Converting Files to E-Books

I’m well aware that all the Scrivener users are probably feeling smug right now, but in no time even the non-scrivener-folks will be full of smugness just like you fancy pants.

I know firsthand how irritating it can be after you’ve finished your MS and you don’t know how to convert it into a readable e-book format. It is really annoying to not be able to read your precious book on your e-reader after all the handwork you’ve put in it. After months (or years) of waiting, it’s only fair to be able to read your book as an e-book. But how?

After a little bit of research on the internet, I finally came up with a permanent solution.  Ta-da! I found a great free software that can be easily downloaded and quickly installed and can be used offline. It converts the files pretty quickly and you can choose from quite a huge variety of e-book formats.

This amazing software is CALIBRE. (You can download it here.)

It is a one-stop solution for e-book management and works beautifully. You can visit their page and easily download the software for Windows as well as MacBooks.

Converting files with Calibre is not only hassle-free but also extremely quick.

Step-by-step guide to convert a file to various e-book formats:

  1. Download and install Calibre from here.
  2. Open Calibre by double clicking on it’s icon.
    Screen Shot 2015-10-03 at 12.30.02 pm
    Calibre icon

    Calibre home screen
    Calibre home screen
  3. Click on ‘Add books’ and select the file that you want to convert into an e-book.
    Here I’m selecting the .doc file of my book, but you can choose a file in any format.

    Select your book or any other file you want
    Select your book or any other file you want
  4. Now, after the book is added to Calibre’s library (it takes only 3 seconds), select the book and click on ‘Convert books’ icon.Take two minutes and observe the window that appears on the screen. Do not rush because this is where you’ll select the format, book name, series name (if any), author name, publisher name, cover design, and other crucial stuff.Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 11.32.20 am
  5. After filling up all the required fields select the desired format (epub, mobi or any one from the long list) from the top right corner of this window. After selecting the format click on ‘OK.’
    It takes around 10 seconds (or less) to convert your book/file into the selected format. GO to step-6 if you’ve converted in your desired format. But, if you want to convert the book into more than one format, select the same file again from home window and convert it to desired format. Don’t worry at this point because all the converted books will be saved under one folder only.
  6. Now to check the book(s) right click on the file in the library and select ‘Show in folder.’ There will be a folder with your name (author name) in the window that pops up. Open it and there you’ll have another folder with your book name and in that you’ll have your book/file in the format(s) you selected along with the original copy.
    Folder with author name
    Folder with author name
    Folder with book name
    Folder with book name

    My book in the formats I selected (mobi, epub and txt)
    My book in the formats I selected (mobi, epub and txt)

There you have it, your file or book converted into various e-book formats. To get it on your reading device, simply copy the appropriate format and paste it in your device or transfer it via DropBox.

Here’s my book on Kindle (it’s the un-edited copy I created for a few author friends to get their testimony):

I hope you’ll find this article helpful. Let me know if you have any questions or doubts.

Did you already know about Calibre or do you use any other software to convert files? Please share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

All the images used in this article are my own, except for the featured image.

Featured Image Source: Pixabay

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

32 responses to “Converting Files to E-Books”

  1. I’m definitely going to give this a try. I remember last year, I tried to study a bit on how to create your own e-book and it was a complete pain! It went all smoothly, at first, in my opinion. And then once it showed up on my Kindle and I opened it to read, it was a complete hot mess. Of course for me, I just wanted it up on there so I could read my story all over to begin planning for this year’s new edition for NaNoWriMo. But if I win, looks like this will be my new best friend, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there (sorry, didn’t get your name.)
      Thanks a lot for reading. And I can understand how frustrating it can be. As far as I know, the files converted with Calibre don’t cause any trouble. But if they do then please let me know and I’ll look into it. My e-book is running quite smoothly (so far) except for the fact that I can’t seem to change the font to one in the Kindle. But that might be because I wrote the book in Courier, which is a really old font.
      I do hope that Calibre works for you!
      Nice to meet you, I checked out a few posts on your blog and I love them. Looking forward to read more from you 🙂
      BTW, even I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, would love to add you to my buddies there 🙂


  2. My situation is a little longer. I have over 1100 posts and I have to open up the posts I want to publish on kindle but have to set up the table of contents, figure out the order and break it up into various chapters and books. Plus the media will not transfer from pages to kindle just the html, though amazon said it would. So on top of that I have to keep the posts open to put the media in manually. Animated gifs will not work. I have enough posts to publish a good 10 books plus I have stuff offline.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmmm… now that’s a little tricky! I have no idea about weather gifs actually work on Kindle. I have Kindle paperwhite and I’ve never seen an animated gif on it. Come to think of it, I’ve actually never though about it before. I’ll try it later with Calibre.
      And that’s great. I hope you put all the material and posts together and publish your book(s) soon.
      Have a great day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh wow. THank you so much for sharing this Heena. Great information. I am planning on making a book myself. Do you know if it is possible to make it with images. Like poetry in an image type of thing?

    Liked by 1 person

        • Same here! Thanks a lot, Sue and all the very best to you 🙂
          I’m not as prepared as I would like as I’m a little busy with work and pleasing new clients (taking a break is costing me dearly. lol!) I guess I’ll be doing half the prep in NaNo itself. And on top of all this we have Diwali in November (Hindu’s biggest festival) and my family is coming to my place for 10 days… Guess it can’t get better than this 😉
          What are your plans for NaNo?


          • Well, at least you’ve taken advantage of all nano has to offer! What ever you get from it is a good thing! I’m hedging – not sure. I’m thinking about it. I have a book outlined… hedge hedge. Guess I’ll just have to wait and see if the spirit moves me!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I agree and I think even I’m going to wait and see what happens. Right now I feel a little emotonally drained. Guess I’ll plot this new book in NaNo and work on a short story or two on the side.
              It’s always so good to have a nice chat with you, Sue! I’m already feeling better now… less drained! 😀

              Liked by 1 person

  4. I was thinking of creating a short story book for my blog and your post comes in handy!! You have written this post with such precision that anyone can work easily on their e-books. Thanks so much for sharing Heena 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome, dear. And thanks you for reading this post 🙂
      After completing my book I had a hard time figuring out how to get it on my Kindle to read it once before editing and finally when I figured out how to do it, I thought that it was worth sharing as I’m sure a lot of people find it hard. This software is really handy to use and it takes only a few seconds to convert books to required format.
      I’m glad that this article helped you 🙂 And I wish you all the best for your e-book. I’ll look forward to read it someday 🙂


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