EPUB, MOBI, and PDF: Understanding Ebook Formats and When to Use Them

EPUB, MOBI, and PDF: Understanding Ebook Formats and When to Use Them

What’s the difference between MOBI, EPUB, and PDF, and why do you care?

To answer that, let’s start with a story…

You’ve finally finished the endless hours of writing, editing, and formatting your masterpiece, and the time has come to upload it and hit publish! You rush excitedly to your Amazon KDP account, gather around your friends and family, pop the cork out of a freshly-shaken bottle of campaign, and click “publish now.”

After the celebration, your friends ask you to send them free copies of your book to read on their nooks, since yours is only available on Amazon. However, when you try to send them the book, they find that they aren’t able to download it onto their device, because you used Amazon’s Kindle Create Software to generate a KPF file, and nooks can only read EPUBs.

To make matters worse, you find that you are unable to send free digital copies of your books to reviewers and contests, since some of them demand an EPUB, while others want a MOBI.

There are a whole bunch of different Ebook formats available, and it’s essential to know how to choose the right one. Some online publishers require a specific format, and most e-reader devices can only open certain file types. For instance, if you want to send your book to a reviewer who uses a Kindle, you’ll have to send a MOBI file, while other devices will require an EPUB.

In short, proper Ebook formatting is crucial for:

  • Publishing on your desired platforms
  • Making your book downloadable on various devices
  • Sending your book to reviewers

Since these are all very important things, let’s go through the basics of which files to use when, and how to convert your book to the desired format.

What Files Should You Use With Which Publisher?


  • Amazon Kindle
  • Kobo
  • Apple Books
  • Barnes & Nobles
  • Google Play


  • Amazon Kindle
  • Kobo
  • Apple Books
  • Barnes & Nobles
  • Google Play


  • Amazon Kindle
  • Kobo
  • Apple Books
  • Barnes & Nobles
  • Google Play

If you have both an EPUB and MOBI version of your ebook, you can publish on all the major retailers, and your ebook can be read on any device. The only question remaining is…

 How do you convert your Ebook file to an EPUB or MOBI?

The good news is, there are programs that will turn your book into an EPUB, MOBI, and PDF, all with a few simple clicks! Here are some of the best Ebook Formatting Software available today:

1) Vellum

Available with a free trial, Vellum’s mission is to create beautiful books, and they are widely successful. If you are a Mac user, this software is the best way to give your book a top-class interior in every format, and it’s so simple to use, you can do it all in fifteen minutes! Check out our review of Vellum!

2) Calibre Ebook Formatter

The nice thing about Calibre is that it’s free. However, it’s a lot more complicated to use than the other options. Calibre is better suited for those with good computer/technical skills, and may take a while to get accustomed to.  https://calibre-ebook.com/

3) Draft2Digital

Not only can you download an EPUB, PDF, and MOBI file of your ebook from D2D, but you can also use them to instantly design your book’s interior and publish your book to nearly every major retailer, all for free! https://draft2digital.com/

Don’t wanna deal with it? Hire a Professional:

Not only will they format your book, but they will make you a stunning book cover as well! Plus, use our special Discount code DRAGON5 to get a 5% discount! http://damonza.com?ref=97

b. Ebook Launch:

Similar to Damonza, you can find all the necessary ebook services here in one place, from cover design, to editing, to formatting. https://ebooklaunch.com/ebook-formatting/

Search through dozens of freelance formatting professionals until finding the perfect one for you. https://track.fiverr.com/visit/?bta=125659&nci=7416

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