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A Beginner’s Guide to eBooks

An eBook is a digital book, a collection of text, and in some cases images, that is published through certain platforms and can be accessed through special devices and applications. They offer many benefits with their use including the luxury of carrying around a smaller reading material and not having to worry about losing your bookmark. eBooks enable users to have access to a number of different reading materials at once without having to lug around your giant reading list collection!

Potential File Formats

The formats vary according to the e-Reader available. For example, the texts viewable on the Amazon Kindle have a unique format that cannot be read by any other e-Reader.

Below we will review the most popular text formats:

MOBI

This format is used by the Amazon Kindle, one type of e-Reader. The text file type cannot be read by another e-Reader unless the file is converted. Texts bought in this format in the Amazon store are protected by DRM, meaning that the copyright information of your digital files is protected on this device. Unfortunately, this text format was replaced by the AZW file format (discussed below).

AZW/AZW3

This file format is the replacement file type for the Amazon Kindle. It is also DRM protected and can only be read on Kindles or devices with Kindle apps. They are also only accessible from the Amazon store.

ePUB

The most popular format and most widely supported for eBooks. It can be read on a variety of devices and most e-Readers (except Kindles). This text format gives a lot of versatility as it is readable on smaller screen sizes. This format is best used for text heavy books.

PDF

This file format is more widespread and has become a popular way of formatting eBooks. Although not generally considered a true eBook format, it is one that most people are familiar with. They are known for their ease of use and their high-end design and formats. However, they aren’t always easily read on a smaller screen.

Each of these formats have their pros and cons in terms of the underlying structure of the document, font type and size, etc. There are a number of other formats also available, however, these are the most common ones found in the major online stores.

How to Convert Files

There are a number of different file converters you can use find just by doing an internet search. For example, Calibre is a file converter and an organizer of the digital library. It is easy to use and able to convert many different file formats depending on your needs. You can download it at: https://calibre-ebook.com/download

Download the eBook from Amazon and send it to your computer or open the Kindle program to download the file there. In the Kindle folder of your computer will be the eBook file. Upload the book from Calibre to add-book, connect the device and send the book. Calibre converts it to the necessary format automatically.

Reading an eBook on Other Devices

The eBook reader from Icecream Apps (https://icecreamapps.com/Ebook-Reader/) is a program that allows you to have a library with your eBooks and read them comfortably on your computer. They have a library with most popular formats such as those mentioned above.

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