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Definition of Ebooks
E-book is an abbreviation for electronic book, also often called a digital book. The text that forms the e-book is a digital version of a printed book and can be read on a computer, a handheld device such as an e-reader or an e-book device and can sometimes be read on cell phones depending on the brand or make. It is common, however, that people who invest in e-books use an e-reader or personal computer to read their electronic books.
The e-book was first developed in 1971 by Michael Hart, according to MyEBookDesign.com. He was the founder of the Gutenberg of Illinois University, a public library of digital books. The first e-book conference took place in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in 1998, in which a series of regulations were addressed in terms of standardizing e-books. It was not until 2001, however, when Stephen King published "Riding the Bullet" as an e-book that the phenomenon became a success. He sold numerous copies for a small fee and it was then that publishers and authors saw the potential of e-books.
The production of an e-book is rather simple. When the book has been previously published, the book usually is scanned using a flatbed scanner, according to Atiz.com. The flatbed scanner will help eliminate darker areas of the pages and curvature of the book and provide alignment. If the book has yet to be published, the electronic copy can be completed simultaneously with the printed version. The most common format for e-books is in PDF format.
There are several benefits of e-books. According to EpublishersWeekly.com, thousands of books currently exist online that can be downloaded for free or purchased for a small price. The greatest benefit about e-books is that they can be offered indefinitely, as electronic versions will not go out of print. This version will always be available for purchase or download. Another benefit is the amount of e-books a person can carry around. E-books take up very little space and the limitations lie only in the capacity of the person's e-reader or other storage device.
There are some drawbacks to e-books. It should be noted that not all authors are fond of e-books and thus will not allow their books to be published electronically. Furthermore, not everyone finds it comfortable to read off a screen. While some might get back pains, others might feel dizzy after staring at a screen for hours. Lastly, there are some piracy laws that can cause concerns with e-books in terms of ownership and copyright. E-books can easily be copied, sent and distributed to public servers for anyone to use and do with as they see fit.