Epub 3. This is the most widely supported format. it is overseen by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and looks set to become the standard. Epub books can be read on almost all (non Amazon) dedicated readers, desktop and tablet computers as well as smart phones running Android, iOS and Windows operating systems. Epub books do not usually have pages in the conventional sense, instead the text flows allowing the reader to change the text size at will. Epubs can contain enhancements such as web links, interactive elements, audio and video clips.
Kindle (mobi, prc, KF8, azw). Amazon’s proprietary format, very similar to epub in its capabilities but only readable on Amazon devices and software. Amazon provide software to allow Kindle books to be read on Apple, Windows and Android operating systems. This is the only eBook format available from Amazon.
Adobe Acrobat (PDF). The only universally readable format, its major shortcoming is that pages have an unchangeable, fixed, layout and the text cannot be resized without resizing the whole page.
eBook readers are compact, lightweight and portable.
With today’s technology you can read eBooks anywhere, on the bus, train, plane, and while queuing.
Using the most common lending technologies, library users do not incur overdue fines because eBooks time out on a patron’s reader at the end of the loan period.
Ebooks are delivered almost instantaneously. You can purchase, download and start reading them within minutes, without leaving your chair. You don’t have to go to a book shop or library to obtain them or wait for days, weeks and sometimes more for them to arrive in the mail.
It is possible to purchase an eBook 24 hours a day, every day of the year, wherever you are.
Worldwide availability. Anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world can buy your book. Ebooks can contain links, for easy access to more information, related websites and the author’s other works.
Ebooks are searchable. You can quickly and easily search for any information or content in a n eBook. eBook readers and browsers are more effective in meeting the accessibility needs of users with visual impairment. Many have built-in screen readers, screen enlargement options
eBooks do not require printing, shipping and physical processing like traditional print books so more of the sale price can go to the author.
Ebooks are easy to update or correct new editions are not tied to print runs and can be issued almost instantaneously.
eBooks do not require storage space unlike traditional print.
Once published, eBooks are permanently available and never go out of stock.
People like books, the feel, the look, even the smell.
The batteries never go flat in a printed book.
Printed books are more robust and you can drop them, get them wet, leave them in a hot place and even prop up wobbly tables with them and they will still be readable.
The hardware is relatively expensive.
Many current eBook retailers and distributors use proprietary digital rights management (DRM) Software to control access to the eBook.
A standardised file format for eBooks is still evolving, although EPUB dominates and EPUB3 is likely to see widespread adoption.
eBook use statistics usually cannot be tracked within the library ILS system.
There are significant reader privacy concerns. Some retailers lock their customers into a particular format, I.E. Amazon with Kindle..
Disadvantages might be DRM employed by publisher to prevent text-to-speech functionality. On the newer dedicated e-readers, on iPads, on smart phones and on laptops, it is easier to turn a page than it is with a hard copy book. You often have multiple ways on the same reader to turn a page:
a screen tap, a key press, a mouse click, or a flick of the finger.
Association of Publishers. Users of Amazon’s Kindle can only use mobi/prc/KF8/azw and PDF formats
Most eReading systems are integrated with the manufacturer’s eBook shop, which allow the user to purchase and download directly from their reading system.
The government is currently considering the need for an updated privacy law in respect of the new digital environment
types of physical locks. One simple form uses time and date and takes advantage of the fact that computers have built in clock calendars. The e-reading software on the PC checks the current date and time whenever the eBook is opened. When the current date and time are later than the eBookís due date (which the e-reading software knows), it refuses to open the book. Some DRM systems rely on the credit card of the purchaser. Some use a complex encryption of the text and build the decryption key into their proprietary e-reader.