eBook Readers come in all shapes and sizes. Each brand has their own specific niches and file formatting types. When readers first hit the market there was no standard for an eBook. Today that has all changed. ePub is the file formatting standard and most if not all read this type of file. ePub stands for ‘electronic publishing’. Publishers upload most books to the market in this format.
Most retailers of eBooks ask for two types of eBook formats when accepting submissions. The first is pdf because the pdf has reflow technology. Reflow technology changes the size of the text dependent upon the size of the screen in relation to how large you wish the text to be. Reflow, however, does not do well for publications that include images. Images create many problems for reflow so in most practical ways they just ignore the images and place them wherever they choose.
The second type is ePub. ePub can be manipulated in such a way that the images and text work together instead of against each other. ePubHub is a website that specializes in the ePub formatted eBooks. You can upload most file types and they will translate them into an ePub formatted eBook. The problem with this simple method is the output. If an author has not taken the time to actually format their eBook for this format it will look disjointed. Many self publishers have done this believing they are making the right choice but their eBooks look thrown together and unedited.
Providing a pdf file format to websites that market eBooks ensures that readers view your book in its original formatted layout, while ePub ensures the reader a more pleasurable and customized experience. When a properly formatted ePub eBook is executed then the user will have access to reflowable text formally only found in a pdf file. In order to have a successful selection of eBooks you need both versions.
ePub is considered open standard for digital books today. Programs such as Adobe inDesign, allow you to export into an ePub formatted eBook.
As for ISBN numbers, the global ISBN agencies recommend assigning an electronic ISBN, known as eISBN, for digital designed eBooks. They are basically the same, you just have to specify the type of published book it will be for it to be an eISBN. Google Play Store talks a lot about eISBN numbers and found that it was their terminology and distinction.
So today, eBook readers are standing on level ground. Pricing has dropped significantly over the past few years and with ePub there is an universal standard. Color eInk technology is the next big door to open.