The eBook book is an electronic version of content normally contained in newspapers, magazines or books. The content is created and stored in a computer file format that can be accessed by a variety of computer hardware and software applications.

The content can be as unique as the electronic medium itself and contain audio, video, or live hyperlinks. Or it can be as familiar as its print counterparts. eBook content can be downloaded from the Web or received as an email file attachment.

eBooks on diskette or CD-ROM are sent through the mail and sold in bookstores. An eBook is similar to a paper book and contains:

■ Cover art
■ Title page

■ ISBN number
■ Copyright notice
■ Editor
■ Publisher.

eBooks allow users to:
■ Electronically search the text for specific words and phrases
■ Change the font size and style
■ Type notes electronically and organize them within the text
■ Create highlights and bookmarks
■ Hyperlink to specific parts of the text.

In the future, eBooks will be able to link to other websites with related topics and access a dictionary that pronounces the words aloud.

Benefits of Using eBooks
■ Once a book has been converted to an electronic form (such as Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat document), it can be stored and transmitted at minimal cost and impact to the environment.

■ Storing eBooks on computer drives, diskettes, and CD-ROMs take less shelf space and weighs less than printed books. Dedicated handheld reading devices weigh approximately 15 ounces and store up to twenty books. Adding memory allows the user to store additional books.

■ Updated documents can be downloaded and accessed immediately.

■ Storing books in electronic format reduces warehousing and shipping costs.

■ Writers and publishers have the freedom to explore small niche markets bringing readers original works unlimited by genre lines, market size, or print capabilities.

■ eBooks can be enhanced with live hyperlinks, sound, animation, and simulation capabilities.

■ Using the self-contained software users can bookmark, annotate, and search the entire eBook.

■ eBooks files can be carried and accessed anywhere with a portable PC, PDA, or eBook reading device

■ Business and recreational travelers can download eBooks to their notebook PCs without adding weight or taking up space in their luggage.

Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and pharmacists are already utilizing eBooks. Businesses, government personnel, colleges, universities, and schools are attracted to eBooks for a number of reasons. EBooks offer convenient storage capacities and the ability to update and download the most current documents.

Schools, colleges, universities, and libraries are piloting content delivery via portable and desktop PCs and eBook reading devices. These provide students with the latest e-textbooks and digital libraries without adding weight to backpacks.

People with special reading needs now have more books and magazines available to them with eBooks. A simple font size change turns an eBook into a large print edition and some file formats are compatible with screen reading technology.

Overall, eBooks provide improved onscreen reading quality, portability, storage capabilities, current content, and quick delivery to readers. Consumers have access to full-length novels and texts, annotated editions, short fiction and nonfiction, magazines, articles, news and current events.

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