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.