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eBook Formats

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eBook Formats, Devises, and Applications

1pen has received a lot of questions from our customers about ebooks, formats, and how to open them. This article describes and answers these questions. Furthermore, we decided to test some free eReader programs out. You can read about the ebook formats, the notes and features, and our test results HERE.

eBook Formats 

Ebooks are being sold in different formats and read by several devices. The first developed ebook format is the PDF, and it needs a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat. Later came the ePub format with more features and publishing possibilities. Several companies and publishers have developed their own e-reader devices and formats. Such as the .mobi format for the Amazon Kindle devices and .nook for Barnes&Noble’s Nook device.

ePub Versions

The ePub format exists in two very different variations: The Fixed and the Reflowable. They are being used for various purposes. The fixed layout is for e.x. magazines, children, and cooking books. Here the design is “fixed” and can have interactive elements. The reflowable layout is for novels and textbooks. Here the text can flow with pictures anchored in the text depending on the size of the reader device.


Portable Document Format

The PDF format is a file format developed by Adobe in the 1990s to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Based on the PostScript language, each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, vector graphics, raster images and other information needed to display it. PDF was standardized as ISO 32000 in 2008, and no longer requires any royalties for its implementation.

PDF files may contain a variety of content besides flat text and graphics including logical structuring elements, interactive elements such as annotations and form-fields, layers, rich media (including video content) and three-dimensional objects using U3D or PRC, and various other data formats. The PDF specification also provides for encryption and digital signatures, file attachments and metadata to enable workflows requiring these features.


Read the latest news about Pdf from Adobe here.


Electronic Publication

ePub is an e-book file format that uses the “.epub” file extension. The term is short for electronic publication and is sometimes styled ePub. EPUB is supported by many e-readers, and compatible software is available for most smartphones, tablets, and computers. EPUB is a technical standard published by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). It became an official standard of the IDPF in September 2007, superseding the older Open eBook standard.

The Book Industry Study Group endorses EPUB 3 as the format of choice for packaging content and has stated that the global book publishing industry should rally around a single standard. The EPUB format is implemented as an archive file consisting of HTML files carrying the content, along with images and other supporting files. EPUB is the most widely supported vendor-independent XML-based (as opposed to PDF) e-book format; that is, it is supported by almost all hardware readers, except for Kindle.

Source Wikipedia

Read more about the ePub format from W3 here.


Kindle File Format and Reader

Mobi is an e-book file format created by Amazon.com with the extension .mobi that can be downloaded and read on devices like smartphones, tablets, computers, or e-readers that have Amazon’s Kindle app.

The MOBI file format is one of the most widely used ebook file formats. The format is an enhancement to the old OEB (Open Ebook Format) format and was used as a proprietary format for Mobipocket Reader. Like EPUB, it is supported by almost all modern e-readers specifically by mobile devices with low bandwidth. The format can be converted to several other formats such as PDF, EPUB and several other formats using publicly available software applications such as the Kindle app. There are several companies that offer free MOBI books such asProject GutenbergFeedbooks, and Open Library.

Source Wikipedia and Wikifileformat


Barnes & Noble Format and Reader

The Barnes & Noble Nook (styled nook or NOOK) is a brand of e-readers developed by American book retailer Barnes & Noble, based on the Android platform. The original device was announced and released in the U.S. in September 2009.

NOOK books can also be read on any phone or tablet by downloading the free NOOK app.   


Rakuten Format and Reader

The Kobo eReader is an e-reader produced by Toronto-based Kobo Inc. The company’s name is an anagram of “book”. The original version was released in May 2010 and was marketed as a minimalist alternative to the more expensive e-book readers available at the time.

Kobo eReader & Kobo Desktop app file support supports EPUB, (EPUB3),  PDF, FlePub and MOBI

Soruce: Wikipedia and Kobo.com

After you have downloaded your ebook to your reader device. You can find and install the app you prefer to read from and open it. The app will usually find your ebooks by itself. You can also make it search for your books or connect to your clouds. Then it will create a bookshelf for the books it finds. You can also read our manual on How To Open an ePub Here.

DRM Protection

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. Many eBooks are being bought for specific devices and from paid account platforms. They usually have their own app with DRM protection. This means you need their app and the account to have access to your book. Also, you sometimes need to have access to the internet to open your book. You cannot download the book as a single file and read it on another device.

eBooks from 1pen ePublish have no DRM protection. After you have bought the file, you can save it in any folder on any device and there is no expiration date. All authors and illustrators are always protected by the Copyrights.

ePub App’s

Apple products all use the same iStore app. This is available on all devices as part of the standard programs. The app opens all ePub and other ebook formats. iBook is available from the iStore and used on iPhones, iPads and the Mac computer. Likewise, with the devices that use Android programs. They can are available in the Google Play Store. Android is for Samsung, Sony, Nokia, Huawei, and others.

1pen publish the ePub format for Pc/Mac, iPhone, iPad, all Android devices. Besides this, we also have the Mobi format for Kindle devices. The Nook version is available from Barnes&Nobles only. The majority of ebook sellers are also selling the ebook as an ePub format. Several of the eReaders can read different formats, usually ePub, PDF and Mobi.

Different App Stores

Apps and programs are free to download. From Microsoft Store – iStore – Chrome Webshop – Google Play. There are 1oo’s of free app’s out there to try out, and some of them have extra features for a fee. In our eReader Test 2019, you can read much more. Here I write about my test of eReaders and their functions on Pc, Apple, and Android devices.

eReader Communities and Online Libraries

GoodReads is like FB but for readers. Project Gutenberg is a big online library. They have 1000’s of free books to download immediately. I have found several others and will update this article in the future with more information.


Send a message and tell us what you would like to know more about and we will get back to you or answer the question in the article update.

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