The main purpose of creating a viral e-book is to pass it on to as much people as possible with only minimal effort on the author's part. To be able to pass it on to others, it should be in the form that can easily be accessed and opened by other people.
After you have accomplished authoring your viral e-book, the next thing you have to do before it actually gets to the hands of other people is to compile it. There are two ways that you can do it, either to compile it as an exe file or as a pdf file.
EXE, which means executable, is the file extension for files created by e-book compilers. PDF, or portable document format, is the extension of files created with Adobe Acrobat. In the World Wide Web, PDF e-books are considered to be the industry standard.
Advantages of PDF over EXE files
1. If you choose to compile your viral e-book using Adobe Acrobat, you do not have to create an HTML web design for every page of your e-book. A simple MS Word document will do.
2. When you compile using Acrobat, the PDF file automatically numbers each of the pages. EXE compilers do not have that function.
3. PDF files are relatively easy to edit. New pages can be added; you can also delete or replace pages. Page numbers will automatically adjust itself once you modify the pages. EXE files are actually fixed once compiled and cannot be edited. You have to compile a new one to be able to change your e-book.
4. You can print PDF files a lot easier than EXE files.
5. PDF files have a bookmark tab on the left side of the page. Using this feature makes navigating around the file much easier than in an EXE file.
6. When PDF files are compressed, the file sizes are significantly smaller than EXE files because PDF converters compress better.
7. PDF files are not at all susceptible to viruses since they are just simple files, unlike EXE files which are like programs or applications. EXE files are more prone to carrying and transmitting virus and end up being corrupted.
8. Last but not the least, PDF files are universal. As long as the computer has an installed Acrobat Reader, PDF files can be opened and viewed, whether the computer is a PC or a Mac. EXE files are not read on a Mac computer.
Since your main goal is to expand your target market, considering this fact would not harm. According to the Nielsen Netratings, over 8% of the US online population use Mac. It may not be a huge number but can still be significant in the increase of your potential customers.
Advantages of EXE files over PDF files
On the other hand, EXE files also have their own set of advantages over PDF files.
1. e-Book compilers, the software that create the EXE files, are just a fraction of the cost of Adobe Acrobat. Though there are a number of PDF creators recently released that are also cheap, e-book compilers still have the advantage in terms of price.
2. The most important advantage of EXE files over PDF files is its ability to allow rebranding of the e-book. Some of the e-book compilers such as e-Book Generator, e-Book Edit, and e-Book Paper have built-in rebranding function.
If viral e-book is your tool for doing viral marketing, granting rebranding rights is the key to your success. Allowing rebranding of your e-book will guarantee increased promotion and distribution because people can modify the book with their affiliate codes to earn incentives.
If you want increased exposure by having more people able to view and read your e-book, then go with PDF files. Not only that it is readable with a PC or a Mac, it also has relatively small file size compared to EXE files.
But if your main concern is giving out free customization and rebranding rights to your e-book for wider distribution, then you must better go with e-book compilers to produce an EXE file.
Given the different advantages of one type over the other, it is really up to you, the author, to choose which one you think will work best for you. Both types have their own good sets of advantages. It is just a matter of determining your priorities for your e-book and basing your decision from those priorities.