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Old 01-27-2015, 09:45 PM   #1
thewitt
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eBook Format Distribution

I recently ran a 100 eBook giveaway on LibraryThing, and asked the winners which format book they would prefer.

The numbers were a little surprising to me.

I gave them a choice of Kindle/Mobi, ePub or PDF.

The results were:

Kindle/Mobi 50%
ePub 38%
PDF 11%

A number of readers said they could handle multiple formats, so I gave them the format that was first in their list as their preferred format.

What surprised me? That so many people wanted ePub. I've read that Kindle sales surpass ePub sales for many writers at staggering numbers. One author said 100 to 1 Kindle vs ePub sales and that he was going to drop everyone but Amazon.

Just thought I would share this one data point. Take it for what it's worth.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:04 PM   #2
eschwartz
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With an EPUB I can convert to the superior AZW3 and have the source format as a backup. Why would I choose otherwise?

And I read exclusively on my Kindle Touch.
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Old 01-28-2015, 04:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschwartz View Post
With an EPUB I can convert to the superior AZW3 and have the source format as a backup. Why would I choose otherwise?

And I read exclusively on my Kindle Touch.


There is also a big difference between 'handle' and 'doing it well'

My Astak has an impressive 'formats' list.

EPUB it does very well (it is MRSDK )

Mobi Crashed/locked up a lot (needed reset button on back)

PDF very limited in options (which is the whole purpose of the PDF format)

(no scroll bars are available for any format on this device)

Uninfested EPUB is easy to tweak if you don't care for the style delivered.
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Old 01-29-2015, 12:37 AM   #4
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One of my ereaders can handle mobi. All my ereaders handle epub.

(And my Android tablets don't care.)


I only (knowingly) use PDF if I'm reading a magazine that's heavy on color illustrations, or if there's no other choice.
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:31 PM   #5
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I would choose Epub as well, so I can easily change the style if not to my liking. And I read almost exclusively on my Kindles, very rarely on my phone.
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Old 02-13-2015, 04:59 PM   #6
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Sometimes kindle books need tweaking to make them best readable (badly done TOC's) and epub format is usuful then as the books can be tweaked properly in Sigil before reconversion in Calibre. So I'm an equal opportunity guy between the two. PDF on the other hand takes up a large chunk of space and as others have said doesn't work that well on an ereader in general.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:09 PM   #7
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I was quite surprised by this as well. Personally, I have never really been a fan of the epub format. Epub is really a difficult format to work with. It essentially use html code to format your book as if it is a webpage. As a result, most doc to epub converters do a rather poor job at making good quality conversions. The process to build an epub book is rather laborious compared to the traditional document format. I did not realize that so many people actually fancied this format over kindle.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChesterFritz View Post
I was quite surprised by this as well. Personally, I have never really been a fan of the epub format. Epub is really a difficult format to work with. It essentially use html code to format your book as if it is a webpage. As a result, most doc to epub converters do a rather poor job at making good quality conversions. The process to build an epub book is rather laborious compared to the traditional document format. I did not realize that so many people actually fancied this format over kindle.
The kindle format is not so different from the epub format. Don't know what you mean. Using a bad formated word document does lead to a bad formated ebook with both. And doesn't most people first make an epub and then a mobi out of it?
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:43 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ChesterFritz View Post
Epub is really a difficult format to work with. It essentially use html code to format your book as if it is a webpage.
And this is different from other eBook formats how?
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:19 PM   #10
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What makes epub difficult to work with is that there is a great lack of good word processors which allow you to create epub books. Sigil is one that I have used in the past, but it is far from the user-friendly interface you would have with the traditional office word processor. You have to constantly switch between text and html mode and constantly do manual tweaking to get everything the way you want. If you have ever done web development, you will see that getting everything aligned and formatted perfectly to be accurately viewable across multiple platforms can be a tiring task. The same can be said for getting pictures and text appropriately aligned in Sigil. Word documents give you much more flexibility for formatting and aligning your text and pictures than Sigil or other epub software I have tried.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:39 AM   #11
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I would always format books into .mobi because that is what my ereader allows.

PDF is a 'clumsy' format in many ways in a text context; but good for magazine styles.
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Old 02-20-2015, 06:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChesterFritz View Post
What makes epub difficult to work with is that there is a great lack of good word processors which allow you to create epub books. Sigil is one that I have used in the past, but it is far from the user-friendly interface you would have with the traditional office word processor. You have to constantly switch between text and html mode and constantly do manual tweaking to get everything the way you want. If you have ever done web development, you will see that getting everything aligned and formatted perfectly to be accurately viewable across multiple platforms can be a tiring task. The same can be said for getting pictures and text appropriately aligned in Sigil. Word documents give you much more flexibility for formatting and aligning your text and pictures than Sigil or other epub software I have tried.
That has absolutely nothing to do with the use of HTML, and everything to do with the tools you use.

Microsoft has put a lot of money into MSWord. And the FLOSS community has put a great deal of time into LibreOffice/OpenOffice/similar. So they work well.
Inside the same programs that create them.

Now consider -- you create a book in Sigil and expect it to look good in another pogram/app -- naturally that will take tweaking.
Also -- ebooks are a much smaller market. For example, Microsoft doesn;t view it as big enough to invest in making and selling a Micosoft Office Books, now do they? Nevertheless, there are some tools out there.

What you are really complaining about, if you think about it, is the youth of the ebook marketplace...
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thewitt View Post
I recently ran a 100 eBook giveaway on LibraryThing, and asked the winners which format book they would prefer.

The numbers were a little surprising to me.

I gave them a choice of Kindle/Mobi, ePub or PDF.

The results were:

Kindle/Mobi 50%
ePub 38%
PDF 11%

A number of readers said they could handle multiple formats, so I gave them the format that was first in their list as their preferred format.

What surprised me? That so many people wanted ePub.
This is LibraryThing - a lot of users went there when Amazon took over Goodreads. You may have had a different ratio on GR or somewhere else. It also might depend on where your audience were in the world.
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