This article is part of a series about creating and publishing reflowable electronic publication (EPUB) documents from InDesign files. Reflowable EPUBs are the most popular e-reader format for digital books and magazines, allowing the reader to optimize the content depending on the display device.
An eBook is a digital version of a book. This can be as simple as a PDF format, which can be read on a computer or any of the various ereaders. A big difference between the two is that a PDF-format eBook is not reflowable, as are some other formats such as .EPUB, .AZW, and .MOBI. Of these, the .EPUB format is the most widely accepted eBook standard. Interestingly, the generic definition of “eBook” has evolved to its current definition of any electronic book, whether it is in the PDF format or EPUB format.
What are these eBook formats?
- .EPUB is readable on most devices, including Kindle Fire. This eBook format is actually a .ZIP archive that contains what is in effect an entire website including HTML files, images, CSS style sheets and other assets. It uses HTML5 so publications can contain video, audio, and interactivity, just like websites in modern browsers. The EPUB format is quickly becoming the publishing industry standard for eBooks because its ability to make the content of a book “reflowable” to whatever device is used.