Resources and tips for the self-published author.

Book File Types Explained

by Miral Sattar •  January 28, 2014  •   Follow miralsattar

Published in Publishing Tips  •  9 comments

A question that I always get is what types of files do I need to create to get my book ready for book publishing.  If you’re going to hire a formatter we recommend three main filetypes for distribution to the major online retailers.


You can upload a well formatted Word document to CreateSpace for print on demand, but if you’re picky about layout we recommend the following filetypes that will work well with the various retailers.

1) EPUB (ebook)

Most ebook retailers follow the EPUB standard.

2) MOBI (ebook)

MOBI is Amazon’s proprietary format. It’s best practice to upload a MOBI for sale on Amazon for ebooks.

3) Print Ready PDF (print book)

Print Ready PDFs are needed if you are doing a print version of your book. The PDF you create can be used for any type of printing. Createspace lets you upload Word documents, but we recommend converting it to a Print Ready PDF so you know exactly what your book will look like.


About Miral Sattar

Lover of books. CEO & founder of Bibliocrunch. Love storytelling in all its forms. Formerly TIME. I'm a new media entrepreneur who has worked in the media industry for 11 years. My mission is simple – to innovate the publishing industry with technology. My company has been featured in BBC World News, Money Magazine, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Forbes, WSJ, MediaBistro, PBS, Columbia Journalism Review, The Next Web, Publishers Weekly, and a bunch of other places. Bibliocrunch was also selected as The Next Big Thing in media by the Paley Center. I also used to run a popular South Asian culture blog called Divanee. Before I ran my own company and became a mom, I used to be on the board for several literacy organizations, and wrote a LOT more. Hopefully, when things are calmer I can go back to that! :)