EBook Formatting Choices: MOBI
If you are familiar at all with Amazon’s proprietary eBook device: the Kindle, then you are likely familiar with the MOBI format as well. The .mobi format is the most common format out there for Kindle books. There are a few third-party applications that can read the .mobi format, but for the most part, if you have a .mobi file, you have to have a Kindle to read it. The ironic part is however, that if you get a .mobi file that wasn’t downloaded from Amazon, it can be rather difficult to get it to load up into your Kindle. Still, if you want to have the format that is recognized by Amazon Kindle, such as being placed in the Kindle Select Program where people can borrow your books and where you can do free book promotions, then you want to have the .mobi format.
Where the MOBI Format can be used
So, where exactly can the MOBI format be used? Unfortunately, it can only be used with Amazon devices like Kindles. The Kindle device is one of the most advanced electronic readers out there, and publishing your book in this format is going to give you a ready-made audience and system is already set up for you to promote your book; that does not always mean that it is the best option out there. There are a lot of things to consider before you decide to place your book in the Kindle Select program, including whether or not you want to give your book exclusivity and conform to Amazon’s pricing models.
The Kindle Select Program
There are definitely some advantages that come with the Kindle Select Program. You are able to price your book at least $2.99 and be able to earn a 70 percent royalty on those books. But that also means the need to keep your book exclusive to Amazon. When the company set up those rules, they knew what they were doing. If you make your book exclusive on Amazon, and it becomes extremely popular, they are going to be the only ones that carry it for a certain period of time. That means all of the sales will come to them. If you go to other retailers, then you’re not going to get the benefits that joining the Kindle Select program offers.
One of those advantages is the ability to price your book to zero for five days out of every 90 days. What that means is that for those days that the book is on promotion it will be promoted for free on Amazon. If you have a series, people will buy the first book in your series for nothing; and there is a decent chance that they will buy the second book as well – as well as any other additional books – because they read the first one and became intrigued. You also are able to take advantage of certain programs like the Kindle Singles program. You can also enlist your book in the borrowing service that Kindle offers – Kindle Unlimited. This service pays you for each page that someone reads.
If you need to convert epub to mobi, check out Reedsy’s tool.