eBooks have slowly but steadily gained traction in the past few years. And while there might be several formats, PDF and ePUB are, by far, the most common of the lot. Their compactness, near-universal compatibility, and portability are some of the primary reasons for their popularity. Most importantly, PDF to ePUB conversion and vice versa is heavily in demand, which has given rise to several online tools.
Authors and publishers typically make use of either format for their eBooks. However, if you had to pick one, which one would it be? Would it make sense to carry out PDF to ePUB conversion before publication? And why? Let’s take a look:
PDF vs. ePUB
First, let’s review both the e-publishing formats individually, along with their advantages and disadvantages.
Portable Document Format (PDF)
In 1993, Adobe Systems launched the Portable Document Format (PDF) for easy document transfer and exchange. It offers a two-dimensional layout that maintains interface consistency irrespective of the operating system.
- It is a widely used document format that offers a uniform user experience, regardless of the hardware or operating system of the device
- PDF generation is easy, with several tools supporting the format
- It offers ample room for customization wherein you have complete control over the layout and font of the reading material
- PDF codes are complex and difficult to generate from a developer’s point of view
- Converting PDF to another web-friendly layout can be a complicated process
- While the overall document reading experience remains the same, PDF files have issues adapting to the requirements of small devices
Electronic Publication (ePUB)
Despite being one of the oldest formats, PDF received stiff competition from ePUB. Identifying the great demand for PDF to ePUB conversion, the International Digital Publishing Forum officially recognized and standardized ePUB as the default format for major publishers.
ePUB is an XML format of document reader that is widely used for digital publication. It has given rise to reflowable books that offer an immersive reading experience. Along with being a standard format for eBooks, it is also handy for a wide range of documentation, ranging from user manuals to comic books.
- ePUB is written in XML and HTML, both of which are developer-friendly languages
- Since ePUB is developer-friendly, inter-conversion of formats is easier without any loss in data
- It is also highly compatible with a wide range of software applications
- Due to its reflowable nature, reading eBooks in ePUB format offers the same reading experience across small and large devices
- ePUB transfers occur in a single ZIP file containing an archive of the content files and organizational data of the book
- ePUB documents strictly require the creation of archives. Hence, only experienced developers with sound knowledge of XML and XHTML 1.1 can create ePUBs
Advantages of PDF to ePUB Conversion
Now that you know that PDF to ePUB conversion is advantageous, it would only make sense to directly publish your documents in the ePUB format. However, if you already have eBooks in PDF, it is time for PDF to ePUB conversion to enjoy the following benefits:
Quick and Easy Conversion
When you already have the existing material, it would only make sense to convert it into the other format instead of starting from scratch. The modern-day tools for PDF to ePUB conversion come equipped with intuitive, built-in technology with a user-friendly interface. Whether you wish to convert an entire document or a defined batch from the lot, the interchangeability of the document is effortlessly easy.
ePUB documents are highly flexible and offer a seamless reading experience, irrespective of the user device. Furthermore, ePUB files are readily available and accessible over several platforms, operating systems, and browsers, making it easier for publishers to distribute the eBooks. It must also be mentioned that ePUB files are searchable, which makes them web and SEO-friendly, putting them in the spotlight.
Preferred Format By Retailers
As stated previously, ePUB enjoys official recognition by the International Digital Publishing Forum. Hence, eBooks that are available in the ePUB format are already compatible with all major ereaders. eBook retail stores and distributors, such as Amazon, Kobo, Apple, etc., sell and purchase digital content in ePUB format.
eBooks available in the ePUB format can host a wide array of media formats apart from textual matter. The multimedia integration makes ePUB files more interactive than their PDF counterparts. While PDF does offer multimedia integration, the experience may be diluted due to software versions and compatibility issues. On the other hand, ePUB files do not require any additional tool or application for software support.
ePUB comes equipped with DRM (Digital Rights Management) protection, which enhances the document’s security features and discourages illegal acts, such as piracy. Users can only share ePUB documents after acquiring due permission from the publishers. One can secure PDF documents with passwords, but passwords would be unable to honor copyright laws.
As a publisher, you would naturally be more concerned about the overall cost of publication and distribution. Upon perusing through the advantages offered by PDF to ePUB conversion, it definitely appears to be a profitable decision for several reasons. First, better distribution means improved sales. It prevents piracy, thereby plugging in any revenue leakages. And the only investment required would be in the PDF to ePUB converter! Surely, the overall cost of conversion is far less than the returns.
As a publisher or an author, if you are yet to make up your mind on the best format to publish your works, then ePUB is the way to go. PDF to ePUB conversion is not just a mere requirement, but a necessity to stay relevant in the current world.
Clearly, PDF to ePUB conversion is well worth the time, money, and effort.
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