There are so many formats out there! What do they all mean, and what can you do with them? Here is a list of the most common formats and how they are used.
.mobi – This is the format that is used for the Kindle, Kindle touch, Kindle Fire, Kindle for PC and so on.
.epub – This is one of the most commonly used formats. It is used by Nook, Kobo, Adobe digital editions, Apple, and most eReaders.
.pdf – This format is read by practically every eReader on the market. Although pretty universal, it lacks the maneuverability that other formats have. For example, if you use a .pdf to read on your Kindle, you will be able to read it, but many functions on your Kindle (font resizing, for example) will not be available for you to use.
.html – This format is used for online reading.
.rtf – This format is generally not used, but a good, clean backup to have.
.doc – If you choose to have your book formatted for Smashwords, you will need this format for it to be able to be uploaded to the site.
If you are uploading your book by yourself: I suggest uploading the book to the individual retailers yourself. If you allow Smashwords to load to B&N, for example, the formatting may “go wonky” in the file. The .doc file you load into Smashwords is converted for you into all sorts of different formats. It may or may not look like the .mobi and .epub files that I have created for you. I have formatted and converted them with the popular booksellers in mind. The MeatGrinder on Smashwords is not delicate, and it could mess up the structure. But it will still be readable if you choose to go that route.
If you need help uploading your books to various websites, I can walk you through the process for most of the booksellers, or I can set the accounts up for you. Rates for this service are determined on a per-project basis.