Welcome to Mobile Press

September 12th, 2004

An ebook is an electronic (or digital) version of a book. The term is used ambiguously to refer to either an individual work in a digital format, or a device used to read books in digital format. The second usage should be deprecated in favour of the more precise "ebook device".

Though e-texts are available as digitally encoded books and the term is often used synonymously with the term ebook, that usage is deprecated. The term e-text is used for the more limited case of data in ASCII text format, while the more general e-book can be in a specialized (and, at times, proprietary) file format.

An ebook is commonly bundled by a publisher for distribution (as an ebook, an ezine, or a internet newspaper), whereas e-text is distributed in ASCII (or plain text). Metadata relating to the text is sometimes included with etext (though it appears more frequently with ebooks).