© 2004, John Calder http://www.TheEzine.net
New marketers, when finally ready to create and offer their first product, often decide that it should be an ebook. Whether subject matter is for Internet marketing community or for a niche market, ebooks are relatively easy to produce, distribute, and support when compared to software, audio, and video products, and physical shipped products. One of more frequent technical questions is which format to use, PDF or a Windows executable file.
A PDF file is in Portable Document Format, which is a format developed by Adobe. Portable, as name implies, means file format can be read on more than one type of computer. A Windows executable on other hand is a program with contents of ebook embedded directly into program itself.
Each format offers certain benefits, but trend has been towards PDF files recently. For starters, PDF can be read on both Windows and Mac machines, while an .exe will only run on Windows. Mac users are roughly ten percent (at a minimum) of any market that many marketers aren't willing to ignore.
In past, only way to create a PDF document was with Adobe's Acrobat software, and it's a rather expensive product to this day, selling for several hundred dollars. Compare that with some excellent ebook compilers which sell for less than $50, and you can see how marketers who are just getting started may be tempted to save some money with .exe format. But it's no longer necessary to spend hundreds of dollars for Adobe Acrobat. There are several free and low cost alternatives that will let you create a PDF format document.
PDF documents can be created from Microsoft Word easily. Just get your ebook looking like you want it in Word, then print it to PDF "printer". An .exe file is typically a compiled web site, which means you must set up your information just as if it were on web, with multiple HTML pages, HTML coding, and so on. Now this can be easy to do as well, with software like Frontpage or Dreamweaver. But those take a learning curve, while even most non-techies can figure out Word enough to create a document.