This video talks about the various ebook platforms and the essential questions you need to ask yourself to determine what format is right for you.
- Creating and distributing ebooks has become easier and more accessible with each year. The tricky bit is knowing which format is right for your project. The correct answer is determined by the goals you have for that project, and with the pace of technology your options are shifting on a regular basis, so you have to get the most up-to-date specs on each platform. Ebooks have come a long way in terms of getting some standards, including EPUB, which is now the most-widely supported format, but if you're serious about distributing your ebook far and wide, you can't ignore Amazon's Kindle format.
This is a proprietary format that is only available on Amazon. As of 2017 Amazon accounts for approximately 3/4 of the U.S. ebook sales, so although it takes more effort to produce your book in more than one format, Kindle is a very important one. An additional option is the Apple iBook Author app. For those who are not designers and want to produce and publish their own book, iBooks Author is a great solution.
There are some limitations in that you can only sell your ebook that you create with their app on the iBook Store, but for many that's fine. Because of this, it's well-suited to publications which have a smaller audience, such as your students or family who you could send links to. Lastly is Publish Online, an easy-to-use option that allows you to publish directly from InDesign, but the downside is you can't monetize it. The technology around ebooks is rapidly evolving, so options shift on a regular basis.
Research the various platforms often so you have the most up-to-date specs on each one. Here are the questions you need to ask. How widely do you plan on distributing it? In what languages will it be available? Are you distributing it to a group you know, such as students or your family? Or are you hoping the world at large will discover this work? Is your publication illustrated or all text? And lastly, will it be for sale? Ebooks are a powerful format, so don't let the details scare you away.
With answers to these questions the correct strategy will become obvious.