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Author Topic: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?  (Read 3772 times)

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Lin Robinson

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Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« on: July 30, 2009, 03:36:36 PM »
One of the problems with eBooks is all the damned formats out there.   You see people releasing books in a dozen different formats.   
And if there's a standard ever reached, it'll probably be some evil powergrab like Kindle or Sony/Google.

Meanwhile, pdf and exe have been around forever.   I've done a manual in pdf and will have a book out this summer as a self-opening exe file.

Anybody got any thoughts or experience on this?

Richard

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2009, 07:13:00 PM »
We release a couple ebooks now, and speaking from publishing another book professionally, I've found that here on EWR the only way I have dealt with it is to put everything in the most popular formats like pdf, mobi, reader, and then look to see if there is a call for more. If we are getting a lot of mobile downloads, we put up formats to match the demand.

I think we need a universal reader format soon. It's a pain, and companies know it,but it  is to their great benefit to keep proprietary formats, of course.

Adoro Cyberlit

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2009, 10:44:31 PM »
The funny thing about that is that exe and pdf... and for that matter html... are out there wide open where anybody can read them.

We are about to put out an executable pdf book, pretty wild item, as an experiment.

We've thought about mobiles, but then what you get into is different screen sizes.

Do you have links to the books you put out?

Richard

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2009, 11:18:11 PM »
I think you're talk to me. Yes, we have an ebook link on this board. You are entitled to the free ebook when you sign up. http://www.everywritersresource.com/writersmessageboards/index.php?board=44.0 You can download the ebook from the message. Members only, so now you get to feel exclusive! Kidding. The book is a collection of short stories by the "Horror Masters" like Poe, and others. We are also working on a collection of literary stories to start giving away when you sign up. If you join the mailing list, you get both, and others in time.

nomesque

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2009, 09:53:52 PM »
The 'standard' ebook format is EPUB - or should I say, the current attempt at an open standard :-) I think PDF, html, mobi and epub are probably the most commonly used at the moment.

Executable files bother me - I wouldn't tend to download them even if I wanted to read the book. Too much danger of the provider not knowing what they're doing (and unwittingly including something nasty). But I will grant, I'm a bit of a security nerd *lol*

Richard

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2009, 02:30:39 AM »
We need more security nerds in the world in my opinion. I'm not crazy about .exe either, but many use it.

Lin Robinson

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2009, 02:40:19 PM »
Good points.

But wouldn't it be just as possible for any format to contain malware?  Certain a zip file could, and that's the standard of downloadville.

I'd be interested to know how many readers shy away from exe  (which is the whole issue, right?)

Mostly, I would just hate to give up all the color and artwork and animation and stuff possible with exe.

nomesque

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2009, 01:16:22 AM »
Good points.

But wouldn't it be just as possible for any format to contain malware?  Certain a zip file could, and that's the standard of downloadville.

I'd be interested to know how many readers shy away from exe  (which is the whole issue, right?)

Mostly, I would just hate to give up all the color and artwork and animation and stuff possible with exe.

Sorry, I wandered off and forgot about this thread  :-[

Executables are more likely to cause problems when you download them, because your OS will assume that if you run it and click on OK if it asks you if it's safe... that it should run any bit of code included in the .exe. Whereas a .zip, for example, might include a virus or other nasty, but you'd generally need to specifically run it (or run an executable which calls it) before it's activated.

Some formats often contain macros - eg word processing, spreadsheet, presentations - and many people aware of this will tend to avoid them out of habit, even though it's possible to block macros on these file types as standard.

But you're right, practically any file type MIGHT contain malware.

I'm not sure what percentage of people would avoid downloading .exe files. I guess it's a good idea, where possible, to provide various options - full-featured .exe, pretty-text .epub/.pdf/.mobi, plainer-text .txt/.rtf.

murazrai

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009, 01:08:59 PM »
That is something I agree. A variety of formats are good for the ebook market. To me, every format have their own strengths and weaknesses and the usefulness will depend on your preference of reading.

bookpublishers

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2010, 02:22:21 PM »
With all the talk of Apple's ipad, I reckon the new epub format is going to become the best, just because it cna be used on not only the ipad, but also iphone, android and sony. epub is more convienient than kindle and adobe pdf.
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Richard

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2010, 11:05:21 PM »
Yeah, there is a turf war going on for formatting, and I wonder if all of us are going to get caught in the middle.  Anyone remember batamax:


bookpublishers

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Re: Pdf, mobi, exe...what's the most useful format?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2010, 11:01:07 AM »
Betamax takes me back. I remember when it was the Betamax vs VHS format war. For consumers, the most immediately obvious difference between the two formats was the recording length. Standard Betamax tapes lasted 60 minutes — not long enough to record a movie. Conversely, the 3-hour VHS tapes were perfect for recording television programmes and movies. Sony did adapt and offer various solutions for longer recording, but it was too late. The issue of recording time is often cited as the most defining factor in the war.

If you have a chance to see how Amazing Apple's Ipad is though, I think its going to blow kindle out the water. Check out Steve Jobs introduction to ipad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBhYxj2SvRI

With the whole iBook thing, I think Apple has the edge.

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