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Old 01-30-2010, 08:35 PM   #1
Steven Lake
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A question for the readers here

Since there's no "general ebook" section, I'll toss this question here and let the mods move it if they feel it needs to be. Anywho, here's my question.

I've been discussing the movement of all my books to ebook (yes, we're slow getting to it, but if you'd seen what our schedule has looked like the past 6 months, you'd understand why we're so slow. Heck, Destiny's Mission just got released recently some 3 months behind schedule!!) in the near future, still keeping the paperbacks for sale for those who prefer them that way, while appeasing all those who want to read them in the more modern format.

Anywho, one of the dilemmas that's come up is format. Being an open source advocate, I'm all for Epub, PDF and txt since they're all open formats, and possibly HTML, but I don't know of anyone who actually offers it in that format. That being said, I will also likely offer it in Kindle as well. I'd like to avoid that, since I hate proprietary formats, but since Amazon has everyone who posts stuff on their site by the hypothetical balls, I'm forced to offer it like that so that I can make my readers happy. (I wish they'd allow the offering of formats other than Kindle. Of course, if the courts have their way, they will)

But anyways, I digress, as I'm getting off topic here. The blunt of my question is this. Other than the 3 major common formats (Epub, pdf, txt), what other formats would you recommend that I offer my book in, or should I simply stick with those three formats, as it appears that almost everyone will soon be moving to supporting only those three?
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Old 01-30-2010, 08:44 PM   #2
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ePub, Mobi, and there's a lot of people that still use LRF. Those are pretty much your major formats.. most people here would prefer if PDF just fell off the face entirely for noncomplex reading.

You can use caliber to convert it to pretty much anything else you need.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:01 PM   #3
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ePub. Flexible, open standard, good editor for it in Sigil, works nice converting to and from other formats with Calibre. Like Jaxx said, I'd rather someone took PDF out into the woods and did an 'Ol Yeller' on it.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:08 PM   #4
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I love smashwords because they have a variety of formats, including LRF, which is my favorite for the Sony. But if you're aren't posting on there, I'd say ePub and mobi. PDF is yucky.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:24 PM   #5
Steven Lake
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Well, there's been demand for PDF books of late, hence the need to offer them (go figure that one out, because I hate them just as much as the rest of you, but someone apparently wants them pretty badly), but Mobi and LRF would be good as well if they are actually that popular still.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:22 PM   #6
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Uh...isn't PDF a proprietary format owned by Adobe? How does that fall under "open"?

I like ePUB the most, especially non-DRM'd ePUBs (like from Smashwords). I think RTF would be a far better format than plaintext (TXT).
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:02 PM   #7
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Actually, Adobe made PDF an open standard about two years ago. It's now controlled by the ISO. It's the only reason we promote it now as an acceptable open format. That doesn't mean that Adobe doesn't still insert proprietary extensions into PDF documents using Acrobat that make them unreadable, or appear half broken by other readers. But that's Adobe's issue. They're playing the whole "We're pretending to be open while forcing you to use our closed solution" game.
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Old 02-04-2010, 08:26 PM   #8
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EPub first (non-DRM and $2 cheaper with DRM), PDF and Kindle because of demand. I do think EPub or a descendant will win out long term.

I know I would pay a little more for a non-DRM version.

I won't pay Macmillan prices at all.

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Old 02-04-2010, 11:34 PM   #9
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I think if you put out non-DRM ePUB, then there might not be a need for AZW since the Kindles can now read non-DRM'd ePUBs. Or at least the current generation can and I don't know if the same applies to Kindle 1s.

@Raiden,

Oh, I never knew Adobe released PDFs to ISO managements. Here I was still thinking it was a closed standard. Well, that's a plus at least.

In which case, release your books in PDF as well. That way those with large screen readers can enjoy your books with all the margins, embedded fonts, and graphics.
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
I think if you put out non-DRM ePUB, then there might not be a need for AZW since the Kindles can now read non-DRM'd ePUBs. Or at least the current generation can and I don't know if the same applies to Kindle 1s.

@Raiden,

Oh, I never knew Adobe released PDFs to ISO managements. Here I was still thinking it was a closed standard. Well, that's a plus at least.

In which case, release your books in PDF as well. That way those with large screen readers can enjoy your books with all the margins, embedded fonts, and graphics.
Hunh?!? Since when!?! *MY* K2 only supports topaz, azw, mobi and prc! Haven't found any ePub support!

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Old 02-05-2010, 03:06 AM   #11
Steven Lake
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Oh, I never knew Adobe released PDFs to ISO managements. Here I was still thinking it was a closed standard. Well, that's a plus at least.
Yeah, this is one of the advantages of running one of the top ten Linux sites on the web. You hear about stuff like this a lot sooner than most other people do. Then again, it's your job to know these kinda things early.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:19 AM   #12
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ePub seems a good starter for most other formats ..... most of what I've read elsewhere seems to say "stay away from pdf" as an e-book format .....
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Old 02-05-2010, 12:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
I think if you put out non-DRM ePUB, then there might not be a need for AZW since the Kindles can now read non-DRM'd ePUBs. Or at least the current generation can and I don't know if the same applies to Kindle 1s.

@Raiden,

Oh, I never knew Adobe released PDFs to ISO managements. Here I was still thinking it was a closed standard. Well, that's a plus at least.

In which case, release your books in PDF as well. That way those with large screen readers can enjoy your books with all the margins, embedded fonts, and graphics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffC View Post
ePub seems a good starter for most other formats ..... most of what I've read elsewhere seems to say "stay away from pdf" as an e-book format .....
I've found PDF to be a good format as long as an ebook is formatted for your reader's screen. Its biggest strength is that it allows you full control over your ebook. It doesn't work as well when you try and view the document on a significantly smaller screen.

When releasing ebooks in the PDF format, it might work best to release them in several page sizes. That way a reader can choose the version best suited for his/her ereader.
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