eBook Primer

I was talking with my postmistress the other day and she asked me when my next book will be out. I told her that it would be out in eBook around the end of May. She gave me that strange look that my mom gave me when I told her the same thing and I knew I would have to explain it to her. It became a lengthy discussion and one that I thought might benefit some people here.

Adobe Acrobat (.PDF)

Adobe Acrobat is a free program you can download from www.adobe.com for your computer or PDA. This format is the most popular because it can be read from your computer screen or imported to a Palm or Pocket PC and can even be printed.

HTML

HTML is the most versatile of the formats. It can be read from your computer using your browser, convert to your favorite eBook reader’s required format (such as the Rocketbook, the Hiebook, and the REB series readers), sent via email directly to your Kindle, and opened by a word processing program such as Microsoft Word or Open Office. You can print this file, but it will print as one continuous page.

Mobipocket/Kindle/Nook

Mobipocket, Kindle, and Nook each have free programs and apps designed specifically for PDAs such as a Palm or a Pocket PC.  They also have an interface that allows for reading on your computer. Printing isn’t allowed.

Microsoft Reader

You can download this free reader from http://www.microsoft.com/reader. Microsoft Reader can be read from either your PC or from your Pocket PC. It’s easy to use, the program is shaped to look like a book and it has read-aloud capabilities. This reader, however, does not allow for printing.

Now this isn’t the whole list, because there are a lot of different readers and formats out there, but here are a few of the most popular. Feel free to add to the list in the comments.