How do I Choose the Best eBook Formats?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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Choosing the right ebook formats is not as simple as in times past. In fact, with several different formats in common use today, the task of identifying the best ones may be difficult. Fortunately, there are a few basic tips that help to simplify the process. By considering factors such as portability, security, and the support of different features, it is possible to focus on ebook formats that are likely to be good fit for your digital book project.

One of the first considerations with ebook formats is portability. In other words, you want to select a format that is easily accessible to consumers who want to read your book. This is important to consider as there are now a number of different digital readers on the market; some of those readers use proprietary formatting that does not transfer easily to other readers. For this reason, consider going with a format that will work well with a number of different devices if you want to reach a wider audience.


Another important factor to address is the security of the format chosen for your ebook. Some ebook formats contain wonderful features, but offer very little in the way of security that protects the text from alteration. Since you presumably do not want anyone making changes to your text once it is published, make sure the ereader software chosen has the ability to lock the ebook from editing, and also restricts copying and pasting of the electronic pages into various types of word processing programs. The security features will go a long way toward protecting your work and your reputation.

With ebook formats, you also want to think in terms of the type of feature support offered by the format. For example, if your ebook contains illustrations or digital images along with text, it is important to go with a format that will support those images and graphics. While most formats will easily accommodate a wide range of fonts and font sizes for the text, not all products will readily support other elements of the finished product. Don’t make assumptions regarding what a given format will or will not allow; specifically inquire about each element within your book before making a final decision.

Assuming you find several ebook formats that are right for your project, focus your attention on the cost of utilizing that format. The cost is not only related to out of pocket expenses, but also to future expansion of your project to reach more readers over time. By weighing the costs incurred now and the potential costs later, it is possible to choose the format that has all the features you want, will be accessible for the audience you wish to reach, and will not limit your growth potential in the years to come.


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