Print this page Print this page

Introduction to E-book Technologies

Warren T. Jones, Ph.D., P.E.

Course Outline

This one hour online course discusses the emergence of e-books and their technologies. E-books and the popular specialized reading devices represent new mechanisms for the dissemination of technical information as well as for personal access to an amazing array of retail and free e-books.  It is important for engineers, architects and land surveyors to keep up to date on these technologies and be ready to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses for professional applications and opportunities as well as personal interests. This course provides information for this purpose, beginning with a historical perspective, followed by an overview of e-book and e-reader characteristics, discussion of local library e-book systems and the attractive self-publishing opportunities afforded by these new technologies. 

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course content.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for all engineers, architects and land surveyors.

Benefit to Attendee

Attendee of this course will be able to evaluate e-book technologies for possible professional use and also understand the business opportunity of self-publishing.

Course Introduction

The digital age has been encroaching on the world of paper book publishing for a number of years. However, the advent and popularity of the e-book reader has increased this impact and changed publishing business models, especially those of self-publishing. One digital innovation in publishing was print-on-demand (POD) which used electronic versions of books to eliminate inventory. The result of the POD process was in fact a traditional paper book, whereas the e-book is electronic from start to finished product, a very different animal.  E-books are clearly increasing in popularity. Will they be a niche technology or will it replace all paper books?  It is much too early to say. The purpose of this course is to examine this new technology and discuss its current strengths and weaknesses as well as where the trends seem to be taking us. 

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file:

Introduction to E-book Technologies

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right-clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader from your computer.

Course Summary

This course has provided an overview of the emerging field of e-book technologies. Advantages and disadvantages are discussed. Engineers, architects and land surveyors should be aware of these technologies and be prepared to evaluate them for professional use. The user-friendly tools for self-publishing also provide an attractive possible business opportunity.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following website:

NOOKbook Store – Nook E-books, newspapers, magazines and apps
Kindle Store – Kindle books, newspapers, magazines and apps
Sony eBook Library -  E-book library with E-books selected and optimized for the Sony E-Book Reader
Free E-books – Free E-book resources
Engineering E-books – website
The Kindle Chronicles – Kindle related blogs
Kindle Nation Daily – Kindle information for authors and readers
International Digital Publishing Forum – International Trade and Standards Organization for the Digital Publishing Industry
How to Publish Anything on Amazon's Kindle  - An excellent E-book on self-publishing targeted to the Kindle, Nook, iPad, iPhone and other smart phones.
eBook Crossroads – A website that claims to be “your one-stop resource for writing and publishing”
E-Book Readers Forum – A good resource for troubleshooting tips and buying advice.
eBookReadersResource – A guide to E-book readers technologies
E-Book Publishers Directory – Alphabetical list of all E-book publishing companies across the world
List of E-Book Libraries – Non-exhaustive list of E-book libraries


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.