What Are The Common eBook Formats? ePub, PDF, AZW, Mobi and More?

common ebook formatsNowadays, more and more people like to read books with eReaders, purchase eBooks from various retailers. However, there are so many ebook providers on the market. How much we know about them? How much we know about the eReaders and eBook formats?

Each eBook retailer has their own choice for the eBook formats they provide. For example, Apple choose iBook ePub format as their eBook format, and Amazon choose AZW format for their Kindle ebooks. The different eReaders also support different eBook formats for read.

In this article, we want to introduce several common eBook formats and compare these eBook formats in different respects.

.ePub - Used by Apple iBook Store, Barnes & Noble Nook eBooks, Google Books etc.

ePub format is the most popular eBook format used by many retailers and supported by different eReader devices. ePub eBook format is an open standard for e-books created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). People can read ePub eBook on various eReaders, like Apple's iOS devices - iPad, iPhone, iPod series, Nook eReader series, Blackberry Playbook, Sony eReaders and so on.
The only device that is not compatible with ePub eBooks is Amazon Kindle series. However, it's no need for Kindle users to worry about this. There are many eBook Converter software can resolve this problem easily, like ePubor, Calibre.

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PDF - The Easiest eBook Formats for Users

Actually, PDF is not only a common eBook format, but also a common document format used in our daily work. PDF format is invented by Adobe and first released in 1993. It adds support for features such as compression, passwords, semantic structures and DRM. We can easily read or printed PDF files, even when we use different operation system. PDF format is also a very common format on the World Wide Web and in document management systems worldwide.

Many eReaders can support PDF eBooks. But most people won't choose PDF for their portable devices if the screen is not big enough. It's hard to read a PDF file in a 4.3 inch mobile phone.


KF8 is short for Kindle Format 8, which is a new eBook format coming with Amazon Kindle Fire reader in 2011. It supports a subset of HTML5 and CSS3 features.

AZW is an old used eBook format for Amazon Kindle eBooks. Even though it is based on Mobipocket standard. It still has a little difference in its series number scheme and its own DRM technology. Learn how to convert AZW to ePub format


Mobi format is an open eBook format based on the Open eBook standard using XHTML. The interesting feature for Mobi eBooks is that it has a home page library. So we can add blank pages in any part of a book and add free-hand drawings. Mobi is also an universal eBook format compatible with many eReader devices, like most Windows, Symbian, BlackBerry and Palm operating systems. For people who want to convert ePub or other eBooks to Mobi format, KindleGen or ePubor eBook DRM Converter may be the best choice.


DOC, DOCX, TXT and HTML formats are well known as document formats. All of these formats can also perform as eBook formats, and all these four eBook formats are widely supported by any eReaders or most reader applications. In other side, it's also easy to convert these file format to other eBook formats.


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