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What are e-books?

The Basics

An e-book is simply a book in electronic form that can be purchased and read on portable handheld devices. There are many devices currently on the market, including the iPad, the Kindle, the KOBO, the NOOK, the Sony Reader, the Playbook and more.

Some devices are mini-computers, called tablets, while others are dedicated devices for reading, called e-readers. Reading is done on a screen that is usually the size of a book, but can vary. The devices give the customer options for how to view pages, such as the sizing, font styles, brightness, and more. Touch screens or buttons allow the reader to navigate through the pages. Pages can be bookmarked, dictionary definitions can be found on demand, and sometimes web links are included to enhance the experience. The tablets and e-readers can hold hundreds of books at a time.

Most of the companies that produce these devices also have online bookstores. These online bookstores look much like a standard printed catalogue or a store’s website. You access these catalogues through the handheld device. You can browse through titles or search for a specific one. Once you find one you like, you can download that title directly to the device. Once the download process is finished and the book is paid for, you can start reading instantly. No line ups, no waiting. It’s safe, fast, and easy.

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Essence e-books

Essence Publishing has chosen three distributors for our e-books. If you choose an e-book option on your contract, your book will be sent to all three e-book stores to maximize your sales.

The first is Apple Inc. E-books are purchased on the iBookstore through Apple devices such as the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. The bookstore cannot be accessed on computers or through regular browsers, but only through Apple mobile devices.

The second is Kindle, the most popular e-bookstore, run by Amazon. The Kindle brand is hugely successful as both an e-reader and now a line of tablets. E-books can be downloaded from the Kindle store, which is accessible on the web, on Kindle devices or Kindle apps on other devices.

The third is KOBO, much like Kindle, but owned by Chapters/Indigo, a Canadian company. Their KOBO e-readers and tablets are gaining popularity in Canada. The KOBO bookstore can be accessed online or through KOBO devices or KOBO apps on other devices.

Between these three stores, the majority of e-book users in most parts of the world should have the ability to purchase your book.


All Essence e-books will be priced at $4.99, $7.99, or $9.99, depending on the book’s original printed price. This price is adjusted as needed for different currencies worldwide. Prices in the e-book market can widely vary, but we have chosen to sell e-books at approximately 50% of the print edition’s retail price. Authors will be fairly compensated for their sales, at approximately 50% of the e-book selling price.

Are e-books here to stay?

For many, the idea of e-books may seem like a fad. At Essence Publishing, we are very certain that the printed book is not going away any time soon! However, the immediacy and flexibility of the e-book certainly adds to the potential markets available to today’s authors. Industry-wide, e-book sales are gaining momentum every year. We can see our own sales growing by the month! If you consider that an e-book is available anywhere an electronic reading device is located, the potential market increases significantly compared to standard print volumes.

Essence Publishing will continue to produce quality paperback books first and foremost, while offering this new technology to those who desire it. We now offer contracts that focus primarily on e-books for those authors who want to remain inventory-free. We still recommend printing a few books—there’s no denying that family members and close friends may prefer to have a paperback copy of your book to hold in their hands and brag about!



There is a lot to get excited about! You do not have to worry about the nuts and bolts of e-book production—we take care of those technical details for you. The printed book, once approved by the author, will be professionally reworked and formatted as needed to be viewed as an e-book, then sent to the three distributors and available for sale.

If you’re interested in e-book or paperback publishing, give us a call at 1-800-238-6376 and we’ll get you started!