How Businesses Can Create Their Own eBook Libraries

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How Businesses Can Create Their Own eBook Libraries

How Businesses Can Create Their Own eBook LibrariesLet’s first clarify a few facts:

  • You don’t have to own a Kindle—or any mobile device—to read an eBook.
  • There are no license fees or copyright restrictions related to producing and using Kindle (mobi) or EPUB files.
  • Reading a PDF on an iPhone or other small screen is not easy.

So why not convert your business documents into eBook libraries?

  1. 37% of smartphone owners read eBooks on their device.
  2. Unlike a PDF, you can highlight, take notes and bookmark eBooks.
  3. eBook content formats itself for each screen size.
  4. Readers set the font size, margins and many other settings to make reading more enjoyable.
  5. You don’t have to sell your eBook in a store; in fact you can give them away on your website.

Creating the eBooks

The tools you use to convert documents or PDF files into eBooks depend on the complexity of your document. It is always easier, and you get better results, converting Word or other text files rather than a PDF, but here are a few things to consider:

  1. Tables are not universally supported by eBook readers or eReading software, or you may get unpredictable results depending on the size and format of your table. Keep it simple, and small. Or convert it to a graphic.
  2. If you are using footnotes, make them into endnotes.
  3. Images are no problem but limit them to about 550 pixels in width and 400 pixels in height.
  4. Make sure your document is formatted in a consistent manner. Use style sheets.
  5. I suggest limiting the use of tabs and indents. One or maybe two levels deep is okay.

Once you have your document formatted you can use any number of tools to convert the file. We use Adobe InDesign because the resulting EPUB file passes validation. But a good free tool is Calibre. Just don’t expect the output file to pass validation which is required for the Apple iBooks store. Both of these programs support output to the mobi format which is compatible with Amazon Kindle or you can convert the EPUB file using Amazon’s previewer tool.

(Contact us if your files are more complex or outsourcing eBook development and conversion makes more sense.)

How to distribute your businesses eBooks

Distributing your eBook files is like distributing a PDF file: you can store it on your servers or email it. Unlike a PDF file you can also submit it to one of the large eBook stores such as Kindle or Nook (Barnes & Noble). You can also make it a free download on your website but you’ll have to first place it in a zip file.

Also like a PDF you need free reader software to open and read the eBook on your device. There are many choices but here are a few of the more popular options. All of these except Kindle read EPUB files.

eBook files—EPUB and Mobi—are the new standard for viewing content on mobile devices and offer a far superior reading experience than PDF. This makes them ideal for storing company information like training materials, support documents, policies, white papers etc. in business eBook libraries.

Please let us know if we can help. We offer a free eBook strategy consultation.

Related post: How to Create a Corporate Lending Library Using Kindles and Kindle eBooks

photo credit: cseeman via photopin cc

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