Table of Contents
- Characteristics of an e-book
- E-book Formats
- Why Every Author Needs to Publish eBooks – Benefits of eBooks
- How to Create an eBook?
When does a book become extremely handy and easy to read? Of course, when it’s an e-book! The introduction of “electronic paper” in the late 1990s opened up a whole new universe of possibilities.
People could read books on a digital device without changing batteries owing to this low-energy technology. This invention, the eBook, resulted in a digital publishing boom, allowing readers to buy and carry books on any device, at any time.
We’ll look at some of the most popular e-book formats and explain why every author should consider joining the digital publishing revolution.
Characteristics of an e-book
To begin, eBooks are digital files that can be read on a tablet, smartphone, computer, or another digital device. However, while other files (such as word documents) can be viewed on digital devices, eBooks have unique characteristics that set them apart.
1. eBooks Should Not be Able to be Edited
A distinct feature of an eBook is that the text should not be editable. An eBook should be converted into a format that is not editable, at all times.
Individuals could potentially edit any information without the author’s permission because thousands of people have access to it via digital devices. So, much like a paperback, the text should not be able to be modified in any way in order to qualify as an actual eBook.
2. eBooks Can be Reflowed (With an Exception)
Another important feature of real eBooks is that they should be reflowable. This means that the eBook will always fit your screen, regardless of screen size; text will be structured with line breaks, and chapters and photos will adapt to fit the proportions of the device you’re reading on.
However, there is one exception: PDFs. Because PDFs can’t be changed but can’t be reflowed, they don’t strictly qualify as eBooks based on the characteristics that differentiate eBooks.
However, because of the simplicity with which businesses may acquire and distribute PDFs, they have become “unofficial” eBooks and are still extensively used eBook formats.
If you were to look for eBook formats, you would find a plethora of choices. Several dozen, in fact. However, many of these formats are unlikely to be used in the real world.
To make things easier for you, we’ll just look at the three that are well-known for their ease of use and ability to be employed in a widely spread format: EBUP, AZN, and PDF.
The most frequently supported format is EPUB, or electronic publication, which can be read on a broad range of devices, including PCs, smartphones, tablets, and most eReaders (except Kindles). EPUB files can be reflowed, making them true eBooks that are easier to read on small screens.
The following are some of the most popular e-readers that support the EPUB format natively:
- Kobo Clara HD ($119.99)
- Kobo Forma ($249.99)
- NOOK GlowLight Plus ($199.99)
2. AZN: Amazon’s Own Format
Amazon is the only retailer that does not sell EPUBs. Instead, they employ the AZN, a proprietary eBook format that is a development of their previous MOBI format. It differs from the EPUB in that it includes Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology, which makes it more difficult to share and pirate.
There’s no need to stress about remembering all of these acronyms: Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon’s author platform) now supports EPUB files, which it will convert to AZNs for you instantly.
This means that for most authors, EPUBs are the only format they’ll ever need to worry about.
The following are some of the most popular e-readers that support the EPUB format natively:
- Kindle Paperwhite 8GB ($149.99)
- Kindle Oasis 8GB ($249.99)
- Kindle Reader App (free to download to phones and tablets)
Although a PDF, often known as a portable document format, isn’t exactly an eBook by our definition, it is the most widely used format. PDFs are notable for their ease of use and ability to hold custom layouts.
They were created by Adobe. They can be tough to read on a small screen because they keep their format and aren’t reflowable. Despite this, they remain one of the most popular eBook formats, particularly among marketers.
Why Every Author Needs to Publish eBooks – Benefits of eBooks
So, why is it that most authors consider publishing an eBook to be such a no-brainer?
To begin with, we now live in a digital world: the introduction of the first Kindle in 2007 revolutionized the way millions of people purchased and read books, and eBooks will only continue to increase in popularity in the future.
Second, as an indie author, it will almost certainly make your life easier! eBooks enable indie authors to reach a large audience while also allowing them to earn a career as writers.
In reality, having a print-only distribution plan would be unthinkable for most authors today. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of eBook publishing for authors all around the world.
1. They’re Inexpensive to Make and Sell
eBooks are created without the use of paper, ink, or glue. They don’t need to be stored in a warehouse or transported in a semi-truck across the country. As a result, overhead costs are essentially non-existent, resulting in lower prices for consumers and a higher portion of royalties for authors.
2. eBooks are Good for the Environment
Possibly the best benefit of eBooks. Each year, the book publishing industry uses 16 million tons of paper, which equals to 32 million trees. Don’t even get us started on the pollutants that factories emit into the atmosphere.
A really huge carbon footprint this is. With eBooks accounting for around 30% of all book sales, they not only save energy and pollution, but they also save 9.6 million of the 32 million trees per year! Everyone benefits.
3. They are Very Accessible
One of the best things about eBooks is how flexible they are: anything from the font and font size to the background colour can be changed. Almost every book can now be made ‘large print’ for readers with visual impairment issues.
The technology that allows eBooks to fit on every device and satisfy the needs of any reader is known as “reflowable text,” which means that the font size and position are not set.
4. You Can Instantly Reach a Large Number of People
Getting an indie book stocked in retailers across the country — and practically impossible to sell internationally — would have been a Herculean task in the old days. However, with the digital distribution of eBooks, any writer may reach readers all over the world nearly quickly without ever leaving their home.
5. eBooks are Searchable
eBooks, unlike print books, are searchable. You may go back and search keywords to discover the area of your book you were looking for instead of flicking through the pages trying to find a favourite quotation or part of the plot.
This is especially useful when reading long books because flipping through the pages to find a certain page would take hours.
6. Download eBooks Right Away
When people nowadays want something, they want it now. With the push of a button, you can buy and download an eBook from practically anywhere on any device that supports eBooks.
No more travelling to the store and searching among dozens of bookshelves for hours, or waiting for your order to arrive. You may access eBooks at any time and from any location, and you can begin reading right away.
How to Create an eBook?
The first step is to define your objectives and target audience. What is the purpose of the eBook, and who is it for? Knowing these things will enable you to select a topic that will not only catch your audience’s attention, but also serve the purpose for which you wrote the eBook in the first place.
After you’ve decided on a topic, come up with a catchy title to attract your audience. It should also give them a reason to want to read your eBook; a vague title will not get you far.
Begin structuring your eBook by creating an engaging introduction, breaking it down into chapters, and placing appropriate calls-to-action throughout the document.
When you begin writing, having this outline will save you time.
It should be enjoyable to write your eBook. This is your opportunity to demonstrate to your readers that you are an expert on the topic you’re writing about. Include specifics, be inventive, and demonstrate your abilities. Make sure you proofread everything after you’ve finished!
The design comes next. The style of your eBook should complement the material it will include, from colour to images to branding and font. The reader should be drawn in by your title, but the design should also help.
Consider the formatting of your eBook as well; break up massive blocks of text with lists and pictures to make it appear easier to read.
Finally, you’ll want to convert your e-book, publish it, and advertise it.
As a marketer, producing an eBook gives you the chance to be the one-stop shop that your customers are looking for. You’ll attract strangers to your website and give your company with possible leads if you provide them with relevant, informative content.
You might be wondering how these visitors become leads. If you collect their contact information, such as their email addresses, you will be able to contact them. This is an excellent example of how useful eBooks can be in your marketing efforts.