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Monday, May 2, 2011

Converting Ebook formats to make them compatible with your reader

So, I'm playing with a Nook Color (oh, the hardship) and trying to compare it to my Kindle and my tablet. One thing I've discovered is that ebook file formats for free stuff are in every format imaginable. Some Kindle compatible, some Windows (my tablet), some Nook (Android/Nook). If you want to see the specs for the two as well as which file formats are supported, check out my File Formats (and features comparison): Kindle vs. Nook matrix.

So, I stumbled across a few tools & resources for converting file formats for ebooks, especially for Kindle, since it does not natively support either .lit or .epub formats:
As to what  to use to convert files to mobi (for Kindle) the most common answer seems to MobiPocket. While there are TONS of products out there to create a PDF from a file (even the free PDFCreator can be used to create (print) a PDF from a file  -- if you can open it in the original format, of course), anyone who has ever read a book in PDF format knows what a pain that can be. MobiPocket also looks cool in that it has a tool to create ebooks. Kindle supports other formats of ebooks, but mobi seems like it is probably the easiest to work with.

I haven't tried borrowing a Kindle book from my library yet but but Lendle, a personal lending site, seems still be active, in spite of earlier problems with Amazon.


FSkornia said...

One of the most incredible tools out there when it comes to managing eBooks has to be Calibre ( Not only does it serve as a database to organize your eBooks (with full capabilities to download and edit metadata), but it also is able to easily handle conversions and transferring books to a variety of devices. There was a little tweaking required to get it to automatically transfer books onto my Droid to use in the Kindle app, but once I got it set, it's automatic.

Calibre also allows you to set up an RSS reader and actually collect and download news and blog posts to your eReader of choice. From what I've read, there are possible ways to do this updating over the air as well to WiFi Kindles.

One of Calibre's main strength is that it has a lot of defaults initially set on install and can recognize a variety of devices when they are connected to the computer. This makes the conversion and transfer process easy and mainly invisible to the users. They do not need to do a lot of customization to make it work.

From rumors I've seen, Calibre has grown in enough popularity that Amazon is considering purchasing them. Don't know about the full veracity of such rumors, but it does show that Amazon is keeping its eyes open for new and developing tools in the eBook arena.

robin said...

Wow, that's great info & thanks so much for sharing. I will check out calibre. I haven't looked at any of the online e-book management systems since I've primarily only been reading on my kindle (which I love love love love, can I say it again... love). However, Kindle doesn't do magazines and illustrated works well, so I've been thinking about how to do those. I'be been reading more blogs than magazines as a whole. I'm not sure if that is because of the way magazines are handled in a e version (pdf, bleech) but I am interested to see some of the uses of nook to create truly interactive magazines in color.

Ebook Erstellen said...

Interesting and important information. It is really beneficial for us. Thanks