24 July 2015
Ebook compatibility and distribution

The key is to stay focused

With ebooks it's important to develop for your distribution.

If you have a concern that your ebook will not function very well for some of the ebook reading apps you have found on various devices and app stores, this article is for you.

Every Australian eBook Publisher customer can rest assured that their ebook will be fully tested and functional on the ebook reading apps and devices that we are distributing it on. These are exclusively Apple iBooks, Amazon Kindle and Kindle for iOS and Kindle for Android, Kobo reader and GooglePlay Books. No others (unless shown otherwise on your quote).

There is no point testing your files on any other apps as it will not even be possible for people to purchase or get hold of them to read them in these apps. Unless you are planning to self-distribute, and then people can side-load them to various apps. However, we do not recommend this because you then have no copyright protection on your ebook files, and they can become pirated very easily.

The readers I mentioned above represent the largest percentage of the paying ebook market (my guess is around 90%). The remaining 10% is made up of thousands of different organisations, apps, readers and devices that are trying to take a slice of the ebook pie. Please read this FAQ article on my website for the reasons why we choose to stay focused on the markets that really matter.

Also, please note that the ebook files we develop are to the industry standard of ePub and Mobi. We do not have any control over the thousands of little companies all over the world, many in developing nations, and how poorly they choose to develop software to read ebooks. These types of apps will often only support very basic books such as novels, with simple formatting like paragraphs of text, and headings.

These low-budget wannabe programs are often used by pirates and unscrupulous consumers to read pirated content, because they do not use digital copyright protections like DRM nor do they have to adhere to the same rules and regulations as the more well known ones. Indeed these apps may be purely for reading ebooks, not purchasing them, meaning the only way to load ebooks into them is by side-loading, a practice generally used by those involved in ebook development or for public domain ebook files, privately/independently sold ones, or even for pirated books.

Whether their claims about millions of downloads are correct or not, they still only represent the smallest fraction of the ebook reading market, and may not even be part of the paying ebook market at all.

Australian eBook Publisher can develop epub and mobi files for particular apps and distribution options. For example we have developed complex medical texts for BlueFire Reader and Adobe Digital Editions, intended for client-distribution from their own website using DRM services provided by Ebooks Engine and Cyberwolf that use Adobe Content Server.

We are able to develop for whatever apps you desire, and this will be listed on your quote. However please consider that you need to keep your focus on developing your ebook files for the distribution chain you're using. If you try to do it for all, you may end up failing at most. If you try to do it for some, you will end up succeeding. That's the approach we take, by keeping our focus on the majors Apple, Amazon, Kobo and GooglePlay.

As for the ebook reading apps other than these major ones, you will find that some of them simply do not support tables, for example. They simply do not have the high level of care about quality and customers that companies like Apple do. And why would you want to develop for some obscure app that you aren't even distributing your ebook to?

If you have any questions about ebook compatibility, please download the latest epub compatibility spreadsheet form the BISG website. Or contact us.

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"I have really appreciated your support with my book, Amanda. I'm sure your other clients are of the same opinion. Quality professionalism is never in over supply, neither is generosity of spirit. You have both."—Henry Grossek, radio announcer and author of Game On: Building the Education Revolution

"Thank you, Australian eBook Publisher. I am delighted with the quality of the print edition of my novel, Beast-speaker. The service that Amanda and her team provide is exceptional: friendly, helpful and everything is delivered within the promised time-frame. The print on demand package is easy and affordable, and I highly recommend it to anyone considering publishing with Australian eBook Publisher, Greenslade Creations."—W. A. Noble, author of Beast-speaker

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