eBook Formats

The two most popular eBook formats are Kindle format (Mobi files) and standard ePUB files.

Kindle Format

Amazon’s Kindle eReader has been a huge success and, via their Kindle Store, Amazon sell more eBooks than any other retailer. We produce a PRC or Mobi format file, that is ideal for uploading to Amazon’s Kindle Store. The files we produce can be previewed on a Kindle eReader device or Kindle App before they are submitted to Amazon, so that you can see exactly how they look before they are available for purchase.

Kindle format files are produced in full colour, and can include graphics, images, photos and tables but most Kindle devices only display greyscale, with the exception of the Kindle Fire tablet device. Kindle Apps for PC, Mac, iPad and smartphone are all capable of displaying colour.

There is very limited control over typefaces, font styles and layout within a Kindle file, so if you have a book with a complex layout we will need to simplify how it looks during the conversion process, we strongly recommend you  stick with a standard eBook file format rather than fixed layout not only does it give the best results, it is less time consuming and is therefore more cost effective.

Standard ePUB

ePUB files are the sold by virtually all other retailers, apart from Amazon, including Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Waterstones. ePUB files are also produced in colour and there is more scope within an ePUB to use different fonts, text styling and advanced layout features. Although the files can include colour, some ePUB compatible eReader devices will only display greyscale. For example, a colour ePUB file sold via B&N’s Nook Store will not be displayed in colour on a standard Nook eReader but will be on a Nook Colour eReader.

Two other eBook formats which are suited to more specific types of book, are Fixed-Layout eBooks and Read Aloud eBooks we at this time do not offer a Read Aloud eBook service.  We can however recommend other service providers if this is what you require, please contact us for information.

Fixed-Layout eBooks

Fixed-Layout eBooks are formats which are ideal for reproducing books with a high graphic content such as children’s picture books, coffee table books and business/text books, which contain heavy formatting or lots of tables and graphics. Fixed-Layout formats offer much more in the way of formatting and styling support but because of  this, comes at an increased hourly rate of £25 - £45 dependent on the data involved.

Which Format

  • EPUB – Short for electronic publication; alternatively capitalized as ePub, ePUB, EPub, or epub. A free and open e-book standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Files have the extension .epub.
  • MOBI – The Mobipocket e-book format is based on the Open eBook standard using XHTML. Amazon.com created the proprietary format, AZW (Amazon Whispernet), which is based on the Mobipocket standard.
  • AZW – or Amazon Whispernet is the e-book format used exclusively on Kindle devices. The non-DRM AZW format is the same as the Mobi format. Note: Kindle is an eBook Reading Device... not a format.
  • PDF – Portable Document Format is an open standard for document exchange. Every PDF includes a complete description of a fixed-layer flat document including the text, fonts, graphics and other information needed to display it. Recently PDFs can be designed to incorporate sophisticated interactivity, page-turning and embedded movies if required.

What exactly do we mean by formatting an eBook?

Formatting refers to the layout and structure of the pages of your eBook file – the use of fonts,margins, colours, Table of Contents etc. Remember your prospective eBook buyer cannot physically hold or feel your eBook... so it must look as attractive as possible. A novel might have very simple formatting one column of text, in one size and chapter heads in another size. A workbook or marketing material might be far more complex with charts, diagrams, pictures etc.

Ebook Formatting considerations

You might think that you can format one eBook and it will be available on all devices, unfortunately this is not the case. The eReaders are all manufactured by competing companies and even though all use ePub (except Amazon) their DRM (Digital Rights Management) systems prevents cross-platform usage.

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