A Basic Beginner's Guide to EBooks

By Michael L Riley  

eBooks are books in digital format that can be read on your computer, eReader device, mobile phone, or tablet. eBooks have been around for over ten years but have recently become more popular with the introduction of new devices like the Amazon Kindle. This article will give you a basic overview of what you need to know to get started with eBooks.

eBook Formats
eBooks come in different formats. You can think of each format like a "variety" or "flavor" of eBook. The eBook format you need depends on where you plan to read the eBook -- your computer, mobile phone, eReader, etc. Each eBook format is made to be read with certain software or on certain hardware. Just like a.doc file will only open in Microsoft Word, a specific eBook file will only open in the software it was created for.

Reading On Your Computer
If you have a Windows computer, you can read virtually any eBook format. When you find an eBook that you want to buy or download for free, the website that sells/offers the eBook will tell you which software program is required to open the eBook.

Reading On Your eReader
There are many different eReader devices available now. If you have a Kindle, you will have to buy all of your eBooks from Amazon.com. If you have an eReader like the Barnes & Noble Nook, Cybook, BeBook, or Sony Reader, you can get eBooks from the company that sells the device or from most independent eBook stores. It is very important that you research which eBook formats will work on your particular device. You can find this information on the website where you bought the eReader or in your manual. If you have a cheaper "knock-off" eReader, you might not be able to easily find eBooks for it because those knock- offs usually aren't supported by common eBook software.


Reading on a Mobile Phone or Tablet
If you have a smartphone such as the iPhone or an Android phone, you can read eBooks with an eBook app. You can read Android eBooks with a program like Aldiko, for example. Android-based tablets (such as the Samsung Galaxy or Motorola Xoom) can also read eBooks on the same app. If you have and iPhone or iPad, you can read eBooks with Apple's native app "iBooks" or others like Bluefire Reader. Just be sure that you get the appropriate eBook format for these apps. Usually the Adobe format will work.

DRM Considerations
DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. This is software security that book publishers require for their eBook downloads. It prevents the user from emailing a copy of the eBook to other people, and it also allows you to use the eBook on more than one device that you own. Most of the time when DRM is present you'll be asked to sign into a specific account and register your eBook to that account. If you're presented with instructions that tell you to do this, do not attempt to skip over this process. If you skip it, you'll have trouble re-downloading the eBook later, or putting it onto another computer/device.

eBooks are a fun way to read your favorite books. Whether you like to read eBooks on your computer, eReader, phone, or tablet, the most important things to remember are to find the correct eBook format for your device, and to follow all instructions given for any necessary software. Happy reading!

You Got an EBook Reader As a Gift: Now What?

By Jared M. Scott  

Better World Books Good Reading

eBook Reading devices were a popular gift item this past holiday season. There was a lot of hype surrounding them because some new eBook readers were released and others were being sold at special low prices.

If you got an eBook reader as a gift, you might not know what to do with it. It will be very important that you learn how to use your device and do some preliminary research before you buy and download any ebooks. Please use the following steps as a guide.

1. Do not buy the first eBook you see.
It might be temping to Google one of your favorite books and try to download it as an ebook, but please don't do that before you've learned more about how ebooks work. You will only cause yourself a headache.

2. Determine which eBook formats and file types your device supports.
Your eBook reader device came with a manual or a user guide. You don't have to read it cover-to-cover, but find the part that specifies which file types your device can use.

You should also be able to find this information on the website for the device. Look for sections called "specs," "tech specs," "features," or something similar. For example, if you have a BeBook Neo you would go to the mybebook.com and find the information for the Neo. Or if you have a Nook, look at the information Barnes & Noble has posted about those devices, etc.

3. Try to find a free eBook in a supported format to try out.
Most eBook readers support PDF and EPUB files. There are many places that offer free downloads in those formats, including Google Books, Project Gutenberg, and others.

BIG DISCLAIMER: Free ebooks usually don't have DRM* so they do not behave the same way as an eBook that is protected by DRM. For example, you won't have to "authorize" your device or software. By testing out your eBook reader with a free ebook, you can make sure that the standard file type works on your device, but you won't yet be completely set up for ebooks that you purchase.

Looney Tunes Phonics

* What is DRM?

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. It is the method by which ebooks are protected from being distributed freely to others. The software ties the eBook to your account so that you can't give it away. The details will vary depending on the software. This security is required by book publishers because they want to protect their copyrights.

4. Learn how to transfer the eBook from your computer to your device.
Once you know the ebook file types that are supported by your device and you have an eBook in that format, you need to know how to get it from your computer to the device. The best place to find instructions for this is in the user guide or manual.

Most of the time, you will need to connect the device to your computer via a USB cable that it came with. Your computer will recognize the device similarly to how it would recognize a thumb drive or external hard drive.

5. Find an eBook store that sells eBook formats that are supported by your device.
If you have a Kindle, you will need to purchase Kindle ebooks from Amazon. I don't recommend that you try to get ebooks elsewhere because most of the time they will not work on the Kindle. Even if you think you've found a way around this, don't bother.

If you have another dedicated eBook reading device like a Nook, BeBook, Cybook, Kobo, or Sony Reader, then you can buy ebooks from just about any eBook retailer. Some good retailers include ebookmall.com, diesel-ebooks.com, fictionwise.com, and ebooks.com.

You can also purchase ebooks from the same company that makes the eBook reader. For example, if you have a Nook then you can get ebooks from Barnes & Noble.

6. Verify that your device is supported by the eBook store.
Don't assume that an eBook that you buy at an eBook retailer will work on your device. It is very important that you check all of the product details before placing an order.

If you know that your device can use PDF and EPUB files, then double-check to make sure that the eBook you want to purchase is indeed in that format.

If you can't figure it out, go ahead and email the company to make sure.

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7. Install and authorize any required software before making a purchase.
There is one more layer of double-checking the format that you must do. It is vitally important that you determine whether the eBook you want to buy has DRM on it or not.

For example, many devices support PDF and EPUB files. Those two formats have become the most common and are generally the standard. However, the publisher of the book most likely has required that DRM be present on the download. This means that you will have to use a program called Adobe Digital Editions to download the eBook and manage the transfer of the eBook from your computer to your device. You will need to download Adobe Digital Editions and authorize it using an Adobe ID.

There are many other eBook formats and file types, so make sure to install the required software for those formats as instructed.

8. Follow all download instructions to the letter.
Even if you think you have the software that you need, or you think you don't need to create a special account, go ahead and follow the instructions anyway. In most cases, you really do need to install some software or set up a free account with Adobe or whichever company created the software. If you ignore the instructions you will mess up your download.

9. Use these steps as a guide but use your own judgement and follow posted instructions.
These steps are very general. I can't give you specific instructions here because I don't know what kind of device you have. Always read your manual and follow the instructions given to you by the website where you are buying your ebooks.

How To Write An eBook That Will Sell

By Jon Allo  

People still buy eBooks. There are many online business owners, information marketers and bloggers who generate a substantial revenue selling their eBooks. You probably already know this, and are looking to write an eBook yourself. so how can you write an eBook that sell?

Why Will People Buy Your eBook?
When you write an eBook, your content will probably comprise of information and facts that you have acquired and gathered over a period of time. So why should people buy your eBook when they can search the internet and probably get that information for free?

To start with, how much time have your target audience got to spend time searching for that information? If and when they do find that information, how do they know it's correct or from a trusted source? After all, we all know that not everything on the internet is true.

Build A Relationship With Your Audience
People buy eBooks from people they know, like, trust and respect. When your website illustrates your knowledge in your specialized niche, you will earn the trust of your audience. Provide good value content on your website that your website visitors can see, read, listen to or watch for free.

If the information that you give away for free is good, they will then be more inclined to buy information from you rather than rely on unreliable information from a non-trustworthy source.

Provide Solutions To Their Problems
When you need an answer to a problem how much time are you willing to spend looking for, locating and verifying it?

Your prospects are time poor and need a solution to their problem quickly from someone they can trust. Your sales messages will have told them that your eBook provides information that will help them to solve a problem or that will make their life easier in some way.

So when someone makes the decision to buy an eBook from you, they'll want that information immediately. Ensure that your sales delivery process is smooth, safe and secure, and gets your eBook to them quickly.

And, if you offer a full money-back satisfaction guarantee, there is absolutely no risk to them at all.

Understand Your Customer
Success online is all about understanding your market intimately. You must know your potential customers inside and out. When you write an eBook, the topic you write about should be something you know extremely well, or can research exhaustively. It should exceed your customer’s expectations so that they will come back and buy from you again.

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