Most likely, if you’re a writer you’re already familiar with what an ISBN actually is. It stands for International Standard Book Number, and is the way books are commercially set apart from each other. The book number is unique for every book, and for every version of a book, like a literary fingerprint. It allows a book to be identified both in catalogs and bookstores, be they physical or digital.
Most people know that a book needs an ISBN, but what they may not understand is that each format of the book needs a separate number. A hardback is different from a paperback, which is different from an epub, which is different from a mobi. An ISBN will reveal exactly what you’re getting, as opposed to other versions available.
If you have a publishing company, they will most likely take care of the process of assigning ISBNs to your work, but a self-published author needs to do that themselves. It’s not a difficult process, but it is an important one.
You’ve heard the terms. You know they’re electronic books. But what is an epub or mobi file?
Officially the term “epub” is short for “electronic publication” and is a free and open ebook format used by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). It is able to be read by most ereaders, including all Apple products, Android devices, Nook, Kobo, Sony and Windows. The only devices that currently don’t read epub files are Amazon Kindle devices.
The “mobi” format was created by a small company for the Mobipocket reader, but was purchased by Amazon. It is nearly identical to the native azw format that Amazon uses, and is used almost exclusively by the Kindle, although some readers have apps that can be installed to read them.
What does that mean for a writer? Or even a reader (both human and digital)? Well let’s explain a little more about what makes up an epub or mobi file as opposed to, say, a text file.
Welcome to the world of digital publishing.
Whether you’re a writer, a publisher, or just curious about the process of digital book making, you’ve come to the right place. This blog has been created as a companion to the Simply Written service, to provide information and insight into the industry of eBooks and digital publication.