Monday, April 18, 2011

Learning More About Ebooks

An ebook or electronic book is a digital version of a print book. It is an increasingly popular format not only for book publishers but also for magazines and newspapers. The push to “go green” and to avoid paper as much as possible has led to the rise of digital copies of books, magazines and newspapers. This also helps writers and publishers because the middle men or retailers are no longer a requirement since they can directly sell the digital copies of their materials to readers.

Ebook Format

Ebooks are available in different formats depending on the requirement of the devices and the publisher. The lightest format is the .txt or text format, which makes the material readable in almost every e-reader and other electronic device. Other properties that can be read in many devices are the .htm or .html formats.

There are also proprietary formats that require additional applications or are only readable on specific devices. A good example is the .pdf format which will require a .pdf reader. Amazon’s .azw is an ebook format only readable in Amazon’s e-reader (Kindle) or the Kindle application. The .azw is a perfect example of a proprietary format.

E-readers and Other Compatible Devices

It is not necessary to have an e-reader to read electronic copies of books, magazines, newspapers and other materials. E-readers are only available for convenience since their only function is to store and properly display books on the go. Computers, laptops and tablet computers with the proper software or application can also read electronic books without any deviation from the e-reader versions.