What is an eBook? An eBook is a digital version of your manuscript that consist of text, images, or both. An eBook can be read on most mobile devices, all of which can hold hundreds of titles at once. It's like taking a library with you on the go.

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Even though they’ve been around for almost 10 years, a lot of folks are still trying to understand the world of eBooks. Our BookBaby publishing specialists field dozens of questions about eBooks every day, and any question, no matter how basic, deserves a good answer.

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Authors are still acclimating to this new world of eBook publishing, which has some asking, "Why doesn't my eBook look like my printed book?" There are practical reasons why.

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For many BookBaby authors, understanding the nuances of eBook formatting – like fixed vs. standard layout – can be a challenge. Gino Vasquez and Kyle Fadigan from our eBook Convertion team play an important role in many BookBaby authors' lives, converting manuscripts from programs such as Word or Pages into formats that work on eReaders.

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Self-published eBooks shouldn't look any less professional than traditionally published eBooks. It's important to at least learn the basics of eBook formatting to make sure that the digital book you publish comes out on the other end of the eBook conversion process looking like something you cared about, labored over, and handled like a professional.

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In order to turn your book into a functional eBook, your manuscript document (.doc, .docx, .txt, .rtf, .html, etc.) must be converted to another file format (ePUB for most eReading devices, and .mobi for Kindle). Whether you're handling the technical aspects of this process yourself or having a service like BookBaby take care of it for you, there's a few things you need to do in advance to make sure your manuscript is optimally formatted for eBook file-conversion.

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So you want to publish an eBook? Well, here's the good news: it's easy to do. However, you can't just push the "publish" button and call it a day. That may be what other self-published authors are doing, but you've got to put some real thought and effort into your self-publishing strategy if you want your book to be successful. If you're truly going to act as your own publisher, then you need to step into the shoes of all the various publishing team members: author, editor, marketer, publicist, etc.

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