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Raj Kumar Parashari 15 Nov, 2019 Views: 382
The idea about a library of books of your pocket size has been in the imagination of several writers. In 1971 Project Gutenberg was launched with the aim of creating ebooks. In 1998, Rocket ebook and SoftBook emerged as the first e-reader devices. However, with the launch of Amazon's reader kindle it became a fashion to read ebooks on digital devices. Publishing books electronically in the form of ebooks is considered to be one of the major developments in the book publication industry. ebooks can be read on various devices like desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Advantages of ebook
Some of the important advantages of ebook are given below:
1. Paperless: Paper is not required to publish an ebook.
2. Space: They don’t take any physical space (room or library) to store them.
3. Portable: They carry no weight and bulk of books can be taken anywhere, in CDs, laptops, smartphone, ebook reader etc.
4. Easy accessibility: They can be read everywhere, for example, in a coffee shop, or while travelling.
5. Easy to search: While reading, any information within the ebook is searchable, with a click.
6. Cost-effective: As they are delivered online, the printing and manufacturing costs are saved.
7. Instant Delivery: ebooks are delivered on demand instantly. One can download and start reading them.
8. Disable Friendly: The feature of resizing fonts in an ebook reader makes it easier for the persons with disabilities to read them. Also ebooks can be swiftly turned into audio books with the help of in-built software available in devices.
Interesting Facts on ebook
Some Popular ebook Formats
There are more than dozen of ebook formats. Some of the popular formats are:
i. EPUB (ePublication): The ePub format is an open format designed by the Open eBook Forum and developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum. It has both source file format and end user format.
ii. MOBI (Mobipocket): This format was initially used by Mobipocket e-readers. However, in the present context .mobi format is used by the Kindle app both for iOs and Android.
iii. .azw and .azw3: This format is the Kindle’s format for ebooks. It supports books with fixed layouts as well as reflowable books. It has the features to handle issues related to digital rights management and interactivity.
iv. iBook: This is a format exclusively used for ebooks sold in Apple iBooks store.
v. PDF: This is the most common ebook format, however, it is not user friendly when accessed on mobile devices especially smartphones.
How an ebook is created in Context of Self-learning Materials?
Step 1: Identify the content, for example a Unit to create the ebook.
Step 2: Gather the resources available, for example the word file of the unit or pdf file. In case the Unit is available in hard copy, scan it and convert into a word or pdf file using the available software tools.
Step 3: Edit the word file of the Unit in context of formatting (text, image, table etc.) and indexing.
Step 4: Convert the formatted word file into ebook formats like .epub, mobi, etc. using software tools.
For specific/specialised layout, designs and other multimedia contents, one needs to work at the programming level using XHTML and XML formats to create ebooks.
Some Easily Accessible Tools for Creating/ Converting ebook
i. Calibre: This is a free ebook management and viewer tool. It is also a tool which enables to convert word/pdf files into various ebook formats.
ii. Google Docs: This is useful in converting documents into pdf files.
iii. toepub online conversion tool: This tool enables files in batch mode to be converted into an epub format.
iv. Adobe Indesign: This is a professional tool which has an advanced method of converting ebooks.
v. Abbyy Plus convertor: This is a handy professional tool which converts pdf to word file with high level of accuracy. It also has the capability to convert word/pdf into the epub format.
Some Innovative Approaches in ebook Development
i. Additional learning resources: While creating ebook one can embed web links for easy access to more information and learning resources.
ii. Interactive multiple media enabled ebooks: One can also create multiple media enabled ebook with audio, video and animations, which can enhance the learning of the end user.
iii. Disabled-Friendly ebooks: These can be made accessible to people with various disabilities.
Dr. Jyotsna Dikshit
Deputy Director, NCIDE