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What is an e-book”
Alisa Rysaeva
Published by Alisa Rysaeva at Smashwords
Copyright 2012 "author"

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

Chapter 1

What is an e-book?

An electronic book (variously, e-book, ebook, digital book, or even e-edition) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. E-books are usually ordered online.

Generally, e-books have many features that traditional paper books do not:
- Search through the text for a specific word or phrase.
- Carry many e-books with you on your mobile device.
- Shrink or enlarge the text size.
- Add digital bookmarks and annotations.
- Get instant delivery.
- Help the environment by reducing paper use and shipping costs.

Chapter 2

E-book formats

Numerous e-book formats emerged and proliferated, some supported by major software companies such as Adobe with its PDF format, and others supported by independent and open-source programmers.

Here is a list of formats most commonly available commercially:
- AZW - An Amazon proprietary format. This is very close to the MOBI format sometimes with and sometimes without DRM. The DRM is unique to the Amazon Kindle.
- AZW1 - An Amazon proprietary format. It is the TPZ format always with a custom DRM.
- AZW4 - An Amazon proprietary format. It is the PDF format in a PDB wrapper, and usually (always?) with DRM.
- EPUB An open format defined by the Open eBook Forum of the International Digital Publishing Forum (<idpf>). It is based on XHTML and XML. It is an evolving standard. Current specifications are found at the idpf web site. Adobe, Barnes & Noble and Apple all have their own (incompatible) DRM systems for this format. There is now a new version of this format called ePub 3 but it is not in wide use.
- KF8 - Kindle Fire format from Amazon. It is basically ePub compiled in the PDB wrapper with Amazon DRM. This format is expected to roll out for other Amazon readers.
- MOBI - MobiPocket format, usable with MobiPocket's own reading software on almost any PDA and Smartphones. Mobipocket's Windows PC software can convert .chm, .doc, .html, .ocf, .pdf, .rtf, and .txt files to this format. Kindle uses this format, as well.
- PDB - Palm Database File. Can hold several different e-book formats targeting Palm-enabled devices, commonly used for PalmDOC (AportisDoc) e-books and eReader formats as well and many others.
- PDF - Portable Document Format created by Adobe for their Acrobat products. It is the defacto standard for document interchange. Software support exists for almost every computer platform and handheld device. Some devices have problems with PDF since most content available is scaled for either A4 or letter format, both of which are not easily readable when reduced to fit on small screens. Some Readers can reflow some PDF documents, including the Sony PRS505, to accommodate the small screen. Some eBook readers, including the iRex iLiad, have a pan-and-zoom feature that aids readability, but extracts a price in ergonomics.
- PRC - Palm Resource File. Often holds a Mobipocket eBook but occasionally holds an eReader or AportisDoc eBook.
- TPZ - Topaz file extension used on Amazon Kindle. Topaz is a collection of glyphs arrange on pages, along with an unproofed OCR text version. An Amazon proprietary format, used to make older books available quickly, since conversion is essentially automatic from scans of the pages of a book, but it reflows very well.

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