28 Dec 2013

Ebook VS Digital Book – What’s the difference?

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Are digital books and ebooks the same thing?

It can be confusing especially since many use the term interchangeably. Author Thomas A. Retterbush has provided a succinct explanation in which he describes ebooks as a type of digital book, ebooks are designed and written for the internet. Digital books on the other hand are a broader category which encompasses scanned & digitally enhanced copies of traditional printed publications along with ebooks. So all e-books are digital books but not all digital books are ebooks.

The terms have become so blurred that if you type in “digital book” on Wikipedia you will be redirected to an article titled “E-book”. The e-book article then goes on to describe digital books as defined by Retterbush! Despite these blurred lines this minor distinction is important to those in the publishing industry. Now does that distinction matter to the average writer? Does it matter what format writing is published in? The answer is absolutely! Just like any product the packaging & delivery counts. Every writer wants to reach their target audience as efficiently as possible.

EPub is the standard in mobile ready text.

Publishing electronically saves time, saves money and is more environmentally friendly. It has cache as a technologically advanced medium, has a lower cost to the consumer and can be updated easily if required.

On the other hand publishing online has major limitations – online publishing can appear sloppy when churned through auto conversion software.  Just like in the paper world, publishing needs that human touch.

If you’re a new author and have no name or market then you’ll likely need to build your market with print first. Even established authors need printed copies for book launches, parties, and signings. While you may not need a garage of 5,000 printed books, you always need a few hundred on hand. Another thing to keep in mind this holiday season is that books also make great gifts! Whether you are looking for short run publishing or e-book conversion, TLAC can assist you.

To most people outside of the industry the terms ebook and digital book are the same. When reports talk about stagnation in the ebook market they are actually referring to digital books since most of the titles sold also have print companions.

Oxford University Press, the world’s largest university press, has embraced digital publishing in a big way and highlights this through their blog. Google has recently made it easier to transfer virtual libraries to the Play Books app which will make it easier for users to read digital copies on their phone or tablet!

Are you an inspiring writer?   Read any self published titles recently?  Have you written a book or been self published? Tell us your story, we’d love to hear it!

– Sam Shaw, TLAC