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What are eBooks?
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If you've spent any time on the Internet, you have most likely come across the term "eBooks". But what exactly are eBooks and is there anything about them you really need to know? If you're at all interested in the latest publishing medium and would like access to an unlimited number of fiction and nonfiction literary works, eBooks are definitely something you need to become familiar with.

An eBook is a digital book that you can download and read on your computer, laptop, PDA or a dedicated reading device. If you prefer to read your eBooks on paper, you can also print them and take them with you wherever you go.

EBooks are read for a wide variety of reasons for an even wider variety of people. They can be read for enjoyment or can be used as valuable learning and research tools. You can use eBooks to research a project or you can download them and catch up on the classics. There is probably an eBook for every topic you could ever want to read about, and then some.

There are a number of different digital formats that eBooks are distributed in. If your computer does not have the software necessary to support a certain eBook format, you'll need to download and install the required software prior to reading any eBooks published in that format. Almost all of the software needed for eBook enjoyment can be downloaded for free. Some of the most popular free eBook readers include Adobe Reader, Microsoft Reader, Mobipocket Reader, mBrain PDF Reader, Rocket eBook and TK3 Reader.

EBooks were first introduced to the Web in the 1990s and have experienced a massive growth in popularity since their inception. By the year 2000 there were literally thousands of eBooks being distributed across the Internet. As of today, the number of available eBooks on the Web is in the millions and more eBooks are added to the marketplace each and every day. When it comes to the reading of eBooks, your choices are virtually endless.

EBook Publishing Methods: What You Need to Know

All of the eBooks on the Web have been published in one of two ways. There are self-published eBooks and there are eBooks that have been published by a publishing house. EBooks that have been published by a publishing house often cost more than eBooks that have been self published, and some eBook publishers create eBooks in certain electronic format that require specialized software to read the books.

When an author chooses to self-publish an eBook, they retain control over the entire publishing process, they do not give away any rights to their material and they set the pricing for their literary pieces. This provides the eBook purchaser with an affordable eBook that also is almost always universally accessible as a conventional PDF or Word file.

There have been a number of very successful self-published eBooks sold through websites like eBookExplorer.com and ClickBank.com. Titles like Miracles Do Happen, Sit, Stay, Fetch! and Pregnancy Without Pounds have done very well and a countless number of consumers have benefited from the material these informative eBooks contain. Without the ability to self publish eBooks, these wonderful resources may never have been available to the public.

EBooks versus Traditional Books

While the content of eBooks is not too dissimilar from the content contained in the pages of traditional books, there can still be significant differences between the two book types. Understanding these differences can help you comprehend why eBooks are often a better choice than the traditional books of yesteryear.

Pricing

The most obvious difference between eBooks and traditional books is the cost. It is much less expensive to publish an eBook than it is to publish a traditional book and because of this, you can usually get eBooks for a lot less than you would pay if the book had been published on paper.

If you were to go into the local bookstore and buy an informational book on the writing of business plans, you would pay at least thirty-five or forty dollars if not much, much more. The eBook titled How To Write A Business Plan...Made Easy can provide you with the same information contained in the more expensive books for less than thirty dollars and you don't even have to leave your home to get it.

Convenience

In addition to pricing, convenience is another important factor that draws so many people to eBooks. Before eBooks became widely available, options for getting access to reading materials were quite limited. You could drive to the nearest bookstore, head to your local library, borrow a book from a friend or order a book from a catalog. Then along came eBooks. Suddenly people could gain instant access to all of the reading material they could ever want without having to leave their homes.

Online bookstores selling traditional books also boast the fact they can provide you with a variety of books without you ever leaving your home. However, when ordering form online bookstores you have to wait for the books to go through the shipping process and arrive at your home. Sometimes it can be weeks before you actually get the book in your hands. People who order eBooks don't only get the convenience of ordering the books from their home, but they get instant access to the eBook they order. There's much to be said for instant gratification, as eBook readers well know.

Limited Space

Avid readers who buy traditional books quickly learn that a growing library can take up all the available space in a home. People who purchase eBooks, on the other hand, don't have that problem. While a college student living in a dorm could never store thousands of traditional books in the limited space available, he or she would have no problem storing thousands of eBooks on a computer or digital storage device. Thanks to eBooks, people can now collect vast libraries of books without having to worry about where to keep them or how to move them.

Specialized Topics

Perhaps one of the best things about eBooks is the fact that they have provided an opportunity for authors of specialized topics to get their works published while providing readers with the ability to get information on subjects previously not available. While a traditional book publisher would probably turn their nose up at publishing a book about removing cat urine from floors and fabrics, there is indeed a market for such information. Thanks to self-published eBooks such as 18 Ways to Stop Cat Urine Odor Problems, readers can now get access to information on the topic even though publishing houses don't provide it.

The Vast Array of eBook Genres

No matter what genre you prefer when it comes to reading choices, there are eBooks to meet your every need. EBooks provide readers with an endless array of reading materials that cover almost every topic imaginable. Whether you're looking for an eBook that will teach you how to plant a garden or a fictional eBook to carry you away to another place and time, they are yours with the click of a mouse.

EBooks that have been backed by publishing houses typically fall into the fiction/nonfiction category. Fans of science fiction, fantasy, horror and romance can all find fiction eBooks to meet their needs and many of these fiction eBooks are distributed by publishing houses. Publishing houses also provide readers with numerous nonfiction eBooks on topics such as the Civil War, Egyptian history and Political works.

Self-published eBooks are usually along the lines of "how-to" writing, although there are fiction and nonfiction self-published eBooks on the market as well. Almost everything you ever wanted to know how to do can be learned from an eBook. Want to know how to be a funnier person? Read How To Be Funny! and learn to make people laugh. Need to lower your cholesterol? Find out how with How To Understand Cholesterol¨CAnd Lower it in Weeks! EBooks like Miracle Asthma Cure can even help put an end to your asthma suffering. EBooks can provide you with an unlimited wealth of knowledge.

eBooks And Your Pocketbook - eBook Pricing

The pricing of eBooks is as varied as the pricing of traditional books. Some eBooks are absolutely free, some cost a few dollars and others can cost hundreds of dollars depending on the subject matter covered.

If you're looking to download a fictional eBook for leisure reading, you can do so at little to no expense. Many aspiring authors publish their fictional works into eBooks and then distribute them freely on the Web in hopes of being discovered. Others write just for the joy of it and love to share their work for next to nothing.

If you are looking for an informative eBook or an eBook that teaches you how to do something, you should expect to spend more than you would on fictional work. When you purchase this type of eBook, you are not just purchasing the eBook itself but you are also paying for the valuable knowledge the eBook contains.

Some "how to" eBooks are not expensive at all and you can get access to the knowledge within them at a very reasonable price. For example, the eBook The Concise Resume and Cover Letter Guide costs less than six dollars and provides you with all the information you need to create a professional and effective resume. On the other hand, the eBook Ultimate Debt Relief Guide costs seventy-seven dollars. However, the investment is well worth it considering the book can help you get out of debt without filing bankruptcy.

Exactly how much you should spend on an eBook depends on how important the information contained in the eBook is and the availability of that information to the general public. The more valuable the knowledge and the harder it is to find, the more expensive the eBook will be.

Interesting eBook Facts

Now that you've read so much about eBooks, you are probably feeling like an expert. Don't get ahead of yourself. There are still some things you should know before you can consider yourself truly enlightened on the topic of eBooks. Here are some interesting facts that may surprise you.

Where to Find eBooks for Your Electronic Library

EBooks can be found throughout the Internet. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of sites offering eBooks for sale or for free. However, it's important to understand that not all eBook sites are created equal. Some of the "free" eBook sites are nothing more than a computer virus waiting to happen and other eBook sites don't accurately describe the eBooks they are offering or overcharge for the eBooks they sell. To make things as simple as possible for you, here is a list of the top five websites to get your eBooks from.

#1. www.ebookexplorer.com

EBook Explorer is one of the leading eBook websites on the Internet. The site offers readers with hundreds of interesting and informative eBooks to choose from and provides access to a wide variety of topics including numerous eBooks on hard-to-find niche subjects. The site is easy to navigate and the list of featured eBooks is a great shopping guide if you don't know what you're looking for.

#2. www.clickbank.com

ClickBank is host to an array of hundreds of successful, highly-sought eBooks. Whether someone is looking for information on pet training or needs to know how to make money on the Web, ClickBank has an eBook with the information they want to know.

#3. www.ebooks.com

If you want access to more than 52,000 eBooks, eBooks.com is the place to go. The site has tens of thousands of downloads to choose from and most of them are very well priced. From New York Best Sellers to eBooks by budding authors yet to be discovered, this website has something for everyone.

#4. www.ereader.com

The eBook website eReader.com has a multitude of affordable eBooks to choose from. The website features categories such as romance, mystery and detectives, science fiction, travel, and suspense/thriller. The only downside to the eReader.com website is that eBooks purchased from the site can only be read with the eReader.com software.

#5. www.fictionwise.com

Fictionwise.com is an eBook website offering eBooks for sale and free eBooks for download. In addition to offering a wide variety of eBooks and eBook categories, the site also offers access to a Buywise Club and the ability to purchase gift certificates for eBook fans.

In Closing

Now you know what an eBook is and why they've become so popular in recent years. If you haven't yet discovered just how much eBooks have to offer, try one out and you may be surprised. Someday eBooks may be the only books available on the planet. After all, no one knows what the future holds.


1. Based on the average monthly sales of ten of the top-selling eBook affiliates.
2. Open eBook Forum Press Release, December 8, 2003
3. According to previous Amazon.com rankings.

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