What Is The Best Format For Creating An Ebook?

Q: I want to create a few short reports with my articles and eventually my first ebook. What is the best format for creating an ebook that I am going to distribute and sell?

A: The best format for distributing and selling reports, ebooks, etc. is to create them as a PDF document. PDF documents can be read on both PCs and MACs.  Most people have the application to read PDF documents (Adobe Reader) already installed on their computers when they bought them. If people have an old computer – they can always download the free Adobe reader application from the web as easy as 1-2-3.

If you own a Mac, the easiest way to create PDF documents is by using the Pages application (part of  iWork). All you have to do is “export” your document as a PDF file. I save mine right on my desktop or in the appropriate file folder and upload it to my site when I’m ready to distribute or sell it.

If you own a PC, you can do this same sort of thing with Microsoft Word by clicking on “save as” and choosing PDF.

If you want some advanced options when creating your PDF document, it may be best to create it in Adobe Acrobat – the original and most popular PDF application. It’s pricey though.

If you don’t want to invest into any new software like the ones I just mentioned, and you are on a PC, there is a great free PDF creator that comes highly recommended. It’s called PrimoPDF. Now while I haven’t  used it myself, because I am a Mac girl, I have heard really great things about it. So it probably would be worth a try – especially since it is free.

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  1. says

    When we say “ebook” it automatically makes an imaginary picture in the mind with Adobe Acrobat's PDF in the background. Today, all the official documents and papers are generally prepared in the pdf form using adobe acrobat. I believe it is one of the most convenient ways to prepare, distribute and read books and other important articles digitally. I would definitely like to try PrimoPDF to see how it works.

  2. lisaangelettie says

    Thanks Mark – that's right, most electronic documents are made in PDF
    format – but you would be surprised how many folks are still trying to
    pass around .exe documents and even Word documents. I wrote this Q&A b/
    c several people asked me this question. Let me know how PrimoPDF
    works out:)

  3. sylvia lerigo says

    Hi – I have a mac, I also have two e.books in PDF format, need to make some changes and wonder if I can change this back to word or pages, or do I have to buy a converter.
    Thanks Sylvia

    • says

      Hi Sylvia – I’m hoping that you created “drafts” of your ebooks in Pages and can make your changes there. Then save again as a new PDF. If you haven’t and only have the PDF copy, then you would need to edit it in Adobe Acrobat. I haven’t seen a converter product out there, but I’m sure there may be one if you do a basic search. Good luck!

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