Since any content delivered electronically can be called an ebook, ebooks inhabit a large grey area from text on a CD to websites to novels on paper-like handheld readers. Some ebooks are no more than unformatted text in HTML, or PDFs of a printed book’s pages. And others are more than that, and include video, audio and interactive features, where the revenue model warrants the expense of their development.
The design of an ebook depends on three things:
- The file format in which the ebook is delivered, and what that file format is capable of doing.
- How much the ebook’s publisher invested in time and money in making the most of that particular file format.
- The software that is used to display the ebook. Often that software will override the original design, especially on small-screen devices (e.g. mobile phones and small ereaders).