New to Ebooks?
So youâ€™ve heard about this new thing called the ebook and youâ€™re wondering what it is and what all the hype is about. Well my friends, hereâ€™s the long and the short of it.
Weâ€™ll start with the short of it. An ebook is a book in electronic form. Meaning that itâ€™s all the words you know and love (or will soon know and love) without the paper. Electronic books can be purchased online, read and stored right on your computer.
The Long of itâ€¦ Just like there are hundreds of print publishers and authors, there are hundreds of epublishers and ebook authors. And just like there are various types of print books (hardcover, mass market paperback, trade paperback) there are multiple formats that you can buy an ebook in. There are also multiple ways for you to read your ebook.
Weâ€™ll talk about the formats, publishers, authors and other options in a moment.
For now you might be wondering why youâ€™d want to purchase an ebook instead of an honest to goodness printed-on-paper book.
For starters, there are thousands of fabulous stories just waiting to be read in ebook format. Since the epublishing world is on the cutting edge, youâ€™ll often find more out of the box stories in ebook format. Things that may not be as popular in print will find a happy home and happy fans in the ebook world.
Ebooks are often cheaper than their print counterparts simply because the cost of the paper, ink, shipping, and storage has been cut out. Thatâ€™s not to say that ebooks donâ€™t go through an extensive process before they hit the cyber shelves. Most reputable ebook publishers have full time editors and each book goes through several revisions, just like print books. And then there are the standard expenses no matter how the book is produced: marketing, ISBNs, cover art, overhead, etc.
Ebooks take up less physical space and if your bookshelves are overflowing that could be a very good thing. Consider that each PDF ebook is roughly a megabyte and most are much less depending on the length of the book. That means that you can store hundreds of books on your hard drive. Or save them to a CD. And now with flash/thumb drives, you can save your books and take them with you. And because the files can safely reside on a CD, flash/thumb drive, or an ebook reader/PDA you can take your books with you. Imagine sitting at the doctors office, reading a book. You get to the last page, sigh at the happy ending and then realize you have fifteen more minutes to wait and you didnâ€™t bring another book with you. Now imagine that you have a sleek PDA in your hand with 50 ebooks just waiting to be read. Imagine how small and slim it is and how well it will fit into your purse. Now when youâ€™ve finished one book, you can start reading another one. In other words, ebooks are extremely portable! And best of all, no one will know what youâ€™re reading unless you tell them.
Ebooks are also quick to purchase. If you order a paperback from amazon.com, you still have to wait for it to be handled and shipped. And that could take anywhere from 1 day to 7 days or more! Ebooks are instant. You visit a website, shop for the books you want, check out just like you would at amazon.com and then youâ€™re downloading your new books. You donâ€™t have to wait long before you can start reading the latest book by your favorite author.
Ebooks are published by dozens of epublishers and many traditionally print publishers. Weâ€™re seeing more and more books from Harlequin, Pocket Books, Random House, etc come out in eformat. So think about it this way. You just got word that the new Suzanne Brockmann book is out now but you donâ€™t have time to drive to the bookstore and you donâ€™t want to wait for amazon to ship the book. The book is available right this minute in ebook format. And youâ€™ll be on the edge of your seat in minutes after youâ€™ve downloaded it.
Ebooks offer variety. Not just in publishers but also in authors. Authors who write inspirational romance, shorter stories, anthologies, red hot romance, and even gay romance have found a home in the ebook world. And readers around the globe are snapping up their books.
Itâ€™s up to you where you read your ebooks and in what format. Each format has advantages and disadvantages. The simplest way to begin reading ebooks is to download the free Adobe Acrobat PDF reader, download books in PDF format (widely available in the ebook world) and read the book right there on your computer.
- MS Reader
- PALM PDF
- Franklin eBookMan
- MS Smartphone
- Pocket PC
- Palm OS device
- Windows CE device