ePUB or MOBI? Know Which Is Better For Your eBook!

confused about which one to choose from the two primary file formats ePub and MOBI? Here is the answer, know the factors that will help you decide which is best for your eBook.

The introduction of eBooks has made reading easier than ever. They give you the comfort of reading your favorite titles anywhere, anytime as per your convenience. Handheld devices like e-readers, smartphones, and tablets have also contributed to the growing eminence of eBooks.

When eBooks were first introduced in the literary market, they were just electronic copies of the original text. But, now they are fully interactive and provide an immersive experience to readers. And, every author focuses on engaging learners by providing an enjoyable learning experience. In order to provide this, authors need to publish their eBooks in a way that they are accessible to anyone who wishes to read them.

However, the rise of innovative formats and digital platforms has left authors confused about which file format they should opt to carve their niche in the publishing industry. Different formats and platforms have different requirements. Some accept ePUB and others accept MOBI.

For instance, Kindle can’t read ePUB. Writers who want their content on Kindle have to go for ePUB to MOBI conversion for Kindle to publish their work. These are the two most widely used eBook formats in the market. PDF, TXT, HTML, and RTF are some other available formats.

But, the question most authors have in their minds is which one is the best? Let us go through each one of them to find out which one suits our requirements. 

ePUB Format

It is a standard format that is compatible with almost all devices and digital platforms. Developed by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), this XML-based format is the most popular and widely used eBook format. Some of the most impressive features of this format are:

  • ePUB offers both reflowable and fixed layouts. While the former seamlessly customizes the display of the text according to the device, the latter has a fixed page design for the content. It fixes the text and images on each page irrespective of the device on which the content is being read. 
  • It allows you to get inline raster and vector images, along with metadata and CSS styling.
  • You can highlight specific text or sections of the e-book with the read-aloud functionality.
  • You can leverage the Digital Rights Management system for your eBook.
  • It allows to bookmark pages, change background colors or the text size thereby giving ease of accessibility for users.
  • It even supports a subset of MathML.

MOBI format 

Also popular with the name of Mobipocket, it is an open standard eBook format that publishers use along with the XHTML and JavaScript. It is specifically designed for storing digital books on mobile devices and eReaders. However, it is mostly used by readers who have an Amazon Kindle or a Mobipocket reader.

Some of its impressive features are:

  • It supports the fixed and reflowable layout for content like ePUB.
  • It is very light in size and supports bookmarks, notes, corrections, etc.
  • It has two extensions to its name; one is  .prc and the other is the .mobi
  • You can leverage the Digital Rights Management system for your eBook or copyright protection, to prevent copying and illegal viewing.
  • It offers advanced user and navigation controls for complex content files.
  • It also supports file compression, indexing, and dictionaries.

ePUB Or MOBI – Which One Is For You?

Prior to choosing one for your eBooks, it is better to have an in-depth analysis of both the eBook formats. You can do this by understanding the basic factors mentioned below which go into making the e-book. A detailed analysis would help you in deciding which one is better for your work – ePUB or MOBI.

Compatible Platforms

As Amazon has the ownership rights of MOBI, all of their eBooks come in this format. Whereas for the ePUB format, you need to either use a converter to convert ePUB to MOBI for Amazon Kindle or you can outsource ePUB conversion services for seamless eBook publishing.

When it comes to android devices and the Kobo e-readers, it supports both the ePUB as well as the MOBI format. Whereas, Barnes and Noble’s Nook and the Sony reader is only compatible with the ePUB format, not MOBI.

Audio-Video Support

Another important factor to consider when you choose a format for your eBook is – whether it offers multimedia support or not. ePUB duly supports the audio and video files embedded in eBooks. It offers an excellent support system for the audio files. Whereas, the MOBI file format does not support the sound system and consequently does not support video files too.


With everything said and done, the compatibility of file formats plays the most important role as it ensures that the e-books are viewed properly on the respective devices. Experts suggest that among these two, ePub file format seems to be more user-friendly than the MOBI. Besides, it also provides a seamless user-interface, secure access, better clarity and display specifications. However, we cannot deny that to get your work published on Amazon Kindle, you have to get your eBook in the MOBI file format. 

With the availability of ePUB conversion services and online file converters, you can let your audience access your eBooks on different digital platforms. So, the next time you have to choose between ePub and MOBI files, don’t let the different file formats pull you down, just convert the files as per the platform requirements.

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Rohit is the Senior Product Manager at SunTec Digital, a Digital Publishing Solutions provider with an industry experience of over 20 years. SunTec Digital helps publishers transform and manage Omni-channel digital content for an array of industries globally.


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