In delving into the realm of eBooks, I have learned a lot about eBook files. One thing that is surprising to some is that, even if you don't own an eBook Reader, you can still enjoy eBook books. There are a couple of ways of doing this:
- You can read books on your computer. Kindle, Adobe, and even Apple have FREE programs for PC and/or MAC computers that can be downloaded and installed so that their eBook files can be enjoyed on a computer. Of course, the Apple program won't work on a PC.
- You can read books on your Apple or Android cell phone or tablet by downloading an appropriate application (app). The iPhone eReading app is called Stanza. Android phones and tablets use either the popular Aldiko or Word Player eReading apps. iPads come with a built-in eBook reader and access to the Apple iBookstore.
Various applications and programs use different file types and some of these require special programs to be able to read the book file. Some files are specific to a particular eReader brand.
1. Kindle only uses MOBI files. When you buy from Amazon, who make the Kindle, MOBIs are the files you download. However, MOBIs are often available through other eBook sites as well. Smashwords, for instance, has MOBI files for the eBooks there.
2. The Kobo uses EPUB files. Older Kobo's use an older file type, but that file type isn't available any longer.
3. Most readers recognize EPUB files and usually they can also see most of the other file types, except MOBI. Adobe has a reading program called Adobe Digital Editions, which is for reading EPUB files on a computer.
I chose to publish through Smashwords.com for two reasons:
- because, they distribute to many different companies, including Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, and Baker & Taylor (Blio.com e-reading app and the Axis360 platform for public libraries). My books must be accepted into the Premium Catalogue before they will be distributed to these retailers.
· Why does Smashwords not distribute to Amazon? They do, but Amazon will only accept so many books from them, so they do not list them as a full eBook distribution site. Which is why I have made my books available at Amazon as well by uploading them there.
- because any eBooks that are published on Smashwords.com are published in muti-format (as above) so that the author reaches as many book lovers as possible. After all, the main idea behind publishing your works is to gain readership, whether you are selling or giving your books away.
So even if you don't have an eBook reader, you can still enjoy eBooks on your computer, cell phone or tablet. You may need to download one of the reader programs (Kindle or Adobe Digital Editions) to enjoy the books the way they were meant to be seen, but you can also download them as PDF files and read them using Adobe Reader, which comes free on most PC computers. If it doesn't, you can download it at Adobe Reader. Click the links if you are online and you will be taken to the appropriate site for downloading.