Thursday, April 14, 2011

What is EPUB format?

In this post I will clear up any confusion between ePUB format and a pdf. The two are often mistaken for being the same thing however they are very different in many ways.

An eBook can be a book in any given format that is able to be read online or on a computer. EBook is often used to describe a simple .pdf file that you can download and read. It has limited interactivity and although it can be read on both iPod and iPad it is not ideal. This type of file will not resize itself to fit a screen so you have to zoom, scroll and shift around it in order to read it. An eBook is easy to create in this format however technology is fast changing and this format is not very user friendly. A .pdf can be created very easily from a lot of different programs including MSword. This means anyone can create a book and publish it online as an eBook and start making money. It will however have limitations on the usability on certain devices.

An ePUB format book is a completely different file type than a .pdf. It has special coding which allows it to be read with ease on any device in the form of a digital book. The text will reflow and resize itself to fit the device it is being viewed on. This is ideal for books being sold online. With this format you are able to sell your book for any device and not have to completely redesign it each time it also eliminates a lot of formatting issues. You also have many interactive options as ePUB format can have embedded metadata and CSS styling. This is now the industry standard digital book format and is accepted by most book distributors. Amazon Kindle store requires a different format however they have a free converter on their site CreateSpace, an Amazon group.

There are hundreds of ePUB conversion tools and software online however you still need to have a bit of an understanding on layout. The cool thing about this format is that it’s being used everywhere and there is an abundance of information out there to help you. This could seem complicated at first however it is worth learning this stuff yourself as it will save you a lot of money in the long run as graphic designers are not cheap. A site I use and found extremely useful is They have thousands of video tutorials that are very easy to understand and go into great detail about very specific topics. There are a lot of free videos and a reasonable subscription price to get access to them all. This site changed the way I do things. I no longer worry about my technical abilities when coming up with creative ideas as whatever I want to achieve I can find out how.

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