This is the age of e-books. E-books are easier to publish, cost less to produce, take up less space and make it possible to retrieve information at the click of a button. The advances in technology have resulted in many different e-book formats, each one vying with the other to meet changing needs. The latest e-readers such as Apple iPad and iPhone, Android, Kindle, eReader, Mobipocket and Barnes and Noble are highly advanced and can deal with superior formatting and present large images. While older devices like PDAs could not display much, the latest e-readers come with their own exclusive formats that can serve this need.
On eReader devices, a ‘page’ is similar to a web page and comprises the amount of content which will fit on the screen of the device. The challenge in e-book conversion is the conversion of the source file which could be text, Word, HTML, PDF or quark files into user-friendly formats that can be supported on Kindle, iPad or other popular e-reader devices.
EPUB is one of the most popular eBook formats today, and has been adopted by Apple for its iPad, iPhone and iTouch, Barnes and Noble Nook, Mobipocket, and the Sony Reader. Kindle does not support the international EPUB standard, though the latest version can handle Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, and PRC files natively as well as HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP through conversion. Microsoft.LIT, plain text, eReader/PDB and PDF are other popularly used formats.
Choosing your e-book format therefore depends on the eReader device that will be used. Once you’ve made your decision, the challenge is to find the right document conversion company that can handle your e-book conversion. Browse the Internet and look up vendor websites. Make sure they have experience with the formats you are interested in and offer flexible, cost-effective eBook conversion pricing policies. Request samples and ask for references to check out quality. If they offer a free trial, go for it.