Recent News Articles

(+) EPUB: An Ebook Standard

7 Jun 2024 4:49 PM | Anonymous

The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman. 

Would you like to have your genealogy book or your society's newsletter available as an ebook publication? There is a huge reading audience that is taking advantage of the many convenient mobile reading devices on the market now. The popularity of these devices for reading books, newspapers, and magazines continues to explode. The reading public seems to love them, and the people who publish the ebooks definitely love the low cost of publishing this way. You could be one of those publishers. 

Of course, you can also continue to publish in whatever format you already use: DOC, DOCX, TXT, HTML, PDF, or even the old-fashioned way: printed on paper. You can use EPUB files as another publishing method, allowing your readers to choose the format they prefer.

Put into the right format, your genealogy book or your society's newsletter can easily be read on any of the many available ebook readers, including Kindle, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and many other ebook readers. The "secret" is to publish the document in EPUB format. With the tools described in this article, that is easy to do.

Millions of books are already available in EPUB format. Many of the books sold by Barnes and Noble, Sony, and other electronic publishers are available today in EPUB format. In addition, all the public domain books in both Google Books and in are available in EPUB format among others. As readers of this newsletter know, both Google Books and include thousands of books of interest to genealogists. 

EPUB is a free and open standard format created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), and is designed for “re-flowable” content that can be optimized to whatever device is being used to read a book file. Both publishers and individuals use EPUB for distribution and sale of electronic books. There are also conversion houses that create EPUB files as a service to their customers. In all cases, the resulting EPUB files have the extension .epub.

Of course, many of the same books are also available as PDF files and can be read with many handheld ebook readers. However, the text and pictures in PDF files often do not display well on the smaller screens. PDF files have fixed line length and page lengths, which may not fit well into the smaller screens of ebook readers. Reading a PDF file on a handheld device with a small screen often means the reader has to manually scroll left to right to read each line. Very few people will do that for very long.

In contrast, EPUB documents will display documents as "re-flowable" pages. That is, each line is word-wrapped appropriately for the size of the screen being used. EPUB documents usually do not require scrolling from side to side in order to read the text. 

EPUB books also can support DRM (digital rights management) to prevent unauthorized copying of the documents.

The remainder of this article is reserved for Plus Edition subscribers only. If you have a Plus Edition subscription, you may read the full article at:*)-Plus-Edition-News-Articles/13367484(A Plus Edition password is required to access that article.)

If you are not yet a Plus Edition subscriber, you can learn more about such subscriptions and even upgrade to a Plus Edition subscription immediately at

Blog posts

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software