Learn how to determine which format is going to be best for you. Review some key questions that will dictate the right answer—Who will buy it? Is it illustrated? Is it for sale? What language is it in? Are there interactive elements?
- [Instructor] So there are a lot of choices out there for how to create your eBooks and how to distribute them, and what they can contain, and I know that you might be a little confused right now, and so I think what I'd like to do and what I do a lot with my customers and with my students is lay out the pros and cons of each format, but in a way that addresses the goals rather than the pros and cons of each individual format. For example, if you want the widest audience for your eBook, then your eBook has to be a Reflowable EPUB and/or a Kindle .MOBI file.
That will reach the widest number of eBook readers as you saw from those charts in a previous video. Now, if the most important thing to you is the design, the position of the text and the graphics, or you have a lot of graphics that would make no sense if they started reflowing, then your choices are PDF, a fixed-layout EPUB or a Multi-Touch iBook. Those are those really cool eBooks that you make from iBook Author.
Both fixed-layout EPUB and the Multi-Touch iBook also support video, sound, and interactivity. So if you have like a complex textbook or a how-to manual with a lot of videos, you want to include a quiz, that kind of thing, then your choices are narrowed significantly to fixed-layout EPUB or Multi-Touch iBook. Then we have the audience. If your readers are on mixed platforms, if you have no idea if your reading audience, your potential audience are mostly on Macs or Windows, then you want to reach the widest number of people.
You have to create a reflowable EPUB, a PDF, or a Kindle MOBI. These three formats are platform agnostic. On the other hand if you're pretty sure that most of the people reading your particular eBook are going to be on the Apple platform, then you can do those three plus you can include fixed-layout EPUBs, which are best supported on the Apple iPad, or a Multi-Touch iBook as well created from iBook Author.
Keeping in mind that only people on a Mac or with an iOS device like an iPad or iPhone will be able to see that Multi-Touch iBook. Finally, your last two choices are where are you going to sell them? If you want to sell it at e-resellers online like the Apple iBook store, or the Kindle Store, it has to be one of these formats. Reflowable EPUB, fixed-layout EPUB, a Multi-Touch iBook, again that's only available at the iBook Store, or a Kindle MOBI.
If you want to sell them on your site, you can do a reflowable EPUB, a fixed-layout EPUB, a PDF, or a Kindle MOBI, and I put little asterisks next to reflowable EPUBs and PDFs because those are going to be easiest for your customers to understand on what to do with the file after they download it. Just about everybody can figure out how to open up a downloadable PDF, and with a little bit of instruction, you can tell them how to open up a reflowable EPUB in an e-reader, or add it to their Android device or to their iPad.
A fixed-layout EPUB can only be read by a few specific kind of readers, and I'll be talking about that in the fixed-layout chapter in this title. And the Kindle MOBI, though some brave souls sell it from their website, I think is very difficult for a lot of people to figure out how to get it on their Kindle. Or perhaps they're perusing your site on mobile devices anyway, maybe you know that, and then you could go ahead and offer the Kindle .MOBI because once they download it, they could just open it up in the Kindle app on their mobile device. But in general are the straight on EPUB or PDF is easiest for people to understand, and to feel comfortable in purchasing from your website.
You can't sell a PDF at an e-reseller. That's why it's not listed on the left. You can distribute them on the iBook store, and you can distribute them on the Kindle, but you can't sell them, which is aggravating. If you want to sell a PDF, you can only do it on your own website. Running through all of these options is something that I'm very accustomed to doing with my clients and colleagues, and I hope that you found it enlightening and helpful to decide on which format your eBooks should be in.
- Finding, downloading, and reading free ebooks
- Choosing the right format for your ebook
- Building reflowable EPUBs and fixed-layout EPUBs
- Using tools like Word, Sigil, calibre, Jutoh, Pages, PubCoder, and InDesign
- Adding animation and interactivity such as clickable buttons
- Creating ebooks for the Kindle
- Learning the pros and cons of PDF ebooks
- Creating reflowable and multitouch ebooks with iBooks Author