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Four Letter Words!
Many authors use Microsoft WORD for writing, editing, and finishing their manuscripts before saving them into a DOCX file to be transmitted to the publisher for the next step. Then comes the big sigh of relief. . .but what then. 

This is where the four-letter words come into play. Don’t panic! They are not bad words although they may seem to be so when you first come upon them and begin to learn how to use them. Actually, they are abbreviations for platforms used in publishing eBooks so think of them as your friends. Let’s look at a few:

MOBI is exclusive to Amazon and is named for its original developer, Mobipocket, now aren’t you glad it is a four-letter-word. EPUB, which stands for Electronic Publication, is quickly becoming the gold standard for eBooks. You will also want a PDF file available which will seem much less confusing since it is only a three-letter-word!

Having your book put into an eBook format will allow you to sell it directly from your website via Kindle. Or you can give it away as a promotion or just because you want to; or use it for an ARC – Advance Reader Copy – for reviewers or Beta readers.

Another good use of an eBook is using it as a magnet through Reader Magnet, by setting up a landing page on your website to build your consumer base through offering it as a free gift to those who sign up for your newsletter. Another use for an eBook might be to provide it as a sample for an interview, television producer, conference manager as part of a press kit, etc.

The standard process for creating an eBook would be to create the paperback book first, make sure it is proofed and finalized for printing, put into the PDF format, and then comes creating the eBook. In most cases, you will want all – a paperback, an eBook, and a PDF format.
For the best experience for your reader, you want them to have a choice in how they receive the eBook – what format/file. If it is a Kindle product, it will be in a MOBI file while almost all of the other choices will use EPUB if it is an eBook; some of your readers may prefer a PDF, thus the reason to have that available as well. 

There are various platforms for eBook delivery which are available for a fee. Bookfunnel: has a user-friendly cost of $20 for a year and provides a secure platform. Prolific Works: has a free version but it requires that the reader sign up and give their email address which they may use. Each of these platforms will like the EPUB, MOBI and PDF file and they provide support to you. 

If you want to have your book published as an eBook, then there is a user-friendly program called CALIBRE (not a four-letter-word) which is used to convert the manuscript to the above mentioned four-letter-words. CALIBRE was designed as an eBook management program for your computer, it has the wonderful function of eBook conversion! There are eight steps to making the conversion in CALIBRE which are user-friendly if you will take the time to work through them. Do not get into a rush.

We know this post on using the various formats can be alarming and we don’t want it to be – so call us and we will help you make decisions on how and what to do in publishing your book in the various formats. 

Remember, we make publishing easy and we can help.

About the Authors: Daniel J. Mawhinney & Darlene Shortridge

Dan & Darlene have a passion and a heart for helping independent authors to successfully publish and market their stories worth telling and messages worth sharing.
40 Day Media LLC, PO Box 950794, Oklahoma City, OK 73195
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