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Old 09-17-2014, 08:17 AM   #1
Arkadian
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Best formats?

Hi there,

I am planning to start selling my long awaited (or so I hope...) ebook.
It is made primarily of text, some lists (numbered and unnumbered), a couple of tables and a few text-boxes.

Which formats would you say are most common? I have been reading a few threads on the subject, but they are pretty old.

For now I have selected epub and azw3, along with the ever popular pdf.

I have tried to covert into mobi as well, but the layout gets messed up and cannot be bothered to investigate why (especially because editing a mobi book is not straightforward on calibre)

I think that should be plenty choice... What would you say?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:42 AM   #2
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Most people that I have seen offer AZW3 (which will cover those who use Amazon's Kindle products) and Epub (which will cover pretty much the rest of your potential customers). I would recommend holding off on the PDF format since it can be read by both amazon's readers and the rest of the ereaders and in my mind its redundant. I would also recommend including a statement in the section of the web site that sells the books that you will provide additional formats upon request.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:40 AM   #3
Arkadian
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Originally Posted by jbcohen View Post
Most people that I have seen offer AZW3 (which will cover those who use Amazon's Kindle products) and Epub (which will cover pretty much the rest of your potential customers). I would recommend holding off on the PDF format since it can be read by both amazon's readers and the rest of the ereaders and in my mind its redundant. I would also recommend including a statement in the section of the web site that sells the books that you will provide additional formats upon request.
Thanks for that. So we think along the same lines.

The only problem I have with offering alternative formats is what if, like with the mobi I have just tried, the format comes out messed up... Would it be like shooting myself in the foot or creating unnecessary problems for myself?
I read that problems with mobi files are pretty common, but I wonder if other formats may have issues as well.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:06 PM   #4
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I think that the distributor will tell you what format you should use and which DRM you have to use.
If you don't have a distributor, you may have a problem, as you have to pay yourself the licence fees for DRM (if required in your particular case), and find a place where to store your book to be accessible from the eReaders (those with access to libraries and shops).
A hot issue is the embedding of fonts should you need to do this, because your project is commercial and many otherwise free fonts might require a licence fee.
Not easy, but if you'd go the other way, non-DRM, you may not have customers
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:38 PM   #5
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Why are you saying I should go down the DRM route? I always thought that was the one thing to avoid like the plague...
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
Not easy, but if you'd go the other way, non-DRM, you may not have customers
This statement makes no sense to me what so ever. Can you elaborate?
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:45 PM   #7
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This statement makes no sense to me what so ever. Can you elaborate?
Why would one buy something he can obtain for free? To prevent the illegal distribution DRM was invented.

Well, I know that DRM is there to be bypassed, but it may still be an issue with many people.
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:48 PM   #8
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Why are you saying I should go down the DRM route? I always thought that was the one thing to avoid like the plague...
I also hate DRM. But I have to admit that DRM ensures at least partially a certain surety for non distribution via torrents and the like. The problem with DRM is that it doesn't satisfy nobody, neither the owner, nor the customer.
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Old 09-17-2014, 02:08 PM   #9
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In all honesty, I don't think my readership would care one way or another. Indeed, I doubt they know what DRM is
I myself would be very weary of buying something WITH DRM, unless I hear I can remove the protection.
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Old 09-17-2014, 04:52 PM   #10
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Why would one buy something he can obtain for free?
Er, because some of us are honest and think it's wrong to steal stuff.
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
Why would one buy something he can obtain for free?
Because they're honest and believe people should be paid for their work?

Quote:
To prevent the illegal distribution DRM was invented.
Well, that's one reason.

Quote:
Well, I know that DRM is there to be bypassed, but it may still be an issue with many people.

Publishers who have gone DRM-free, notably Tor, have noted no decrease in sales since dropping DRM. DRM does absolutely nothing to stop a book from being pirated on torrents & other venues, but there is a vocal minority who won't buy any books ith DRM. The only kind of sharing DRM is semi effective in stopping is casual sharing (such as a friend passing a book to another friend).
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Old 09-17-2014, 05:02 PM   #12
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I think you should provide .mobi because older Kindles are unable to read .azw3 format. And there are still millions of older Kindles in use.

What did you mean by text boxes? Traditionally, that would mean something like <input type="text" size="30" name="box1">, but I don't know how that could work, since it would require a form with action to a URL, and I don't think that would work well.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:20 PM   #13
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PDF has the advantage of being readily processed by most OS provided content indexers. possibly largely irrelevant for fiction, but not for reference, biographies etc.

BR
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:43 PM   #14
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But to be processed for search, it has to be more than just a collection of pictures of pages, as some are. The Air Force History web site's books are like this.

PDF is displayed by almost everything, but they are not sold by the big booksellers. They also need to be published to a smaller size paper to appear reasonably readable on smaller devices.

Being able to be read on everything occupies Hitch's attention full time and overtime, as an e book maker.
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:10 PM   #15
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@mrmikel - I was speaking specifically to Arkadian's book:

Quote:
"It is made primarily of text, some lists (numbered and unnumbered), a couple of tables and a few text-boxes."
But I do take your point.

My 'point' that textual PDF's are near universally content indexable would be moot if the common flowable formats were similarly so.

BR
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