eBooks and eProducts


eBook FAQs

Owl Reader



Here you will find a number of ebook FAQs. We have tried where possible to answer a number of common issues but do realise that not everyone has the same knowledge or experience.


With this in mind please treat the answers here as a guideline only. If you wish to comment or ask a question related to what's in this FAQ section, please send an email to the address shown at the bottom of this page. We will respond to your query as soon as possible.


Q(1). What is an eBook?

A(1). An ebook is a book in electronic format. Instead of words being typed and printed on paper, the words are stored or embedded in the book.


Q(2). Are ebooks all the same?

A(2). No. Ebooks come in different formats. There are three main categories. Compiled, reader based and 'raw' HTML ebooks.


Compiled or stand-alone ebooks are generally written in a high level language. This is then converted into an executable file (.exe extension). Unlike Pascal or 'c' compilers, these are more akin to programmable shells. It means that you can use these ebook compilers without programming knowledge. By stand-alone, I mean that no reader software is necessary to view them. These files can normally be opened simply by double clicking them.

Reader based ebooks require the use of an appropriate reader or viewer. For example an ebook in PDF format (.pdf extension) requires Acrobat reader.

Raw HTML ebooks are written using the hypertext markup language and can be opened using any web browser software.

Q(3). What is the best format?

A(3). A difficult question. This depends on your reasons. Do you want to read, buy, sell, copy or protect the ebook? The three categories each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Here is brief overview:

Compiled ebooks

Advantages - Easy to write and compile. No reader software required. Some very good products available. Cost effective.

Disadvantages - Some bad products available. Generally not cross-platform transferable. For example an ebook in this format that can be opened on a PC is unlikely to work on a MAC. This may limit your audience if you are a writer and you publish your ebook in this format. Some older compilations may not run on your PC system either.


Reader based ebooks

Advantages - Easy to write. No compilation necessary. Both Adobe and Microsoft supply these products. Acrobat reader can be freely downloaded. Microsoft can provide an add-on for MS Word that will convert your word documents to a Microsoft Reader format.

Disadvantages - Viewers are required to read these ebooks. Provides less opportunities for smaller businesses to design and produce alternatives. Cost.



Advantages - The cheapest option. Easy to write. No compilation necessary. Can be opened with a web browser.

Disadvantages - Limited document protection.


Q(4). Where can I buy an ebook?

A(4). There are literally thousands of web sites that offer ebooks for sale. Because ebooks are in electronic format, they can be downloaded directly from the chosen site.


Q(5). How do I buy an eBook?

A(5). An ebook is normally purchased with a credit or debit card, although cash or check can be paid in some circumstances. When paying by credit or debit card online, the process is very straightforward if you follow the instructions on screen.

Q(6). How quickly will I receive an ebook after purchase?

A(6). If paying by credit or debit card online, the process should take only a few minutes. If paying by cheque the process will take several days or the time it takes for the cheque to clear plus the time it takes to email or post the ebook.


Q(7). Can a printed version of an ebook be supplied?

A(7). Most suppliers will not provide hard copies of the ebook because the extra time and resources needed to print the document would result in a more expensive product. However there are a few publishers that provide this service.


Q(8). Can I print my own copy?

A(8). This depends on both copyright and ebook format. Make sure you read any copyright restrictions. Also, be aware that you may not be able to print some ebooks. The print function can be disabled in some formats in much the same way as cutting and pasting of text can. If you can print the ebook, remember the extra cost in print cartridges or toners.


Q(9). Can I copy an ebook?

A(9). Yes, you can copy an ebook very easily. Since ebooks are magnetically stored on disk or tape, they can be easily transferred to hard drives, CDs, floppy disks and memory sticks. If you do copy an ebook, remember to check any copyright restrictions and abide by them, otherwise your copy could be illegal.


Q(10). When I open the ebook using my PC, it seems to take forever to open. Why is this?

A(10). There are a number of reasons why this can happen. If you are using Acrobat reader, keep in mind that this application can demand a lot of your system's resources. On average it will use 25-30MB of your available memory.It is possible that you have too many files open or there are redundant processes running. Your graphics resolution may be too high or you may have a memory hungry desktop bitmap or screen saver. Disk space can also be another factor. Having a small amount of free contiguous disk space will give you major problems.


Q(11). Can I do anything about this?

A(11). If you experience any technical problems in relation to ebooks please email us using the 'contact us' page and we will try our best to help resolve them.


Q(12). What advantage does an ebook have in comparison to a printed book?

A(12). Please read the information on our Homepage


Q(13). Can I be sure of receiving an ebook after paying?

A(13). Yes, providing you buy it from a reputable supplier. However tempting, you should NEVER buy anything from anyone that sends unsolicited emails.


Q(14). Can I be confident of downloading an ebook successfully before paying?

A(14). Before buying any ebook via a download, you should try downloading some free ebooks first. Only when you are confident with the process, should you consider buying.


Q(15). Where can I download a free ebook?

A(15). There are many sites available offering free ebook downloads. You can download a selection from various pages on this site. There is a wider selection with new additions added every month to the members' area for ezine subscribers.


Q(16). How do I download an ebook?

A(16). This depends on what operating system you are using and where you are downloading the ebook from. For Microsoft operating systems such as Windows '95, '98, Millennium NT, 2000 or 2003 you can often select the appropriate file to download and double click or right click with your mouse and "save as" to a suitable folder on your PC. Invariably downloading instructions will be given to you from the relevant site.


Q(17). Is it possible for ebooks to carry a virus?

A(17). Yes. It is possible to embed malicious code in some forms of ebook. At present this is very rare but it is very easy, even for those with little experience, to write macro viruses.


I'm sure many of you have encountered these in your documents at work on occasion. Although most of them are harmless, a few nasty ones have been written. The more dangerous viruses, however, are more likely to be associated with executable code. Be very careful of downloading ebooks with .exe extensions if you are unsure of the source. Unlike ebooks in PDF format where you use a product like Adobe to open them, executable files are compiled independently.

Although the majority of these are genuine ebooks, there are a few rogues around.



Since this site is about ebooks and ebook products, the best advice I can give you is to use a reputable supplier and if possible good anti-virus software. If you don't, you will always take the risk of downloading more than you bargained for.

Shown above are the most common ebook FAQs that we have been asked about. Please contact us if you wish others to be added.