The epub format: advantages and limitations

The most significant advantage of the ebook format (EPUB) over PDF is that ebooks are created in a format that changes shape according to the device you read it on. It doesn't matter if somebody is reading your book from a tablet or a phone; it will always be displayed correctly. You still have chapters and paragraphs, you can have formatting and images, but the text will always perfectly fill your screen. Reflowable ebooks are accessible: the reader can change the font size, and the book will just reorganize itself. Just as you expect websites to change their layouts when you are looking at them from your tablet or phone; ebooks do this as well. Most ebooks are reflowable.

On the contrary, fixed layout ebooks are a lot like PDF's: everything has to have a fixed place. They are designed with a specific device in mind and don't display well on all devices. (Read more below.) A fixed layout might be necessary for textbooks, but is a no-go for fiction. Amazon only accepts fixed layout ebooks in the following categories: reference books, comic books, and children's books.

The following stores accept fixed layout ebooks: Amazon (special terms: mentioned above), Apple, Google, Scribd, Libby, Chinese stores, Baker & Taylor, Gardners, Mackin, Bibliotheca, E-sentral, Hungarian stores, Hoopla, Odilo, Empik, LazyJoy.

Barnes & Noble only accepts fixed layout books for children's picture books.

The epub3 and KF8 formats make interactive and enhanced ebooks possible. Read more at the end of this article.

Prepare your manuscript for ebook conversion

It is possible that your beautiful manuscript is not appropriately prepared for ebook conversion. Please follow this guide before sending your book for conversion or converting your book yourself.

Limitations of reflowable ebooks


Reflowable ebooks can't handle text in multiple columns.


As the screen size varies between devices, tables may or may not display properly. Avoid large tables.

Typefaces (fonts)

Most apps let the readers select their own fonts - or use a default font, like Scribd. In most cases, the reader or the distributor decides the font, not the publisher or author. If you wish to have greater control over the font, embed it. Please also embed the font, if you are using non-latin characters.


Although monochrome devices might be going out of fashion, they are still widely popular. It is recommended to use contrasting colors whenever possible. Text reflow around images might not work perfectly: it is recommended to add the pictures between paragraphs.


Footnotes are not widely supported: we recommend converting footnotes into endnotes.

Non-Latin script

Languages that use a non-Latin script can easily be accommodated by both the epub2 and epub3 standards. Read more here. Please note that some stores require us to send a transcription (not translation!) of the author's name and the title in Latin (Roman) script.

Interactive ebooks and enhanced ebooks

Our system accommodates (and we welcome!) interactive and enhanced ebooks. Unfortunately, not all ebook stores support them. We can currently distribute interactive books & enhanced ebooks to the following stores:

Apple Books
Google Play Books

Read more about interactive ebooks here.