Wednesday, June 1, 2011

E-book Conversions.

Ok, so I must confess that I got a little lazy over the weekend and didn't write anything, but I did look into e-book conversion programs.  Unfortunately, because I didn't bother blogging until today I got beat to the punch.  I guess I won't ever make a good reporter. That's ok though. I found two possible programs that we might be able to use to create our e-book. 

The best program I found was Calibre, which Bri has already talked about.  If you use e-books at all I would recommend this program.  I played with it over the weekend and gave it to my dad to use on his with his Kindle.  He loves it.  This is a managing program for your e-books that let's you buy from different sites online and transfer them directly to your e-reader of choice.  It has a built in reader too and is a great tool to manage you stuff.  Check out the link and watch the video. This program will convert to any type of e-book. The downside is that it can't convert a .doc or .docx file.  It has to be in either PDF or HTML or another e-book format.  That is no big deal really, Word can save documents as PDFs.  The downside to this is that, converting it to an e-book, we need to have the chapter headings and Table of Contents linked by ourselves.  After reading Nyssa's post, however this doesn't look to be that difficult.  Like I said, the advantage of Calibre is that we can make this book in several formats and post them ourselves in places like Goodreads and anywhere else without getting stuck with just Amazon.  Also, its a free program.

Next, is a program that isn't bad but I don't find quite as versatile as Calibre but it isn't bad, and its free too.  This is Mobipocket Creator. This program will convert you .doc and .docx files plus the usual PDF's and HTML's to the .mobi format used in the Kindle. It does a good job but I find it more limited than Calibre. If we just want that one format, then we could just submit the e-book to Amazon and let them do the work of formatting it.  Mobipocket does have their own e-book market that we might be able to publish on but after looking at it, I don't think that such a small market would be worth the effort. 

I like the idea of publishing in several places.  The Goodreads idea was a great one.  We can share the book with all of our friends on that site.  Amazon of course would be good too.  I looked into the iBook part of iTunes and I don't think that we will be able to distribute the book there.  From what I read, we have to charge at least $.99 for anything offered through iTunes.  Lulu might be another possibility but I'm not sure if they let you distribute it for free. I'll have to check into it. 


  1. what if we used mobipocket to convert a .doc or PDF to .mobi (do you think this would keep table of content and chapter heading structure?) and then used Calibre to convert that mobi file into many different formats ( and published those to several different sites? That way we'd avoid having to format HTML ourselves. I think. right?

  2. Maybe, I just don't know how we'd do a table of contents on a .doc file. I think that part would be easier if we do it as an html. Based on what Nyssa said, the code is really easy. Maybe I will play with it and try it out to see which is easier.