What are the different e-book formats

Everything about e-books - part 3: e-book formats

Despite various technical possibilities to publish electronic books, the E-book market dominated by three formats. While Amazon with KF8 Going its own way, all other players in the e-book business rely on the open standard ePUB. This poses a problem for authors and publishers: Those who publish books in Amazon format can only reach users of the Kindle series and corresponding reading apps. E-books in the ePUB format have a greater reach. These, however, cannot be opened on Amazon devices.

An alternative offers PDF. The Portable Document Format is supported by every modern e-book reader and can - at least in theory - be displayed on PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. But the platform independence has a catch: PDFs have a rigid layout and do not automatically adapt to different screen sizes. This sometimes leads to problems on mobile devices with their comparatively small displays. If you want to target e-book readers specifically, you should therefore consider publishing them in the specialized KF8 and ePUB formats. If, on the other hand, content is primarily only to be viewed on the PC and possibly printed out, the widespread PDF format is definitely an option.

The question of the distribution channel is also relevant. If you want to use the Amazon network, you have to be content with the formats available there. The same applies to Apple iBooks and other e-book shops - even those that do not use a proprietary format.