If you’re planning to self-publish a book, it becomes essential, if not compulsory, to know how to convert your final product into epub, mobi or other eBook formats. Why, you must know before your book is out for sale how it is going to appear to your reader. A badly formatted book is not only going to kill your sales for this particular book, but also award you a poor reputation that might play negative role in your future books too.
In this article I am going to discuss the conversion of your book into epub. There are many software available that can help you accomplish the task, for example Calibre and Sigil. We’re going to convert using Calibre.
Format and save the document. Most newbie writers use MS Word for type out their books (read our article on useful Software for writers), though you may use LibreOffice or OpenOffice for the same results. After you’ve written, edited and proofread your work, you must Format your book to be converted. Read this detailed article to know how.
Once you’re satisfied with the formatting, you can save the document as .docx or .html. Assuming that you’d be more familiar with .docx format than html, it is advised to save as .docx (.doc is not supported by Calibre, so DON’T save as .doc).
Download and install Calibre. You can download the software from this link.
Add the book. Open the freshly installed Calibre. You’ll find “Add Book” button on the left top corner of the program.
Edit Metadata. In the next step you must click on the button “Edit Metadata”. You may add the basic details about the book including Title, Author, Series, Publishing Date, Publisher, Language etc. Also, add the book cover from the “Change Cover” area.
Preparing for conversion. Click “Ok” at the edit metadata screen to go back to the previous screen. Now click on the “Convert Books” button. On top right corner chose “epub” in the output format, if not selected already. For any additional formatting you may use this screen to edit accordingly. Go to the “Look and feel” tab, and choose “Remove spacing between paragraphs”.
Add the table of contents. If you added a manual Table of Contents in the book using bookmark method (as shown in this article), you may skip this step. However, if you didn’t you may add Table of Contents by choosing “Table of Contents” tab. Provided you formatted the chapter names using Heading feature in MS Word, In this add click on the Wand icon on right side of Level 1 TOC. Choose h1 (h2, h2, etc. depending on your heading structure) in the dropdown menu for the first option – Match HTML tags with tag name.
Final Conversion. Click “Ok” and your conversion will start automatically (shown by a job progress icon on right downward corner). Now, look for the “Save to disk” button on right-top corner and save to a folder of your choice.