What ebook format for what ereader?

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Did you know that when you buy a book directly from an ebook publisher, you often get it at a discount for the first week it’s released? Sometimes, publishers release books on their sites first, and on other distribution outlets later. Did you know that getting an ebook on Barnes & Noble’s NOOK platform usually lags weeks behind the release date at the publisher or Amazon? What’s an avid reader to do?

The answer, of course, is to buy direct from the publisher. Not only do you get what you want faster, possibly at a discount, but authors also make more money when you buy it directly from the publisher. Our royalties aren’t being eaten up by the overhead a third party distribution site demands. Of course, the next question is: what format will suit my ereader?

There are a plethora of options: mobi, epub, pdf, prc, etc. Once you buy the ebook from the publisher, which format do you download and copy to your ereader? Here is a basic chart:

  • Kindle: PRC & MOBI
  • NOOK: EPUB
  • Kobo: EPUB
  • Sony Reader: EPUB
  • iPhone/iPod/iPad: PRC or EPUB
  • Android/Blackberry: PRC or EPUB (depending on your application)
  • Windows/Mac OS: HTML, PRC, or EPUB (depending on your application)

If you’d like a more detailed chart, click here for BookStrand’s Formats and Devices page. They do a fabulous job of explaining what applications, what devices, and what readers to use for your new book.

If you need instructions on how to copy your downloaded book from your computer to your device, here is another handy chart. I’ve linked to BookStrand’s instructions, once again. When you click on a link below, it will take you to BookStrand’s instruction page. However, the instructions are the same even if you download a book from Evernight Publishing or any other ebook publisher. The basic thing to do is find out where your device stores books and simply copy the downloaded ebook to the correct folder on your device (Documents folder on a Kindle, My Library/My Documents on a NOOK, database/media/books on a Sony Reader, etc.)