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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Introduction to eBooks

Introduction to eBooks and eBook publishing

Digital Publishing is fast becoming an important sales and marketing tool in electronic business success. Enter the ebook - a key to delivering secure, high quality information products online.
Ebook definition

So what exactly is an ebook? An eBook is an electronic version of a traditional book that can be read by using a computer without being connected to the Internet.

Many ebooks can be viewed straight from a floppy disk without needing complex plug-in reader software. Ebooks incorporate text, images, sound and hyperlinks to various sections of the book. The links can also act as a gateway to the Internet to refer to other articles or ebooks.

eBooks in many cases are HTML documents accompanied by an inbuilt browser which are all compiled into a single executable file. It is basically a packaged offline web site that allows authors a great deal of flexibility in presentation of content.

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Hyperlinks and internal search engines enhance navigation, allowing the reader to find items of interest quickly and easily. The single executable file option allows both an average sized novel and reader program to be stored on one floppy disk, which cannot be achieved using Adobe's PDF option. PDF documents are also considered to be eBooks, but require the installation of a separate reader program, Adobe Acrobat. The stand alone Acrobat reader software is around 12 megabytes installed. The Adobe Ebook reader, while containing excellent features and able to read HTML, PDF and other formats, is a 10 megabyte download! For the purposes of online business, the better bet is a format that is quickly downloaded and does not depend on resource sucking software.

A good eBook allows the reader to print off specific sections and to view the pages in a variety of font sizes, which is an excellent option for the vision impaired.
The future of ebook publishing

Up until recently, the ebook concept has been slow in gaining popularity. We were still becoming accustomed to reading non-paper based products. From a practical point of view, it is difficult taking your full tower case and 17 inch monitor onto public transport, and trains tend to be short on power outlets.

This is being addressed by the proliferation of notebook computers and hand held devices. Falling prices in hardware are boosting eBook popularity. Dedicated eBook hardware, which usually consists of a tablet, tends to utilize only specific eBook formats (dependant upon the manufacturer), therefore limiting the number of titles available for each product.

From a traditional point of view, we have been conditioned to accept paper based information as being "real" - we are often comfortable most with things that are outdated. A good example of this is the standard 101 keyboard.

The layout on the board is actually quite inefficient and an Occupational Health and safety nightmare. The layout is a hangover from the late 1800's when typists had to be slowed down to prevent the steel arms of typewriters from locking up regularly. The QWERTY keyboard is a purposely instituted design flaw, no longer necessary today but still the standard.

Unlike our Draconian keyboards, people are becoming more comfortable with the concept of reading without turning physical pages. Monitor quality has improved dramatically and we now no longer need to fear brain tumors from staring at a screen.
The cutting edge in online publishing and marketing

Many authors are now turning to ebooks as a way of distributing their works efficiently and economically. Compression methods are improving, which allows for quick downloads and as a downloadable product, distribution and packaging overheads are minimal in comparison to their paper based counterparts.

Security in ebooks has also improved, allowing authors to disable copy and paste functions if necessary in an effort to protect their works. Many ebook creation programs also allow for registration keys and time limit restrictions.

There will always be a place for paper based books, but in this frantic world of information delivery - the ebook will become king.

eBooks will play a more important role in eCommerce over the next few years, no matter what the product or service offered by a company is. How can your business benefit from the ebook direction? What ebook creation software should you use? Read our full ebook marketing tips and generator software review.

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