Sunday, October 05, 2008

E-Books and Poets

Today, there are dozens of E-book formats vying for our attention, but the lead formats I'd bet on include: AZW (Amazon), MOBI (MobiPocket), LIT (Microsoft), PNPd (Palm eReader), and BBeB (Sony), and PDFs. 

PDFs are my preferred format for the way I get my e-books out to the community without much hassle.  PDF conversion is a fairly easy process. To convert the others into their appropriate formats:

AZW (Amazon): If you set up an account and then eMail your content to it's converted and a link to the converted file is eMailed to your registered eMail address at no charge. You can then download it and use your PC's USB connection to transfer the content to the Kindle. However, the free MobiPocket v4.2 Creator will convert many formats -- HTML, MS Word Docs, Text, and Adobe PDF into .PRC files -- nicely compressed and encrypted if you wish -- which, when transferred into the Kindle are directly readable.

MOBI (MobiPocket): Mobipocket is a company that makes Reader software called MobiPocket Reader and MOBI format eBooks. You can create books in the Mobi format here.

LIT (Microsoft): Any Microsoft Word 2000 or greater has a feature that lets you convert to this format for their Microsoft Reader also known as MS Reader, an eBook reader that is shipped with most installations of Pocket PC.

PNPd (Palm eReader): E-Reader is the new name for Palm Reader or Peanut. It is a viewer for electronic documents on PalmOS and other platforms and devices. You can create eBooks for this format using the Dropbook program.

BBeB (Sony): Printer for LIBRIe allows the user to print data stored on a pc in word, excel or pdf format into a file readable by the Librie. Possible usages include proof reading, text checking, or paperless document carrying.Unfortunately you cannot search or zoom books created by it!

Now, digital rights management is a whole different game, and so is the question of distribution and sales. But for those of us who are DIY this is an important step.

Interestingly, one of the strangest issues for the net is that while it is easy to find places to store your photos and videos, it becomes far more difficult to find places to store pdfs and other similar documents, although may provide one possible solution if hosting your pdfs/e-books on your own site is not immediately viable.  (Although that's a preferred method).

Storing the at is also possible but is recommended only for texts you intend to be in the public domain under the creative commons principle. 

To that end, here's a quick reminder of the Creative Commons idea:

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