Learn Calibre

You want to convert your file into various e-book format, I would recommend Calibre. This tool allows you to convert e-book into different format, let you organize e-book collections like a library.

Calibre is an open-source e-book management tool so you can freely download it here.

I’ve been using the 2.78 version, below are available formats. The most popular format is MOBI for kindle publishing and if you want to edit out your e-book, convert it to EPUB or AZW3 format.

TOOLBARS

ADD BOOKS – add existing or empty books
EDIT METADATA – edit the title, series, author, tags, cover, date published and rating
CONVERT BOOKS – convert e-books into various format.
VIEW – if you want to see the output of e-book. This is the default viewer for calibre.
GET BOOKS – you can download e-books
FETCH NEWS – you can download news
HELP – you can browse the user manual
REMOVE BOOKS – you can delete books
CALIBRE LIBRARY – let you organize books
SAVE TO DISK – export books
CONNECT/SHARE – share your e-books
EDIT BOOK – e-book editor
PREFERENCES – other tools to enhance the use of calibre

 

HOW TO CONVERT 

Just click ADD BOOKS, select the file you want to convert and click CONVERT BOOKS. If you think your book is already well formatted, choose the desired format and click the OK button but if you want some changes, you can check out calibre’s additional tool for formatting e-book on the left corner of screen while converting e-book.

METADATA – for editing author, title, publisher, tags, and series. If not applicable then leave it blank.

LOOK & FEEL – for editing fonts, layout, text, styling and transform styles.

HEURISTIC PROCESSING – will help you fix errors in formatting. Read the description to understand more of its function.

PAGE SET-UP – every format has its default page set-up. You can change it if you want.

STRUCTURE DETECTION – if you understand its function you can change it but if not just let it be.

TABLE OF CONTENTS – for creating table of contents.

SEARCH & REPLACE – if you understand its function you can change it but if not just let it be.

MOBI OUTPUT – here you can polish more the output of your e-book. I always use the ‘put generated table of contents at the start instead of end’ function.

If you want to see the output, click the VIEW button or you can simply double click the book you’re working with.

Not satisfied with the format of converted e-book? Let’s start at the scratch.

HOW TO CREATE E-BOOK WITH BASIC HTML COMMANDS

When I use calibre to convert my .docx file, it didn’t separate the chapters instead I got a one whole page of all contents. What I did was create my e-book from scratch using basic html commands. Glad I have backgrounds. Do not be afraid if you don’t have background in HTML because I will teach you everything here. I will let you use my css and techniques.

LET’S BEGIN

ADD BOOK and CONVERT it to EPUB/AZW3 format. Once done, click EDIT BOOK and the epub will be automatically generated and open to a separate page. As you open the editor page, you will see that calibre automatically created an html page for you. The titlepage.xhtml and the index.html which you can simply edit out or delete. I usually delete the index.html file and leave the titlepage.xhtml.

DELETING DEFAULT HTML, IMAGES AND STYLESHEETS

Right click the file you want to delete and click delete selected file. Do it also for style and images. Don’t delete titlepage.xhtml since we are going to use it for front cover.

ADDING YOUR OWN CONTENTS

  • ADDING COVER

    Go to TOOLS at the top corner, third column and look for ADD COVER then click it. Click IMPORT IMAGE and look for your file then click ok.

  • ADDING CSS FILE

    Go to FILE at the top corner, first column and look for NEW FILE then click it. Name the file and put .css after the filename, like this style.css then click OK. Let’s make another one and name it as style2.css.

 

Copy and paste this css code to both of the css file we have created a while ago.

body {
display: block;
margin: 5pt;
page-break-before: always;
text-align: justify;
}
h1, h2, h3, h4, h5 {
font-weight: bold;
margin-bottom: 1em;
margin-left: 0;
margin-right: 0;
margin-top: 1em;
}
h6 {
font-weight: normal;
margin-bottom: 0;
margin-left: 0;
margin-right: 0;
margin-top: 0;
}
p {
margin-bottom: 1em;
margin-left: 0;
margin-right: 0;
margin-top: 1em;
text-indent: 60px;
}
a {
color: inherit;
text-decoration: inherit;
cursor: default;
}
a[href] {
color: blue;
text-decoration: none;
cursor: pointer;
}
a[href]:hover {
color: red;
}
.center {
text-align: center;
}
.cover {
height: 100%;
}

FOR STYLE2.CSS

Add this to the bottom

p:first-of-type:first-letter {
font-size: 60px;
}

 

HOW TO USE THE CSS FILE

I use the style2.css for epilogue, chapters, and prologue while the style.css is for titlepage, copyright, author’s note, acknowledgement and teaser.

Simply put this on every xhtml page you’re working with. Just simply change the href to style2.css if you are going to use the style2.css. Put the code inside the head tag.

<link href=”style.css” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css”/>

 

  • ADDING XHTML FILE as the content of your book per page.

Normally, a book has title page, acknowledgement page, author’s note page, copyright page, teaser and the chapters. So it’s up to you how many xhtml file you need to create, one page means one xhtml file.

LET’S BEGIN

Go to FILE at the top corner, first column and look for NEW FILE then click it. Name the file and put .xhtml after the filename, like this titlepage.xhtml then click OK. Repeat it for all the pages you need.

Open one of the xhtml file and you will see like the picture below.

You can insert content inside the body tag and don’t forget to insert this code inside the head tag <link href=”style.css” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css”/>

Then you can copy paste the content of e-book inside the body tag and edit it with basic html tags. See below:

BASIC HTML TAGS

<p> </p> for paragraph
<\br> for breakline
<i> </i> for italic
<b> </b> for bold

<h1> </h1>, <h2> ,

,

,

,

for headings where H1 is the biggest and H6 is the smallest.

 

I use H1 for the title of the book in the title page and H2 for all the pages I wanted to appear on the table of contents. We will discuss later how to incorporate that into converting files.

I use H1 for the title of the book in the title page and H2 for all the pages I wanted to appear on the table of contents. We will discuss later how to use that into converting files.

 

CALLING CSS TAGS

Let’s say you want your header to put at the center just put class=”center” inside the header tags. You can also use it with the paragraph tags. See example below:

You want a big letter on the first word of paragraph, just put class=”first-letter” inside the paragraph tags. See example below:

 

SAMPLE PAGE FROM MY EPUB

 

CREATING TABLE OF CONTENTS

Let’s assume, you have done creating your e-book and you want to create table of contents with ease. Just convert the e-book to your desired format. On the TABLE OF CONTENTS tab, click the wizard wand.

On the dropdown menu, choose h2 tag and click OK. Make sure that all the page you want to appear in the table of contents has a title that were put in h2 tags.

You can also put this code //h:h2:

 

Creating e-book from scratch is not easy because you will manually put html tags especially within the paragraph but if you want a flawless output of your e-book, it’s worth a try.

If you think it’s a waste of time, just look for other alternatives but this is what I’ve been doing since I started creating e-book using calibre. If I discover easy steps than this, I will surely share it so subscribe and stay connected.

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Sham Villaflores

She's an artist at heart. A Filipino author who writes tagalog romance novelette. Also a graphic artist and web designer. She loves to sing from the heart and also knows how to draw. Her skills, knowledge and wisdom comes from being independent, experiences, and the eagerness to learn something useful to her life's journey and interest.

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