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Explanation of Using Calibre to Convert eBook Formats by Ron Kurtus - Succeed in Self-Publishing. Key words: ebook, library management, MOBI, EPUB, LIT, PDF, School for Champions. Copyright © Restrictions

Using Calibre to Convert eBook Formats

by Ron Kurtus (revised 3 August 2012)

Calibre is a free e-book library management application that has an excellent e-book format conversion feature. The application supports the conversion of a comprehensive list of input formats and output formats.

After installing Calibre, you can convert from one ebook format to another by adding an existing ebook to the Calibre Library, adjusting input and output features, and finally converting the file to see the output.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Install Calibre

Calibre can be downloaded from the Calibre E-Book Management website. The application is free, although they do ask for a donation.

Once you have installed and opened Calibre, you can add ebooks to your library in various formats,

Add ebook to library

First of all, you need to have already converted your manuscript to an e-book format. The easiest might be to start with a PDF file.

In order to convert an ebook to another format, you first add the book to your Calibre library by clicking the Add books button. Your computer folders directory will display, allowing you to find the desired file.

You can also get the book from your connected ebook reader or from an online source.

Input formats

In order of decreasing preference: LIT, MOBI, AZW, EPUB, AZW3, FB2, HTML, PRC, RTF, PDB, TXT, PDF

PDF is a terrible format to convert from. For a list of the various issues you will encounter when converting PDF, see: Convert PDF documents.

 

Major input formats, in the order of preference, include:

LIT HTML TXT
MOBI PRC PDF
EPUB RTF  
FB2 PDB  

Other formats supported are:

CBZ HTMLZ RB
CBR LRF SNB
CBC ODT TCR
CHM PML TXTZ

Convert and see new e-book format

You can then select a book to convert from the list in your Library. Highlight the book and click the Convert books button. The Convert window will display.

Select output features

If the book is already in more than one format, you can use the Input format drop down list on the left to select the file type from which to convert.

Then select the Output format from the drop down list on the right of the window.

Output formats

The output formats, in alphabetical order, are:

EPUB LRF PML SNB
FB2 MOBI RB TCR
OEB HTMLZ PDF TXT
LIT PDB RTF TXTZ

Conversion features

You can adjust the conversion features to get the desired output. Selecting buttons on the left column will display dialog windows for the specific feature:

Metadata - inserts the book metadata into a "Book Jacket" at the start of the book

Look & Feel - rescales all font sizes, ensuring the output ebook is readable no matter what font sizes the input document uses

Hueristic Processing - automatic cleaning up book; disabled by default

Structure Detection - automatically detects or creates book structure, like chapters and Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Search & Replace

(format) Output - change output for selected book output format

Debug

(I wonder if you can convert into the same file type?)

Convert and see output

Click the OK button to convert the book file. After the file is converted, you can see the output in the Calibre ebook reader.

Summary

You can use Calibre to convert from one ebook format to another. The application supports the conversion of a comprehensive list of input formats to output formats.

To convert from one ebook format to another, add your ebook to the Calibre Library, adjust input and output features, and then convert and see output.


Use tools to make your work easier


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

Calibre eBook Management - Download from Calibre site

Calibre overview - Wikipedia

Review of Calibre - CNET

Publishing Resources

Books

Top-rated books on Self-Publishing


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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Self-Publishing topics

Using Calibre to Convert eBook Formats




Self-Publishing topics

Organize business

Decide to start business

Start publishing business

Run business

Publish hardcopy book

Printing preparations

Complete manuscript

Design book

Send to printer

Sell books

ePublishing

Prepare to market

Convert format

Check Copy in eReader

Submit

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