrate yourself by creating a poorly formatted, unreadable eBook.
With print, you control the layout. The words appear on the printed page exactly where you want them to appear. With eBooks, there is no “page.”
Page numbers are irrelevant. Your book will look different on every e-reading device. Your text will shape shift and reflow. Most eBook reading devices and e-reading applications allow your reader to customize the fonts, font sizes and line spacing. Your customers will modify how your book looks on-screen to suit their personal reading preference and environment.
The book’s formatting will be and must be different from its paper-based formatting and layout (for some works like poetry, the formatting is integral to the reading experience, and we can work with that too).
Most readers want your words, not your fancy page layout or exotic type styles. This is especially important for your eBook customers, because you want your work to display well on as many digital reading devices as possible so the reader can have their book their way. Some of your buyers may want to read on the Amazon Kindle, others may prefer to read on the iPhone or Sony Reader, or even read on multiple devices.