One of the biggest business successes in recent times has been e-books and the demand for books on demand. There will always be people who prefer the traditional way of reading, much like there will always be people who prefer to listen to music on vinyl, but there is no doubt that ebooks are one of the biggest phenomenon’s of our time. Anything which encourages people to read has to be seen as a positive thing and there is likely to be something of interest to everyone. It has also become a lot easier for people to have their own work published but when it comes to book formats; there is a lot to think about.
First of all, the content is always important and this should be the first factor when it comes to pulling books together and publishing them. However, once this stage has been completed, it is easy to see where the importance of book formats comes into play. Different book formats can impact on the amount of people who can buy the book, it can impact on the target market and it can even affect how the book looks. This is why it is important to still bear in mind traditional book formats because there will be many consumers, many styles of books and many topics that are better suited to traditional book formats like paperback and print.
Book formats can make the difference
It is easy to see why so many people are taking an interest in modern book formats though. E-commerce retailers can decide to get in on the act themselves by selling digital books from their own store or they may way wish to act as a funnel to some of the biggest online book stores. Companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble have a massive reputation for selling e-books and millions of readers turn to the site every day.
One of the most popular e-book formats is the Mobipocket format, more commonly known as the .Mobi format. The .Mobi format found itself to be very popular in the e-book revolution and worked particularly well on mobile and smart phone devices. Although still a relevant book format, its popularity has dipped as e-book technology has progressed.
However, the ePub format has been viewed as the most vendor independent e-book format. The ePub format is suitable to read on the Kobo eReader, Apple’s iBook apps (which means it can be read on iPhones, iPads and iPod touches), the Blackberry Playbook, the Nook, the Sony eReader and many more. There is speculation about whether the Amazon Kindle will be supporting this format in the near future but as yet, this is mere speculation. The fact that the ePub format is available for so many different e-book readers makes it a natural choice for publishers who are looking to reach as wide an audience as possible in one easy step.
Book formats shouldn’t overlook traditional print methods
While the e-book market is gaining market share and increasing in sales, it would be very wrong to overlook the print book format just yet. No matter what, people will still be looking to buy books, whether it is as a gift, for their own collection or because the information contained suits a book layout better.
There are many scientific, mathematical or other business related books that people would prefer to have in the more conventional format as opposed to reading on an electronic screen. As the quality of e-book readers improve, there will be more of a progression over to the new formats but there will always be a place for books on the market place.
Paperbacks can be printed on demand
A paperback book format provides an easy way to get into self-publishing and can be carried out in the same process when publishing to e-book. Many publishing sites like Lulu or even CreateSpace, which is part of the Amazon group, allow authors or publishers to create physical print books and e-books from the same files. There is a need to ensure that the editing and formatting for each format is correct but there is nothing to stop the same source data being used to create these different types of book format.
Even though some people will decry the advance of e-books as being the death of books but this is not the attitude of everyone. E-book readers have introduced many people to reading who may not have been introduced and there is no doubt that many readers have embraced the new format. The space saving is a massive factor in the popularity of e-books and with many books being sold at a cheaper price for the electronic version, there is a value for money element that comes with the e-book format. E-commerce retailers should be looking at all types of book format before deciding which option, if any, is right for their business. It may well be that providing books on a number of different book formats will allow them to reach as wide an audience as possible without impacting on quality or the time taken to publish.