FAQs on eBooks and eReading

With automation and the ease of use in technology, age-old methods of acquiring knowledge have been replaced with new ones.

We now have access to a plethora of tools and techniques to help us improve ourselves with minimalistic supervision and effort. One such tool in this regard is electronic platforms to share access and exchange information. Although this concept had prevailed for several decades, it saw the light in the late 90s with the likes of eBooks and ePublications being released. 

eBooks are a fine tool in so many ways as you can purchase, download and start reading them in less than a matter of seconds. eBooks take up less space, can be stored easily and carried around literary anywhere. It is also cheaper than paperback books and can be used with audio and video plugins on the same front. However, users encounter issues such as incompatible formats, complex devices, and not-so-user-friendly interfaces together with the uncertainty concerning copyright laws when downloading content.

As we all know how popular ebooks and eContent are becoming, we thought we’d look into some FAQs that eBook users, and even publishers find themselves trapped in.

Do I have to have an account to access my eBook?

Unlike a few years ago eBooks can be accessed online free of charge.  Also, apps like Google playbooks allow you to read content directly through your browser. Some platforms may restrict access to the full content of the book, however after a sign-up; you will gain access to the rest of the content. There are many apps that enable reading on the go; however you may sometimes only have to purchase the eBook.

Which formats can my eBook be accessed in?

There are several formats that eBooks can be accessed in. The format compatibility will vary with the device that is being used depending on whether it’s a screen, tablet or smartphone.

PDF: This format is the most widely used and is easily backed up on computers, tablets and smartphones.  Depending on the paid version of the app your files can also be annotated.

ePub: This can be put down as the standard for accessing eMaterial. Almost all reader apps available for iPhone and Android are compatible with this format.

HTML: HyperText Markup Language is another format eBooks are created in and can be read via any internet browser.

What is DRM?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. This acts like an anti-virus protection that will prevent content from being illegally copied. This form of protection will enable eBooks to be accessed only on a specific program or app. DRM also restricts other functions as printing content, even if you are a valid owner on the system.
Can I share what I’m reading with others?

Some apps allow for certain sections to be shared while others can be shared only by copying and pasting the content depending on user restrictions.

Can I access files on multiple devices?

eBooks can be accessed on multiple devices such as tablets, smartphones or an eReader. For eBooks that contain DRM, you need to download special software or purchase an eReader that is fit for the particular DRM.

How do I transfer files?

Files can be transferred via Dropbox or other cloud storage sites or even email - which is the most convenient of ways.  This can be done with the help of an app or even it can be synced via a USB between your device and your PC. If it’s a tablet or portable device the documents can be downloaded directly onto the system.

How does the ISBN work for eBooks?

As with paperback, every form of your eBook should have its unique ISBN.  Say you have your eBook published in two formats, each of those formats will require its own ISBN. Although some platforms do not deem it necessary to have an ISBN, it’s best practice to do so.

How does distribution and retailing work for eBooks?

There retailers out there that belong to large networks with distribution services for authors and small scale publishers. Another way is selling your eBook on your website. There are also many options as such for distributing your eBook. However, factors that you may want to consider are the cost of distributing, the nature of monitoring and reporting tools, and also the important aspect of customer service. Promoting your book on social media would also stand you in good stead to create necessary exposure to get it out to your targeted audience.

Despite the supply and demand trends in eBooks, many users, publishers and readers will continue to be impacted by eBook technology. To know what you are about you should start indulging in it. Therefore, if you are up and about the eBook business, the tips above would be beneficial to give you guidelines when handling eContent.


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