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13 June 2022 • Resources

What is an ebook? Definition of a digital book, features, and formats

What is an ebook? Definition of a digital book, features, and formats

An ebook, digital book, or electronic book, is a work of the mind with a design that’s meant to be read from a screen, accessible through an electronic device (computer, tablet, smartphone, e-reader, etc.) and created in an electronic form (unlike a printed book, which is a material medium using sheets of paper).

This medium is increasingly popular by authors and readers alike: many downloadable formats exist, free or paid. A real asset, the ebook will allow you to share your knowledge and resources to reinforce your company's marketing strategy or simply to share your art with as many people as possible.

Today, we’ll focus on the different definitions and characteristics of digital books.

Ebook: definition and benefits

How does an ebook work?

An ebook refers to a book, an educational manual, or any other written material whose publication and distribution is done electronically. The ebook is a digital book: it contains all the characteristics of the traditional printed book, including text and images, with the only difference being that this content is digital.

Its format makes it possible for people to read it on connected media with a screen, such as on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. In addition, there are devices dedicated to ebooks called e-readers.

Marketing strategy or artistic proposal: why make an ebook?

When you create an ebook, you’ll find that it will help you to achieve different objectives. First of all, the ebook is a digital file, so it doesn’t take up any space. With this design, it can be consulted anywhere and anytime.

The digital book is also a format that offers attractive prices when it’s paid.

In addition, it’s a very effective marketing lever to achieve one’s acquisition objectives in the context of a free professional ebook. The interested internet user leaves their contact information in exchange for the content, which allows the author to expand their customer database.

Creating an ebook is also a way for the author to propose exclusive content on the platforms dedicated to the download of digital books to be able to make themselves known and give visibility to their activity. Writing about your area of expertise can help to boost your brand authority in the eyes of current and potential customers alike.

In some cases, the design of the ebook will allow you to offer evolving writings: particularly in the professional or academic context, a digital book will be able to be enriched over time to always provide the best content to readers.

What is the price of an ebook?

The price of the ebook varies according to its format. It can be free, especially for marketing strategies of companies in the B2B environment, thanks to an opt-in lever making it possible to provide the book in exchange for the capture of readers’ email addresses.

For books such as novels, cookbooks, how-to guides, etc., the price varies depending on the author’s demand and the market.

Obviously, the price of an ebook will always be lower than a paper version: the costs concerning printing, paper, or physical distribution don’t need to be added to the selling price.

The price of an ebook usually doesn’t exceed $10. To know the potential price of a digital piece of work, the quickest solution is to consult platforms such as Amazon Kindle or Barnes & Noble, and take a look at the price of digital books sold in each category.

However, the price of an ebook can be influenced by the type of content, the size of the book but also the notoriety of the author (celebrity, influencer, etc.), which will then allow you to modify the price upwards for exclusive digital books.

Is it possible to print an ebook?

As an ebook is presented in the same way as a book in paper format, it’s quite possible to print it: it’ll thus become a traditional printed book.

You’ll find that platforms offer books in both formats, digital and paper. If you want to create an ebook that can be read in both formats, just be sure to check that the design and formatting of the printed version is equal in quality to that of its digital counterpart. To print your digital book in the best way, computer tools will allow you to adapt the PDF format to a traditional printing layout: this is the case for the Calibre software.

Features for reading an ebook

How does an ebook reader work?

An ebook reader is like a digital library. It displays books, ensures their reading, zooming, and adapting the text format to the reader, allowing for a comfortable and easy consultation through customizable settings.

In most ebook readers, it’s possible to search for new digital books directly via the search engine linked to the service.

Ebook readers often allow people to download excerpts of the books before they buy them.

Readers linked to services such as Amazon, for example, can also be used to read content downloaded outside their platform, provided that the file is in a format compatible with the application.

How do you read a book on a computer (Mac or PC)?

Reading a book on a computer is very easy. Once the file is downloaded, the computer allows a preview by clicking on the chosen book. Most of the time, ebooks on computers will be downloaded in PDF format.

Nevertheless, ebook formats like EPUB will be viewable on computers through specific applications.

How do you read a book on a tablet?

Reading a book on a tablet requires more or less the same process as on a computer, except that ebook formats are much more adapted to the tablet.

In PDF format, the file will open in a preview created by the tablet; for ebooks downloaded via special applications, most of these programs adapt the reading to the tablet for an optimal experience. In some cases, the tablet can replace the primary reading tool, which is the e-reader.

Kindle reader, NOOK reader...what are these devices?

The Kindle reader and NOOK reader are devices dedicated to the reading of digital books, offered by the brands that market this type of digital content.

The Kindle reader is marketed by Amazon and the NOOK reader by Barnes & Noble.

These kinds of tablets are set up to be able to buy, download, and read all kinds of ebooks whose formats are adapted to the tools.

Some of these devices offer special configurations to enjoy an ideal reading: adapted lighting, waterproof device, etc. With these tools, all the constraints of the paper book are erased with the help of technology.

Ebook formats

Which file version should you choose to create and sell your ebook?

Many design formats exist when it comes to the ebook. The basic digital writing format is linked to Word software with a .doc or .docx extension.

This format isn’t readable by all media, so the recommendation is to download your digital book in PDF format, which is much more universal and ensures that the book’s text and formatting appear as they’re supposed to.

However, special formats exist. Most of the time, these digital documents are in EPUB format.

When it comes to Amazon ebooks, the format used is often the MOBI format. Amazon also uses extensions such as .kpf or .awz.

Although different formats are available, never lose sight of the fact that the ebook is simply a digital book: it doesn’t matter in which format it’s offered, only that it’s readable by the connected tools!

How do you sell your ebook on the internet?

Two solutions are available to you in the sale of ebooks: go through traditional publishing and host your digital book with publishers of digital books and/or sell your digital book by your own means, on your own ecommerce site.

When you go through an ebook publisher, either in publishing or self-publishing, you’ll find that each service and platform used will get a percentage of your sales and, sometimes, money from your royalties.

As far as selling your digital book on your own online sales platform is concerned, the only commission you’ll be asked to pay is linked to your sales site.

With the WiziShop solution, you can sell all your digital products on a site dedicated to online sales and optimized to offer the best customer experience. All formats are possible in the sale of your ebook with WiziShop: the key is to offer people a downloadable file!

With the WiziShop ecommerce solution, you can sell your ebook in a few minutes, benefit from more than 400 ecommerce features, have a personalized follow-up thanks to our team of business coaches, and be quickly positioned in the first results of search engines, all this from $27 per month.

WiziShop is one of the cheapest solutions on the market to offer your ebook and help start your adventure in self-publishing. In addition, you get to enjoy a 15-day free trial: don’t wait any longer and start selling your ebook on your ecommerce site right now!

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