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What is a digital book?

A digital book (aka ebook/e-book, electronic book) is an electronic version of a full-length publication consisting of text, images, or both, which can be downloaded to a handheld reading device, personal computer, tablet, or even a phone.

The Merriem-Webster Dictionary defines the ebook as "a book composed in or converted to digital format for display on a computer screen or handheld device," but ebooks can and do exist without any printed equivalent.

What is digital publishing?

The Merriem-Webster Dictionary defines digital publishing as "publishing in which information is distributed by means of a computer network or is produced in a format for use with a computer." Simply put, publishing to an electronic format rather than to print on paper.

What is the advantage of digital books?

There are many advantages to publishing and buying digital books. Here are just a few --

• Almost unlimited storage -- some devices claim to store up to 3000 titles
• Download books wherever there's an internet connection available (may require network registration)
• Text-to-speech software lets the device read to you -- set male or female voice and 'read speed'
• Ability to change font size eliminates the need to search out traditional large print books
• Text search, annotation, highlighting, bookmarking within each book
• E-Ink technology offer readers a near-traditional print reading experience
• Digital books are generally less expensive than their print partners*
• Devices run on little power, allowing near-continuous use for weeks at a time before recharging is required

•• For those with allergies, it means no more physical books collecting dust, which attract paper eating house pests which can trigger alleries.

And let's face it, digital books are Green/Eco Friendly -- No ink or trees go into the production of digital books

Are there disadvantages to digital books?

Sure. Nothing is perfect. Here are a few to consider --

• Let's start with the '*' above at [digital books are less expensive than their print partners*]: Digital books released (through Big Five publishers) at the same time as print titles are generally priced similarly until the book has been around a while, especially in the case with branded authors like Dean Koontz and Nora Roberts
• Technology advances . . . top of the line today can be replaced by the 'new and improved' model tomorrow
• Proprietary formats: While all devices support epub and pdf formats, some also operate on their own format, such as mobi with Kindle
• Devices are susceptible to damage, aren't waterproof, and can't take extremes in temperature. If your books aren't backed up, those titles could become lost if your device fails (unless your point of purchase has a cloud system where all of your downloads are stored on their library online, which is automatic with Kindle)
• There's nothing like a trip to the bookstore, wandering the aisles for hours, flipping through volumes before buying what you want

•• As with mobile/cellular phones and other trendy electronic devices, theft of digital readers is on the rise

•• What to do with old or obsolete devices when you trade up?
note: recycling centers are beginning to take these devices, as they have long accepted computer componants and other electronic goods

•• And probably a very important disadvantage, the FAA -- the USA's Federal Aviation Administration -- restricts the use of all electronic device on commercial airliners during takeoff and landing. This has been the standard for years with the likes of CD players and computers, but tablets, phones, and ereaders have been included in this restriction.

How are digital books purchased?

Each digital bookseller has their own policy, but generally, digital books can be purchased by using a standard credit card, through PayPal, or though proprietary gift cards and vouchers which are applied to the reader's account prior to purchasing books.

Where can I learn more about Tirgearr Publishing digital books? Check out our F.A.Q. page.

If you have a question about digital books that hasn't been answered here, please send us an email.



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