WNA Blog

Tue 17 Jul 2018

Book Formats – e-Book

Writing, Editing & Publishing
What is an e-Book?

A standard definition is an electronic book or a publication in digital form, which is usually read online or downloaded onto an e-reader device. This book format has opened the doors for millions of people to publish their book who would never been able to publish via traditional method.  These are exciting times.

In this post, we will look at the Kindle (Amazon) and the EPUB (every other publishing provider) formats.

Why are there two file types?

Amazon created and owns the proprietary file type for Kindle books, which can only be read with Kindle readers or the Kindle app. However, the rest of the industry uses the standard file format for International Digital publishing, which is the EPUB format.

That means there are two types of eBook format that can be considered depending on which eBook publishing platform you chose to use. Again, Kindle, exclusive to Amazon, and EPUB, everyone else.

Whether or not you choose to publish in one or both formats is a decision you need to make based on a number of factors including costs and your potential customer base.

Another factor to consider when publishing eBooks is the need to meet specific requirements for ISBN registration and administration.

Most publishing platforms offer an ISBN service for free, however, there is still a price to pay. There are often restrictions for how you can sell your book and what other platforms (if any) you can market your book on. It pays to understand what you are signing up for. Free does not necessarily mean flexible.

It is up to you to decide what is best for you in your circumstances or seek professional assistance.

If you would like to be in full control of your ISBN, you will need to set up your own ISBN account and manage the administration and legal requirements.

For people based in Australia, the ISBN platform is Bowker Thorpe. They provide guidance on how you can apply for an ISBN and the various details you need to input for registration and subsequent lodgement once your book is published.

This is the blessing and the curse, of independent publishing. You can decide what you do and don’t do. However, if you are finding decision-making onerous, you should seek assistance to finish your book and publish. Next week, we will continue with more eBook considerations.

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