What is e-Shabda?

A Cygnet Infotech endeavor, e-Shabda is the brainchild of Apurva Ashar. His 24 years of experience in book production as well as software development have put him in the perfect position to create e-books for regional Indian languages.

At a time when global publishing is reaping the benefits of the electronic books revolution and reaching out to a wider audience, there is no way for publishers and authors of Indian language books to create full-fledged, feature-rich e-books. E-Shabda will solve this problem by offering end-to-end services: book-scanning, converting, e-book creating, validating, selling, marketing and copy protection.

We will help publishers scan the books, convert them to the appropriate e-book format, and ensure fidelity to existing design & layout. We also prevent copying of the books by using Adobe’s ADEPT DRM, and the books are sold on our open platform – eshabda.com and Indian-Ebooks.com. Using this platform users can easily purchase and download the books on their smartphones, tablets and other devices.

What is an e-book?

Broadly speaking, an e-book is an electronic book. It is a digital version of a print book; however, there are many books in the market that are electronic-only – books in digital formats that do not have a print version. Publishers can sell e-books online and readers can purchase and read them instantly – as long as there is a secure platform where the books are sold. E-books are getting more and more popular because they are very convenient to distribute, buy, store and access.

People usually read such books on their computers, laptops, tablets and Smartphones.

How e-Books are different from Scanned / Text PDFs?

It’s no surprise if many of us equate e-books to scanned books. Almost all digital books in Gujarati and other Indian languages are available only in PDF versions. At the best, they are cleaned PDFs – with errors that creep up during scanning corrected. Reading scanned or photographed books is a tedious experience as the text does reflow.

People now read books on their mobiles, tablets, and computers. There are electronic readers like Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and Kobo Glo that are specially built for reading e-books. PDFs or other formats that are simply scanned versions do not provide an optimum reading experience on any of these devices. These conventional formats do not support text reflow, and they also don’t support many other features that these devices offer.

What are standard formats of e-books?

As the demand for feature-rich e-books that could take advantage of different devices grew, a number of e-book standards were created. There are several formats – most notably EPUB, AZW, LIT, MOBI, ODF – that are used by different e-book platforms. EPUB is the standard platform, and it is the closest to an internationally accepted standard; in contrast, AZW is a format used only by Amazon.

It is possible to include DRM (Digital Rights Management) to these files to secure them and prevent copying.

The PDF format was specifically designed by Adobe to guarantee that the content of a page remains static. It is a page-oriented format – PDF e-books are identical to print books. On the other hand, the EPUB format is created with the main aim of optimizing reading experience. Let’s take a closer look at the two.

A PDF e-book has static pages. So, when you read a PDF on your mobile, tablet or electronic reader, the size of the fonts and the contents of a page remains the same. For instance, when you change the font size, the page size also changes. The text doesn’t flow to the next page – the content of the page always remains the same.

On large screens, this doesn’t create a problem, but on small screens, the fonts appear too small. The reader has to zoom in to read the words, and this pushes the page out of focus.

An EPUB, on the other hand, has reflowable text. This means that the words will magically adjust themselves to the size of the screen when the size of the page or fonts is increased or decreased. So, it is possible to increase or decrease the font size, without affecting the layout or formatting of the book. This feature makes it possible for readers to read books comfortably on devices with smaller screens – mobiles, tablets and e-Readers.

In addition to this, EPUBs offer more functionality: they allow readers to change the font type, users can swipe the screen to turn the page (if the application or device has the functionality), search the book easily, and take advantage of many specific features offered by the electronic reader, or the reader app on mobiles.

Other specific e-book formats also offer the same functionality as EPUB, but this format is the only one that is universally accepted.

How to read books on mobiles?

There are many ways in which people can read books on their mobile. There are websites that let people read books online. So, without any other software, a person can simply open the mobile browser, find the websites and start reading. However, there can be problems with font size and images if the file format is not suitable. Currently, the best way to read books on mobile is via apps.

What are Reader Apps for Mobile Devices?

The more popular and convenient option for the reader is to download an e-reader application on his mobile. Google Play, App Store and others offer mobile apps that can be used for eBook reading. Users can read free e-books as well as buy new e-books from these apps.

We would suggest you to download e-Shabda mobile app for Android and iOS to have best user experience. e-Shabda app support different e-book formats, which makes it possible for the reader to read books on his mobile. Such apps also provide other features like quick search, page flip, word definition look-up, font and background color customization, which enhance the reading experience.

A reader simply needs to search the apps stores, and find and install an e-reader app. Thereafter, he can browse, select and read free e-books, or purchase latest e-books without any further hassle.

What is an E - Reader?

An electronic reader (generally called e-reader) is a special device for reading digital content (mainly books, but also magazines and newspapers). One of the most popular example of this kind of device is Amazon Kindle electronic reader. While an e-reader looks similar to tablets, there is one major difference: it is made specifically for reading.

Amazon Kindle can be used to browse, download and read e-books. It connects to the Internet through Wi-Fi. It offers several benefits that no other devices does: it is lighter than most books, doesn’t have any glare, it can download books from Amazon within 60 seconds, can store more than a 1000 books, and its battery lasts for months. Users can also select certain content and highlight it, or place comments or notes in the e-book.

Barnes & Noble Nook also offers similar features. Such devices are extremely popular among avid e-book readers.

How can we protect the copyright of the book?

When a reader purchases or downloads a free e-book, he doesn’t get any copyright. He gets right to read his e-book, just as a reader has ownership of the print book that he buys. But, the reader may want to buy an e-book on read it on different devices – many people use several devices daily. The challenge is to create books in a standard format that is supported by different devices, and to make sure that one copy of e-book can be read only by one person.

To achieve this DRM (Digital rights management) software is used.

What is DRM?

You can visualize DRM as a lock. It bounds an e-book file to the account of a specific user. In short, once you download an e-book with DRM, you can open it only through your account. Otherwise it cannot be opened. So, even if the book is copied, it cannot be opened without the key, and the key is in the account. Thus, the copyright is protected.

There are three major DRMs in the world of e-books. Two of them – Amazon DRM and Apple DRM – are specific to their own products. And, these products may not be compatible with other devices or applications. These DRMs put too many restrictions on the user.

How will all users get an account? What DRM do you use?

Adobe Digital Editions Protection Technology (ADEPT) is the third major DRM that caters to a broader list of devices, including all major e-readers (except Kindle) and all Android and Apple devices. At e-Shabda, we use ADEPT to protect your e-books.

The reader simply needs to install Adobe Digital Editions and create an Adobe-ID (it’s a quick and simple process). Once the ID is created, he can purchase, manage and read books after logging in to his Adobe account. As the books are tied to one account, it is also possible to rent the books to the reader for a limited period of time, without any fear of copyright violation. The reader can also arrange books, set preferences and access books from up to six devices.

This process minimizes the risk of copyright violation, and it also makes it easier for the readers rent books, lend copies to others, and access books from different devices.

How many publishers will be available on e-Shabda?

Currently, we are starting out with five major publishers – Navjivan Trust, Gurjar Grantha, Image Publications, Saarthak Prakashan and AMA (Ahmedabad Management Association) Publications. The portal will start with about 500 e-books from these associated publishers, out of which about a 100 e-books will be free.

Can other publishers and writers join e-Shabda?

Definitely. But, for now, we are focusing on completing our initiative with existing publishers. We plan to complete this first stage soon. After that, we hope to take on more projects from other writers and publishers.

What special advantage does e-Shabda offer?

As we talked earlier, most of the Gujarati or regional language books online are either PDFs or JPEGs. On top of it, the fonts for these online books are the same as that in the printed book – most devices do not recognize many regional fonts. They can recognize only standard UNICODE fonts.

At e-Shabda, we don’t just create full-fledged e-books in the standard EPUB format, but change the fonts to UNICODE. This means that the book can be read on almost any device, and special features like search and word-definition lookup also work without any glitch.

Our longstanding experience with book production and design ensures that the e-books are perfect. We use advanced software to ensure that the chances of errors while scanning and creating an e-book from print version are minimized, and we make sure that you do not have to go through another session of proofing and editing.

Once the e-books are ready, the question of distributing them and making them available to readers who are using different devices arises. As discussed above, different devices and companies have different DRMs and sales policies. We have created an open platform – Indian-Ebooks.com – where you can sell the books. Using their Adobe accounts, the readers can download the books here and access them through almost any Android and Apple smartphones & tablets and different e-book readers.

So, we resolve the issues of creating, selling, distributing and copy protecting the books in a single stroke.

What is e-Shabda’s Return Policy?

Books you purchase from e-Shabda is eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within seven days of the date of purchase. However, once a refund is issued, you'll no longer have an access to the eBook. To request a refund and return book, contact our customer service at support@e-shabda.com.

What all do I need to do to read eBooks from e-Shabda?

Reading eBooks on e-Shabda is pretty straight, you can visit How It Works to follow step-by-step process.

Can I read books on e-shabda being a guest for free?

Absolutely, But first you need to signup which does not involve any fee. You can then search for free e-books and can download them for free. No payment is required. On your PC or laptop, to read free books, you just need a firefox browser with epubreader plug-in installed.

I am too old to understand what is an e-book and what are the benefits, can you explain it to me in Gujarati language?

Yes, definitely. Kindly click here to get an idea. In case you require more help, pls do not hesitate to write us at support@e-shabda.com.

Am I billed any delivery charges on physical books which are tagged with "Free Shipping" on your portal?

We deliver physical books tagged with "Free Shipping" without any delivery charges across India.

What is a 'Wallet' ?

Wallet on e-Shabda is convenient way to deal with monetary transactions. It is basically an e-Wallet which can be recharged using cash, credit card or net banking and can be utilized to purchase books on e-Shabda. You can login to see and recharge your wallet on e-Shabda under My account -> My wallet.

How can I use balance from my wallet?

On the payment page, you can specify amount to be deducted from wallet under 'Use from my wallet'. You can specify amount to be utilized from your wallet and click on Pay now/Checkout to complete the transaction.