Wondered what the difference is between eBook formats? Here’s a quick summary, so you can pick the right one for you…
PDF format – best for computers and large tablets
The PDF format is best for reading on a desktop or laptop computer or a larger tablet. It’s a fixed format, so it’s laid out like the paperback book.
Adobe Reader is already installed on most computers or can be freely downloaded, and other PDF viewing/editing software is also available. The table of contents/bookmarks can be shown down the side of the book, and there’s usually search functionality too. You can also highlight and annotate your book.
ePub format – best for tablets/phones/eReaders
The ePub format is ideal for smaller tablets and phones. It has a reflowable format, so it adapts to small screen sizes, and you can enlarge the font size to suit your eyesight.
On the iPad, I’d recommend using the free Books apps (instructions here). For Android, try Play Books (instructions here). ePub format also works on other ePub compatible eReader devices, such as Nook and Kobo.
Kindle format – best for Kindle eReaders
The Kindle format has a mobi extension. It has a reflowable format, so it adapts to small screen sizes. It’s designed primarily for Kindle eReaders (instructions here).
It’ll also work on the Kindle app for tablets and phones, but the quality of the photos in the ePub format is slightly better due to compression levels. For a reason that only Amazon knows, the files don’t always sync to the desktop Kindle app.
Update 11 August 2022 – Amazon has announced that they’ll soon no longer support their .mobi format, but will use .epub instead. As of my testing today, the Send to Kindle app still requires the .mobi format, so we’ll continue to make that format available. However if it doesn’t work for you, try the .epub instead, as they’re essentially identical! We will provide further details as they become available.