Although hardcover and paperbacks are still quite popular, ebooks are slowly taking over the publishing world. Their lower price, portability, and ease of purchase (not to mention that you can often find them for free) make them an attractive option for readers.
Additionally, with an excellent eBook reader, you can often increase the font size, change the background color, and do other things to make reading on your device more comfortable than it ever could be with a physical book.
However, problems can arise when the formatting of your ebook format is of poor quality. For example:
- The lines are jagged.
- Page breaks are messed up.
- Text is reflowing oddly.
- And other similar issues.
This can often happen when an ebook is not correctly converted from its original format into the ebook format you’re trying to read it on. For this reason, it’s essential to ensure you use suitable ebook formats for your device.
In this article, Alpha eBook, the eBook conversion specialist, will discuss the three most popular ebook formats: EPUB, MOBI, and PDF, to help you decide which format is best for you.
Top 3 Primary eBook Format
EPUB, MOBI, and PDF are today’s primary eBook formats. Here is a brief overview of each format:
What is EPUB Format?
EPUB is a format designed specifically for reflowable content, meaning that the text automatically adjusts to fit the screen size of your device. It is also designed to work with various eBook readers, such as the Amazon Kindle, Nook, iPad, and Sony Reader, making it one of the most versatile and user-friendly eBook formats.
Also, DRM-enabled ePub files can prevent the distribution of harmful files. Because of this, large publishing houses use our EPUB conversion services as a de facto industry standard whenever they want to release a book on a site other than Amazon. EPUB files are typically the best option if you want to read a book on a device other than a Kindle.
What is MOBI Format?
MOBI is the native format for Amazon Kindle devices. The format became popular because Amazon used it exclusively for eBooks sold on their website. Therefore, if you wanted to publish an eBook on Amazon, you needed Kindle eBook formatting to ensure your book appears correctly on all Kindle devices.
However, Amazon has now opened its platform to support other eBook formats such as AZW3, PDF, and TXT. But, MOBI is still the default format for Kindle books.
MOBI features advanced navigation controls, file searching, decompression, and dictionaries. The format also allows the user to add notes, highlights, and bookmarks.
What is PDF Format?
PDF is a format developed by Adobe in the early 1990s. It was designed as a way to view documents electronically, regardless of the software or operating system they were created on. It is a digital printout of a document that works well on large screens but can be challenging to read on smaller screens such as cell phones and eReaders.
One reason PDF has remained popular is that it can preserve the original formatting of a document even if it has a lot of data, images, and graphic-based media. PDF is also a good format for sharing documents because people can open and view PDFs even if they don’t have the software used to create them.
Epub vs. Mobi vs PDF: The Difference Between Each eBook Formats
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of each format let’s take a more in-depth look at the key differences between EPUB, MOBI, and PDF.
PDF and EPUB are compatible with most eBook readers and devices such as Apple’s iPad, the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Sony Reader, BeBook, Bookeen Cybook Gen3, and many more. MOBI, on the other hand, is the native format for Amazon Kindle devices but can also be read on other eBook readers with the appropriate software installed, such as MobiPocket Reader or FBReader.
Both EPUB and MOBI files are designed for reflowable content, meaning that the layout can adjust to fit the screen size of your device. This makes both formats user-friendly and easy to read, even on small screens like cell phones.
PDFs, however, are static layouts that remain one size regardless of the device it is being viewed on. This can make PDFs challenging to read on small screens and often require zooming in and scrolling around to view the entire document.
EPUB files can support a variety of interactive elements such as audio, video, animations, and more. MOBI files can also support some interactive features, but to a lesser extent than EPUB. PDFs, on the other hand, are not designed to help interactive elements; as such, any interactivity will have to be added by the PDF creator.
EPUB and MOBI are read-only formats, meaning that they cannot be edited once they have been created. On the other hand, PDFs are fully editable, meaning you are free to add, delete, or change any content within the document.
EPUB files are typically smaller than PDFs and MOBI files, making them ideal for devices with limited storage space.
PDFs can vary depending on the data they contain but are often larger than EPUB and MOBI files.
MOBI files are typically larger than EPUB files but smaller than PDFs.
MOBI has DRM protection built-in, meaning that you can add security to your eBook files to prevent unauthorized copying or sharing.
EPUB, being an open format, does not have DRM protection built in, but third-party software programs can add DRM to EPUB files.
PDFs are equipped with Adobe’s digital security. You can add password protection to PDF files to prevent unauthorized access.
EPUB is the most widely supported eBook format and is, therefore, the best format to use if you want your eBook to be compatible with the broadest range of devices and software.
With special software installed, MOBI files can be read on a few other eBook readers other than Kindle.
PDFs can be read on almost any device but may not be as user-friendly as EPUB or MOBI files.
Which Format Should You Use for Your eBook
There is no clear winner between EPUB, MOBI, and PDF as the best eBook format. Each format has advantages and disadvantages that make it better or worse for specific purposes. However, what’s best for you comes down to your personal or professional needs and preferences.
Alpha eBook conversion specialist recommends the following eBook formats for specific purposes:
If you are a writer looking to self-publish your work, our MOBI conversion service can be best for you, as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform is one of the most popular ways to self-publish eBooks.
We recommend our PDF conversion services for business professionals who want to distribute reports, white papers, or other corporate documents. PDF is a widely used format for business documents and can be easily shared and printed.
However, if you want your content to be read on the widest range of devices and software, we recommend our EPUB conversion services. EPUB is the most widely supported eBook format and can be read on almost any device or software.
No matter what your specific needs are, our ebook format service can provide you with the best solution for converting your content into any desired format.
Contact us today to learn more about our services or get started on your project.