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More about ebooks

Introduction to ebooks  ebook-quote-request

The word ‘ebook’ is an abbreviation of the term ‘electronic book’. In other words, this is a manuscript that has been typeset for easy reading, converted into a particular format, and made available online. You, as the user, download the ebook off the Internet and use software on your computer, or a hand-held device, to view and read the book.

Until recently, ebooks shared a bad reputation with self-publishing, but that too has changed. This is because the way the world communicates has changed. Many interactions are electronic nowadays, such as email, online shopping, Internet searches for information, advertising over the Internet, personal and corporate websites, and Internet banking.

But why would you want an ebook rather than a printed book? Printed books are surely easier on the eye and far more comfortable to read in bed! 

Advantages

For readers, ebooks have these benefits over printed books –

    • They’re cheaper
    • They’re quick to download
    • They take very little computer space to store
    • They’re easy to navigate when looking for particular information
    • They are mobile – wherever your mobile device is, there are your ebooks
    • They can be printed if necessary
    • If you like the ebook, you can buy the more expensive printed version
    • If you don’t like the ebook, you know you won’t like the printed version

For authors, ebooks have these benefits –

    • They’re cheaper to publish
    • The royalties are higher
    • Sales and marketing are Internet based, which is always cheaper
    • They’re easier to distribute
    • International distribution is much easier and more accessible than for printed books
    • You can test the market before investing in an expensive print run
    • The reading public is becoming very comfortable with reading electronic material

And for all of us, they save on trees!

Formats  man-sitting-books

There are a number of ebook formats out there, some that require specialized software and others that require special devices known as ereaders. However, most ebook suppliers offer their ebooks in a range of formats so you can choose the format that best suits your electronic circumstances.

For those of us who go for the vanilla approach to technology, there are three formats that are easy enough to use on all kinds of computers –

PDF – this is the format used for Acrobat Reader developed and supported by Adobe. The reader is free and easy to install. A download link is included at the bottom of this page. This format preserves the layout of your document and is recommended for books in which layout, formatting and design features are important. PDF format is supported on all computers, tablet devices, and certain ereaders such as the Kindle Fire.

HTML – this is the format used by web pages, so your Internet browser is designed to read this format. It can be cumbersome if not properly prepared by the supplier and you could end up trying to navigate your way through a single page of text that never seems to reach the end!

EPUB – this is an open-source ebook format that can be used on mobile devices like laptops and mobile readers or in a web browser. EPub reading software has been created for desktop computers and tablet devices as well which makes this format very versatile. Because the text in an ePub reflows to accommodate the ereader and its screen size, these books work best when simple formatting is used and images are kept to a minimum. Some of the most popular devices that support ePub formats include Kobo eReader, Blackberry Playbook, Apple iBook, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad, Barnes and Noble Nook, Sony Reader, and more. ePub can support colour. You can download free software for reading epub ebooks on non-dedicated ebook devices from http://calibre-ebook.com.

AZW & MOBI (KINDLE) – these formats are used by Amazon's Kindle readers. Because the text reflows to accommodate the ereader and its screen size, these books work best when simple formatting is used and images are kept to a minimum. The new generation Kindle devices can also accommodate colour. You can download free software for viewing Kindle ebooks on non-dedicated ebook devices (Kindle for PC, Kindle for Mac).

IBOOK (APPLE) – this proprietary format is used for reading ebooks on all Apple devices. Later versions of iBook software can play audio and video included with the book, display full colour pictures and illustrations (e.g. children's story books and cookbooks), and offers a real-aloud feature which uses a narrator to read the book to you. Interactive and/or feature-rich books are best suited to this format.

Most ebooks produced in South Africa are supplied in PDF and EPUB format, although Kindle is becoming more and more popular, as is the iBook format with the growing popularity of Apple's iPad.

Where to get help  woman-reading-ebook

If you would like to turn your book or manuscript into an ebook and would like a price for doing so, complete the Online Ebook Publishing Quote Request, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include the following information:

If converting an existing book, then –

    • the current page size and page count
    • the format that the existing book is in, e.g. print-ready PDF, printed book, or open file such as InDesign or MS Publisher
    • format preferences (PDF, ePub, Kindle)
    • the table of contents
    • whether the book contains images and tables/graphs and, if so, how many
    • a representative chapter from the book
    • whether there are references and/or web addresses that require interactive linking and if so, how many

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If creating one from scratch, then –

    • the word count of your current document
    • a representative sample chapter to assess the nature of the material and the kind of formating that will be required (can be in PDF or Word format)
    • format preferences (PDF, ePUB, Kindle)
    • the table of contents
    • whether the book contains images and tables/graphs and, if so, how many
    • whether editing is required and, if so, a brief synopsis of the book plus the intended target market
    • whether there are references and/or web addresses that require interactive linking and, if so, how many

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Once we have created your ebook, you have full ownership of the file and are free to list it for sale in any online store locally and globally. You earn 100% of the profits.

 

Online eBook Publishing Quote Request

 

FREE SOFTWARE FOR READING EBOOKS ON YOUR COMPUTER CAN BE DOWNLOADED BY CLICKING ON THE ICONS BELOW

 

get_adobe_reader      calibre-logo     KINDLE-MAC      KINDLE-PC

 

 

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