Currently I can think of at least a half dozen popular ways for E-Books to be read; besides your notebook, laptop, or desktop and the dedicated E-Readers like the Sony Reader, Nook, or Kindle, you also need to remember some of the older readers known as “Personal Digital Assistants” from Pocket PC, Psions, and Palms & Handsprings, add these PDAs to the online, or offline, ultra-books or netbooks and you begin to see why formatting and file type are important if you want your work to be available to as many readers as possible.
In fact as I write this blog entry several other E-Book readers may have joined e-reading devices from the list above, the I-Pad, Samsung Galaxy and a host of other web-readers, not yet mentioned. Include the fact that most of today’s cell phones have evolved enough so that a mobile phone, with internet access, is capable of serving as an e-reader too. E-Book material is based on the file type, or the format the e-book comes to you in; so if you decided to take on this challenge publishing and distributing your own e-book be mindful of the above, and do as much research as you can to make sure the software you chose will do the job. Hopefully this information will be useful and get you off to a good start.
Individual E-Publishing and file conversion, or server-side software, is available that will allow your website to become a little more full service if you are not already able to offer your own e-book(s) from your website. Design, package, and distribute your own encrypted DRM’d (Digital Rights Management a class of technology used by hardware manufacturers, copyright holders, and publishers) This software should allow you to distribute Adobe PDF and E-Pub E-Books directly from your website.
With a program called Desktop Author you can create an attractive page turning electronic publications that is interactive and has multimedia potential. The program allows you to produce books, catalogs, presentations, brochures, photo albums, forms and for the college student exams. The publications you create with this program are read with a DNL reader that can also be included or downloaded separately. There is a free trial version available for those who might want to test drive this software program before you purchase it, however, with the free version function is limited.
This blog entry was not meant to scare you away from distributing your own e-book from your own website. I only meant to share some of the file, and format, concerns associated with releasing your e-book to the world by yourself and reveal some of the software that is available to those brave enough to take on the challenge of distributing your e-book information online. I suppose if you would rather have relatively worry free e-book distribution; free of the concerns listed above there will always be the e-book distribution pros like your publisher and others set up to assisting authors and self-publishers with e-book distribution needs.