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3 Most popular eBook formats and how they differ from each other

People were least concerned about eBook formats, when the trend of digitization was at its infancy stage. However along with the increase in readership for digital versions, newer types of eBook formats started reaching the market place. Both authors as well as readers now have more than enough options from which they can choose the ideal one for them but it can be a bit confusing.

different types of ebook formats
eBook conversion file formats


If you approach a professional digital conversion company offering eBook conversion services, they will advise you regarding the best format based on your needs and budget. However, before outsourcing your requirements to an eBook conversion company, understanding key differences between different electronic book formats is vital. Let us see how EPUB, MOBI and AZW differs from each another.


Supported on almost all digital platforms, EPUB is a widely accepted format that every company recommends without any hesitation. The files in .epub are supported by around 300 E-Readers including Barnes and Noble’s Nook, Apple’s iBook and Adobe Digital Editions etc. EPUB is completely free but to use it, certain harmless rules are to be followed. It is capable of displaying both fixed width layout and reflowable content.


When expanded Mobipocket, MOBI is an open standard facilitating hassle-free eBook publishing. Compatible on multiple platforms, electronic books in MOBI have .mobi or .prc as extension. These can accommodate complex content, support indexing as well a great level of compression. Also advanced controls for navigation can be included. Readers can at their comfort incorporate additional pages, annotations, freehand sketches, bookmarks, highlights, corrections etc. It may include even a dictionary.

Companies offering eBook formatting and conversion services recommend this if you are targeting mainly on audiences using smaller screens as the image size can’t exceed 64K. With larger devices, the images may appear weird.


Brought in by Amazon, AZW is specifically suited for Kindle eBook readers. It can be considered as an enhanced version of MOBI with greater features including better support for encryption and compression. These files can be obtained only from Amazon book stores. This is restricted by Digital Rights Management (DRM) and can be read only on the device to which the book is automatically registered with the purchaser’s user account.

Now, if you have understood the differences between the above mentioned formats, go ahead confidently and decide which format to proceed with. For any further assistance, you can contact us.

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