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PDF files have advantage that they are supported on a variety of computer operating systems including all versions of Microsoft Windows, Macintosh OS, and Unix/Xenix/Linux. Exe files are restricted to Windows. And when you think for example that there are over 8 million Macintosh users in US alone that's a large number of potential readers to exclude.
Advantages of EXE files include:
E-Book compilers are priced far lower than Adobe Acrobat Writer (around US$250). Such software is also far simpler to use. (Adobe Acrobat Writer is a very sophisticated publishing system with creation of PDF files a minor function). There are other software products which can create PDF files. Some word processing systems have facility, as does Corel Draw.
Some e-Book compilers are available for free use. Those I've tried though all either add some information about themselves into resulting document, or limit number of pages. Alternatively they're limited to a trial period such as 30 days. The writers of such software understandably really want you to buy their software! Once purchased all these frustrating limitations disappear.
E-Book compilers also (usually) include a rebranding facility. The rebranding facility allows other people to market your e-Book. But rather than having contact details and web site links referenced back to your site, they can be altered to point back to their own site which rebranded book promotes. Your authorship is still protected, but this feature allows e-Book to be used in an affiliate program. The rebranding can be achieved with Adobe Acrobat Writer but it is more difficult to achieve.
Using e-Books as a promotion tool is usually far more effective if down stream resellers can customize book to their own affiliate links.
Web site references for e-Book compiler software:
http://www.ebookcompiler.com/ http://www.ebookgenerator.com/ http://www.ebookedit.com/ http://www.ebookpaper.com/
If you use free E-Books as a viral marketing tool, rebranding is key to success, because people are much more likely to promote your E-Book if they can customize it with their own affiliate links.
The Microsoft Reader software (the software which allows someone to read your E-Book) is available for free download from Microsoft web site. Using reading software is very simple and for those with reading disabilities, standard download includes everything needed to increase text size, and use voice synthesis.
Microsoft Reader is restricted to use on various Windows operating system variants. To date I've heard of no instances of an E-Book in this format having a virus. The file type is nothing like an EXE file so virus problem is far less likely. Size wise resulting e-Book is similar to a PDF.
To create an E-Book for this system requires that you have Microsoft Word version 2000 or 2002. Assuming that MS Word is installed then a small add-on is available for free download from Microsoft web site. And from my own experience, creating an E-Book under this system is incredibly simple.
I've not determined exactly how resulting e-Book can be rebranded for any affiliates you might wish to include in distribution, but I'll spend some time on this soon and add a new article about it.
I alluded above to Microsoft tending to become market leaders. It is worth noting that both Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble have picked Microsoft Reader system as future industry standard. They, along with several other publishers are very busy making their e-Books available in this format for on-line purchase. In free category several Universities are making e-Books available, again using Microsoft E-Book as their delivery system.
About the Author: Grant McNamara has over 20 years experience in IT,and specializes in multi-lingual web site and software development and training. His web sites are http://www.selling-it.com/ and http://www.translateme.co.nz/ mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org