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Why Do Authors Need Portable Document Format?

   By: Judy Cullins

If you write eBooks and you market them Online, you need to put your unique information into Portable Document Format (PDF) once your project is finished.

E-publishing is easier, more profitable and saves the author valuable time and money. No waiting for the printer, no middleman who keeps half the profits. No packaging or mailing, saving the author enough time that he can either write another book or spend a few hours a week promoting it.

Your Online audience wants the product instantly, and you can deliver it with PDF. You can send straight to your customer's inbox from your email or create a hyperlink on your Web site, or someone else's site, that downloads it with just the touch of a button. That's convenience for both you and your customer.

You potential customer doesn't need an additional machine like a palm pilot to read or store your eBook. You simply save it as a text file, and then transfer it to PDF to send out. Your buyers are more than happy to print out a copy or read portions of it on their screen at their leisure. Just remember to make your book shorter than the print version--7-99 pages are enough.

Portable Document Format--What it Is

This new technology allows you, the writer, to transfer your Word document files straight to a professional bookcoach or designer who offers Portable Document through the program Adobe Distiller.

The advantages?

1. PDF allows all the fonts and formatting of a printed book without the paper. You can illustrate or use graphics with this program. Be sure to format your book with alternate fonts such as "Arial" and "Times Roman." Keep them consistent.

2. You catch errors before they are too late and easily edit your Word version, then transfer the updated version to PDF.

3. Your PDF file does not allow any one who buys it to alter your words in any way, keeping it yours. With your email address and Web site URL on every page, it creates a safeguard your work.

4. With PDF you can produce good type and fonts, not different from producing any good digital document. Based on the Adobe PostScript standard around for many years, the rules that apply to PostScript also apply to PDF. While you can transfer the copy straight from Word to PDF, you will want to make a good PostScript file for your images and graphics first, then use Distiller to render the PDF.  Just note that Mac users substitute Helvetica for Arial.

If you are a newbie or non-techie you can buy the PDF program for around $50 from a professional book coach or book designer, depending on the number of pages and live links.

If a techie or you intend to write multiple books, you can buy the whole package from Adobe. Acrobat Distiller is available at for around $300.

Keep 2 versions of your eBook, one in Word and another in PDF. You can always update the Word file, then reformat it in PDF. Or, you can offer anyone who buys your books a free yearly update.

PDF offers many advantages over print books. Make your book look as professional as possible, use Portable Document Format.

Judy Cullins, 20-year book and Internet Marketing Coach, Author of 10 eBooks including "Write your eBook Fast," and "How to Market your Business on the Internet," she offers free help through her 2 monthly ezines, The Book Coach Says...and Business Tip of the Month at and over 140 free articles. Email her at

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