E-Books & PDFs & Apps—Oh My!

E-Book AppDid you know that 50% of Americans now own a tablet or e-reader device? A new Pew Research Center survey shows that e-reading has been rising along with tablet ownership. This is encouraging if you are considering publishing your book digitally. But which would be a better way to go: e-book or app? Let’s take a look at how they compare.

An advantage to reading e-books on a digital device is the flexible text which allows the font size to vary and reflow to fit the screen. Additional features such as highlighting, note-taking, read-along audio, and a built-in dictionary are important to readers of e-books. If your book is mostly text, with few images, an e-book would be a great publishing option.

What about picture books that are mainly full-page illustrations with very little text? An e-book option might be to export a PDF of the print book layout. A PDF, or Portable Document Format, is fixed and preserves the look of the printed book. One drawback to a PDF, however, is that the pages are usually too large for digital screens, forcing the reader to scroll around to see the entire page. Also, since most e-book distributors do not support PDF uploads, the author would need to set up a shopping cart capable of delivering digital files in order to sell PDFs online.

Another option for picture book authors would be to create an app from their story and characters. By adding games, animation, and activities, readers become engaged with the book in a whole new way. Education and entertainment combine in an app for a fun, interactive reading experience.

To find out more about digital publishing options, please contact Gail Nelson at e-book-design.com.