An eBook is an electronic book. This takes a traditional book and converts it to a format that can be read on a collection of electronic devices. Devices such as Kindle, Nooks and iPads. But you can even read eBooks on any computer (with some free programs) and basically any smart phone.
The traditional format that almost everyone uses to publish their eBooks is called ePub and can be read by multiple readers (including the Nook and iPad). There are also free readers to be able to read books like the Adobe Digital Editions.
Amazon uses their own standard which can only be read via Kindle (or Kindle apps which you can download here and read on MANY devices). All the books purchased on the Amazon eBook store (or Amazon Kindle store) can be read on their devices or apps.
An article in The Tech Herald: Kindle eBooks now outselling paperbacks and hardbacks back in May 2011 said: “Since April 1 of this year, according to Amazon, it has sold 105 Kindle books for every 100 printed editions purchased by paper-loving bookworms (in both paperback and hardback).”
That is an amazing fact, part of this amazing fact is that Amazon allows independent authors to publish their books for themselves. So, anyone can get in on this business.
There is some technical stuff you have to get through in order to properly publish your book, and this doesn’t mean you should throw any old thing up. If you put a book online with typos and/or bad formatting you will end up with no sales as word of mouth will get you (those Amazon reviews can hurt).
Book covers are still high up there in the list of reasons someone buys a book, as per the article How Ebook Buyers Discover Books where the third reason people buy a book is the cover, other reasons:
1. Recommendation from others
2. Look for favorite author
3. Book covers that grab me
4. Buy free book then if I liked, pay for another