About e-books

An e-book (term was officially recommended in France in JORF by April 4th 20121), also says electronic book, is a book edited and broadcast in numerical, available version in form of file, which can be downloaded, stocked and read on one écran12 such as that of a bed jacket, of a personal computer or of a tactile bar.


Expression “e-book” and its synonyms ” electronic book ” and ” livrel ” (portmanteau word) were offered by the Service of Quebec of the language française2 as French translations of “E-book”, ” electronic book ” or «digital book» (see the Big terminology dictionary). According to OQLF, the hybrid form “e-book « (tracing paper of English ” e-book «) is to avoid in French.

In usage, electronic book and livrel indicate contents as well (the text itself) as, by metonymy, containing it (the support allowing to show contents). These two expressions are then synonymous with “bed jacket”, the electronic reader intended to read books numerical.

Interests and disadvantages


The written complete work of Victor Hugo edited at Jean-Jacques Pauvert represents 40 million characters. The Bible such as it is possible to download it on Internet, less than 10 million bytes whatever is the language considérée3. A simple µSDHC card of 32 Go allows therefore to take everywhere with one around 2000 collections of texts of this size.

A passage given by a work when a specific word is known is fast even if the document does not have index.

Independence of the support

A printed book can legally be consulted on several distinct support (bed jacket, computer, bar, possibly smartphone), where it is transferred in thorough task. In certain cases as Kindle, if they are connected to Internet, precise passage is found where they had stopped by consulting the same work, even since another support.


Richard Stallman put garde against several possible danger there: he can not be careful still and everywhere that authorities could draw all that you read; when an editor disappears, that your library becomes?; and finally there are precedents of remote deletion of works by an editor on persons’ apparatus having downloaded them.

Richard Stallman signals however that the works of plan Gutenberg and of some others do not introduce this risk.

Short history of the e-book

Detailed article: Gutenberg#Histoire plan.
Before even the creation of Internet, Michael Hart creates, in 1971, the Gutenberg plan, purpose of which is to digitize of livres5. The first book digitized by plan Gutenberg is the Statement of independence of the United States in a file of 5 ko6.

In 2008, the quality of reading on screen of the bed jackets having considerably improved, the e-book leaves again in the conquest of mass markets. In 2010, the progress in terms of market shares becomes very significant in États-Unis7. Many editors began distributing, under electronic form, books thrown in the public domain.

At the same time, for a question not willy-nilly of quality, but costs and profitability, some editors prefer publishing their authors in that way. In compared, some authors who want to free themselves from hold of to them éditeur8 or whose manuscripts were not accepted by editors for a paper edition puts in disposition their online writings, both in a free way and through sites of paid downloading.

In France, ‘publie.net ‘, first co-operative of authors for numerical edition and broadcasting of contemporary literature, founded in 2008 by the militant burning writer François Bon, of the e-book, pushes the resources of format ePub3 to the point of adding the sound and of musique9 or of vidéos10 in the lesson of the story, and a system of navigation in hyperpictures (at the moment only accessible on iPad and iPhone).

Detailed article: Edition électronique#Quelques editors of e-books.

In France

Detailed article: Edition électronique#Quelques distributors and distributors of e-books.
The first stockist of e-books in France in date is Mobipocket.com (subsidiary of Amazon since April 200511). His main rivals are Numilog.com (subsidiary of Hatchet Pound since spring 200812), ePagine (contractor of solutions for bookshops), immatériel.fr (distributor and stockist), Relay.com (also filial of Hatchet, but side is pressing), Paradise Books, E-Plateforme, Cyberlibris (digital library on subscription), Needocs (livrels professional, practical and academic) and also Didactibook (electronic bookseller specialised in the practical livrels).

According to the magazine Tournaments, Fnac would have sold 40 000 e-books from November, 2008 till November 200913. In 2011, the producer of bed jackets Bookeen launches in its turn into the marketing of e-books with bookeenstore.com14. The offer of e-books in French the richest in the market is offered by Chapitre.com15 com15.

In the United States

For last quarter 2010, Amazon.com officially announced to have sold for the first time more e-books than books imprimés16. The most popular types are love songs and love songs érotiques17,18.

In the Quebec

In December, 2009, only 1 200 books of Quebec had been digitized, what constitutes a factor limiting the adoption of the book numérique19.

Since December, 2009, the Society of development of the cultural firms (SODEC) gives a programme of Assistant to the numeration which reimburses numeration to the editors 50 % expenses of, more 10 $ by title, up to a limit of 5 000 $, what could help these last to give a bigger portion of to them catalogue19.

Formats (selection)
Logo of format EPUB
.txt text file
.html Hypertext Markup Language.htm
Portable Document Format (Adobe).pdf
Amazon Kindle.azw (closed format)
Management of numerical rights

Of same way than in the field of music and of films, some editors and distributors use management systems of numerical rights (DRM) to try to protect writings. Most these systems are relatively ineffectual and penalise the reader in his usage of the book.

Name Editor Formats Used by Comments
Adept Adobe ePub, pdf, ascm Majority, the Kobo, B&N, Sony, often used standard GOOGLE DRM. He requires a count on the site of Abobe and limits the legibility of a book to six apparatus.
Microsoft Microsoft reads Abandoned Microsoft
Kepub (Adept) Kobo (Adobe) kepub Kobo Il involves an ePub with some data in more. Files can be downloaded in ePub format + standard DRM ADOBE
Topaz Amazon azw, tpz Amazon Nouveau format Amazon, based on its previous format Mobipocket
Mobipocket Amazon mobi Amazon (ancient) Format created by Mobipocket (bought back by Amazon). Unique key by equipment works with a system of PID ()
Vile (based on adept) B&N (ADOBE) B&N EXTENSION of DRM ADEPT of Adobe where one are used name and number of CB as key (to dissuade from sharing)
eReader B&N pdb, pml (ancient) B&N, PALM ANCIEN FORMAT B&N, who also uses the name and the number of CB as key for social brake in distribution
FairPlay Apple Apple Used on iBooks and files are legible only by apparatus Apple, no research of fault this day
BBEB SONY LRX, lrs Sony Abandonné
Numerical tattoo

Some e-books do not contain management system of numerical rights but of numerical tattoos, in general name of the purchaser and his electronic address.

Books free from rights

Very many writings duty-free (because thrown in the public domain) are loadable free on many Internet sites, among which for example that of plan Gutembert or that of Open Library, Manybooks, or else the feedbooks.

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