E-Book Formats

So, it’s come to my attention that possibly a lot of people don’t know which format they need for their e-reader. Kindle folks probably just know Amazon is the place to get books to feed their reader, similarly Nook people go to Barnes and Noble, and Kobo users can go straight to Kobo.com.

I had a couple of folks who are readers of Revenants Abroad on Wattpad ask where to get the book. One person had a Nook, but didn’t know which format she’d need if she got it from Smashwords. So herewith, a small primer for anyone who may be unsure what format their device uses. You should not have to download any extra programs if you have a dedicated e-reader. If you’re using an Android device you may if there’s not one already installed. I don’t have an Android device so I don’t know if they come with them or not.

Kindle uses the proprietary MOBI format, meaning the Kindle is the ONLY device that uses MOBI. (*note: Revenants Abroad is not available directly from Amazon at this time. If you need the MOBI version, it is available at Smashwords.)

Nook uses the more common EPUB format

Kobo uses EPUB. EPUB can also be read via Google Play on an Android device.

ALDIKO (another Android e-reader software program) can read EPUB and PDF, as well as Adobe Ebook DRM technology.

Any computer should be able to read PDF, the reader has always been free.

Smashwords has all their offerings available in all these formats, as well as:

.txt (plain text), which can be read in any word processing program, including Notepad, Wordpad, Word, etc.

.rtf (Rich Text Format), which is a Microsoft proprietary software, so will open in Word, Notepad, Wordpad, and possibly other programs.

.lrf for older Sony e-readers

.pdb for older Palm devices, just in case you still have one of those kicking around.

Just thought I’d put that out there in case anyone isn’t sure what their device uses. If you have any questions let me know and I’ll do my best to answer. And don’t feel bad: it wasn’t that long ago I was completely clueless about all this as well.

By the way, if you’re on Goodreads, please connect with me there. I’ve signed up for their annual reading challenge, and I’m going to try to read at least 30 books this year. I don’t know how I’m going to fit them in, but I need to do a lot more reading than I did last year.

2 thoughts on “E-Book Formats

  1. you smarty pants!
    Re: the reading challenge, I kept track of all the books I read last year – mostly because Fang gave me this cute little notebook and I wanted to put it to good use – and the number totalled 28. I’m neither excited nor disappointed by the number; I just found it interesting b/c I’d never counted before. I’m not going to pick a number for the coming year, b/c I don’t want to skim thru anything in a hurry, just to meet my “quota.”


    1. Whew, maybe I should scale back a little! Our friend Rowena set her challenge at 175 – yes, that’s not a typo: One-hundred-seventy-five books for 2015. I thought 30 seemed like a modest number compared to that! I just really want to do more reading, there are so many books I want to get to. Realistically, if I hit 20 I’ll be happy 🙂


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