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Review of Calibre - EPUB Conversion Software

A Look into Calibre

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Calibre - eBook Management System

Calibre

Screen shot by J Kyrnin

Calibre is an ebook management system that is easy to use with many productive functions. Included in the offerings of this software package is the ability to take your book from HTML and turn it into EPUB format. EPUB, or Electronic Publication, is the open ebook standard from the International Digital Publishing Forum. EPUB works with two languages, XHTML and XML, to create reflowable content needed for many modern viewers, such as the Sony Reader.

What Does It Do?

While Calibre is an outstanding choice for converting your book to an EPUB format, it does much more. Ebook platforms vary by reader. Each device has its own specifications and requirements. What works for Sony Reader may not work for Kindle. Calibre will adapt one book to the correct configuration based on device selection.

The program does not just convert your original content. It will also reconfigure established digital books to the proper format and sync to a connected reader. For instance, if you have a library of books for Kindle and change over to a Sony Reader, Calibre will take the library, update the format of each book and sync it with your current device. The company calls their program a management system and that is a fitting description. The Calibre website lists the functions of the software as:

  • Library Management
  • Ebook Conversion
  • Syncing to Ebook Reader Devices
  • Downloading News from the Web and Converting it into Ebook Form
  • Comprehensive Ebook Viewer
  • Content Server for Online Access to Your Book Collection

How Much Does It Cost?

Calibre screen shot

Calibre screen shot

Screen shot by J Kyrnin

The software download is free, although the company does appreciate donations. I installed Calibre into my computer and converted my next novel to EPUB in just seconds. The software created the XML container file and packaged all files, including the source content, into a zip archive. Once you have the software on your computer, assign a reader to sync to or by-pass the process and go straight into the main screen.

Calibre Download Page

How Does It Work?

At the top of the screen, there is an icon driven menu system. The first image will ‘Add a Book’ to your library. When creating an EPUB document from original work, make sure the content is written in HTML or you will get an error message when running the conversion. I opened my .doc file in Microsoft Word and saved it as a webpage. Once your content is seated into the program, it will appear on the center stage. Click on the title to select it.

Move back to the top of the page and click on the ‘Conversion’ icon. This opens a dialog box that gives you the opportunity to create meta tags and enter credit information, such as author and publisher. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and press “Ok.” That is all there is too it, fast and painless. If you click on the book again, it will show you a properly formatted EPUB file for your book.

Pros

  • Free Program
  • Runs on Windows, Linux and OS X Systems
  • Creates XML Container Folder for You
  • Syncs to EReader Device
  • Fast and Simple to Use 'Search Book' Function

Cons

  • Source content must be in HTML. As far as cons go, that is not too shabby. When you are writing, save your file to HTML format.

User Reviews

 5 out of 5
Calibre, Member Eric Rodriguez

The program does everything that was mentioned in the article so I gave it a five star rating. However, the reason I am writing this review is to warn users to be wary of the download provider. I dow…More

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