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ebook conversion software

Car-maTheCarAdvocate's Photo
Posted Apr 15 2010 08:13 AM

There are many products claiming to be the best way to convert a Word document to a format suitable for ebook publishing. What's your experience? Which works for you?

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  msilver's Photo
Posted Apr 19 2010 01:44 PM

I recently messed around with this sort of thing because I got into a discussion at rpg.net about how silly it seemed to me that publishers only offered their e-book versions of print books as pdfs, and how really most of their books were basically just rulebooks that are written very similarly to how a technical book is written, so why can't I have it as an epub file? Someone responded that the reason they don't publish to multiple formats is the fact that it would "cost too much" to output their material in a variety of formats.

It's not like people write books on a legal pad these days. Before they go to a printing press, or are turned into pdf, they probably pass through some sort of text editor. From there, it's fairly trivial to output the text in whatever format you want.

I just looked up "word doc to ebook" and found this article on lexycle's website that gives a whole list of tools one could use to convert a book to epub. Calibre is pretty slick, and it's free, which is always a good price, if you want to experiment with a new piece of software.
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  macnlos's Photo
Posted Feb 28 2011 12:54 PM

Here I am reading a question for the first time and it was published in April of last year. But I assume it's nice to know that people are reading the question still.

I was over at the Pragmatic Programmer's site and I recall reading about their publishing process. As "pragmatic programmers" their solution is to have all of their content generated with a specific coding/tagging style which is their universal language. Then they have specific tools/compilers/translators to take that input and create what they need. From a book perspective this would be PDFs, MOBIs, and ePUBs. I just wish that everyone would follow a single input standard so that multiple common output standards could be created.
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  BrentKnowles's Photo
Posted Feb 28 2011 01:29 PM

As a writer I've taken to writing my stories and novels in plain text. Then I use a custom exporter to convert to different formats. This allows me to easily modify a story to meet the requirements of different editors.

I do wish there was a standard approach/format for doing this but I'm satisfied with my homebrew solution.

To answer the original question though: Since I post reprints of previously published stories to Smashwords I've been using their Word document converter to create decent ePub/mobi versions of my stories. Seems to work reasonably well -- but of course to do so you've published your work to Smashwords.

Brent Knowles, author of the Writers of the Future winning story 'Digital Rights' http://www.smashword...ooks/view/44132
Author of the Writers of the Future winning story 'Digital Rights'. Read that story and other reprints at Smashwords
  darlok's Photo
Posted Sep 04 2012 02:23 PM

As msilver notes:

Calibre is a great piece of software for not only converting different documents for your ereader it also acts as a library or ITUNES for your ebooks and documents, and yes it's also free.
  shalamerylei's Photo
Posted Dec 20 2012 12:19 AM

If you have many word files to convert, you need desktop software , here is an article on how to convert word to epub.