eBook Formatting Services

How to Open and Upload an EPUB into Kindle using Calibre


"EPUB (short for electronic publication) is a free and open e-book standard by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). Files have the extension .epub.
"EPUB is designed for reflowable content, meaning that an EPUB reader can optimize text for a particular display device. EPUB also supports fixed-layout content. The format is intended as a single format that publishers and conversion houses can use in-house, as well as for distribution and sale. It supersedes the Open eBook standard." (source Wikipedia)
This is a very common format and an author interested in self-publishing can now format his/her eBook as an EPUB and upload it to the different online retailers, including Amazon and Smashwords. An EPUB can also be uploaded directly into all eReaders devices (Nook, Kobo, iPhones, Androids, etc), that is all except for the Kindle. But there is a way to upload it indirectly using a free software program called Calibre.
Step One:
If you won, purchased or downloaded an EPUB, save it to your hard drive.
Step Two:
Go to the following link:
Calibre is free software that can be used to view and make conversions into the different eBook formats. Begin by clicking on "Download Calibre" and follow the instructions.

Click Download Calibre


Select your platform


Click Download Calibre and follow the directions


Step Three:
Once the software is installed in your computer, open it and Add Books by clicking on the icon on the left hand corner.

Calibre Home Page


Click Add Books


Select the eBook from your hard drive


The eBook is now on Calibre


Step Four:

Now that the Sample eBook is uploaded into Calibre, you can open it by clicking on the EPUB link right below the cover image.


Click on EPUB to open the eBook


Step Five:
At this point you could read the whole book on your computer using the arrows or Table of Contents to go between pages.


Step Six:

To upload the EPUB into a Kindle, connect the device to your computer. You will notice a change in the Menu options on Calibre once it has detected the device.



Send to device and Device will now appear on the menu area in Calibre.

Library refers to the items uploaded in Calibre.

Step Seven:

Making sure your eBook is highlighted, click Send to device. Because the format is not compatible with Kindle a message will appear asking to convert the format, click Yes.



Depending on the size of the file the process can take a few seconds to a few minutes. You will know the eBook is on the Kindle once you see the confirmation On Device



Step Eight:

You can now Eject the device from your computer and read the eBook on your Kindle!



Good reading! If you have any questions please post them on the Comments section below.


How to upload PDF/MOBI/PRC/AZW/TXT documents to a Kindle

There are certain documents that can be uploaded directly into a Kindle. The compatible documents contain .pdf, .mobi, .prc, .azw or .txt after the document name. In a few simple steps you can upload these files into a Kindle.

For this demonstration I will be uploading the file named "test.prc" into a Kindle Touch.
Step 1
Connect your Kindle directly into your PC with the USB cable that came with the Kindle.
If this is the first time you do it, the computer might have to take a moment to install the drivers.


Once the installation is complete go to Start > Computer and you will see the Kindle as a disk drive.
Double-click the icon.


Step 2
Once the Kindle drive is open, double-click on Documents.
Step 3
Now you can copy (Ctrl+C) from your computer files and paste (Ctrl+V) into your Kindle files.


Step 4
To remove the Kindle from your computer click on the Eject icon and then unplug the device. If you don't see an Eject icon, right-click the Kindle icon and choose Eject from the list of options,

Step 5

Check the main menu in your Kindle and you should be able to see the new document in it.
Enjoy reading!


If you're interested in self-publishing or have any questions, you can contact me through my website  www.ebook-format.com


Examples of Print-on-Demand Books (POD)


It used to be that self-published authors had to spend thousands of dollars to print hundreds of books that would arrive at their homes all at once and then they would have to figure out how to sell them. Today self-published authors have more options to sell a book, now the headache producing problem is how to promote it.
A book can be sold as a digital item or as a Print-on-Demand (POD) book from sites such as, Lulu, CreateSpace and Lightning Source. The concept is that a book will be printed only when a copy is sold, thus no thousands of dollars for inventory are needed. The POD company takes its cut from the price of the book and the rest goes to the author.
There are so many topics about POD books and site comparison, the initial costs for the author, cost-benefit analysis, tips to avoid expensive mistakes, etc. In this post I just want to show you how a POD book looks, I bought one book from three popular sites and in the video below you will be able to see the books I'm mentioning here:
Author: Carol Fenner
Site: CreateSpace via Amazon
Format: 5 x 8, Paperback, white paper
Size: 423 pages
Notes: While the book is sturdy with a strong bonding, the cover tends to curl up a bit. You'll be able to see that on the video.
Author: Diane Schochet
Site: Lightning Source via Barnes & Noble
Format: 5 x 8, Paperback, cream paper
Size: 501 pages
Notes: Same as above, except the cover remains straight.
Author: Jonathan Culver
Site: Lulu via author's site
Format: 6 x 9, Paperback, cream paper
Size: 227 pages
Notes: Strong bonding and sturdy book. This book is full of experimental writing styles and while the page layouts may look unusual, it's exactly how the author wanted it to look.
Author: Claudia Alexander
Site: CreateSpace proofs
Format: 8 x 10, Paperback, white paper, color illustrations
Size: 40 - 50 pages
Notes: Windows to Adventure will be a series of 12 Children's books with an emphasis on science, this is still a work in process but stay tuned for their publication! You will see how color and black & white illustrations look. While these proofs are from CreateSpace I did not notice any curling on the book covers.
Additional notes:
  • In all cases I got the books within 5 - 8 business days, since I choose standard shipping the transit time took the longest; the printing itself was done within 1 - 3 business days.
  • The book covers for all books, except "I Am An Island", where made by Graphicz X Design.
  • While I worked on the layout for all books, except "I Am An Island", you will see my work only on the Windows to Adventure books. The layout I made for Running and Dancing, and Cog Stone Dreams have not been uploaded to the POD sites yet.


If you're interested in self-publishing or have any questions, you can contact me through my website www.ebook-format.com

ISBN for self-publishing


One of the first questions I get from authors interested in self-publishing is "Where do I start?", the easy answer is "Depends if you have ISBN numbers or not" most of the time I'll get the e-mail equivalent of a blank stare. So here it is short and sweet:
What is an ISBN?
"ISBN" stands for "International Standard Book Number", open any book to the copyright page and you will see the number. You can also see it in the back of a book above the bar code.

Example of ISBN on the copyright page


Example of ISBN on the back cover of a book


This number is unique to a title, edition, format and publisher. While it is mostly associated with print books, you might need one or more even if your book is available only digitally.

You DON'T need an ISBN if:
  • You decide to publish with Amazon/Kindle offering the book only on digital form.
  • You decide to publish with Smashwords.com offering your book only on their Standard Catalog.
  • You'll be selling the book on your own website
You DO need an ISBN if:
  • You want your eBook to be available on the Apple Store, Sony and Barnes & Noble.
  • You want to offer your book on print format through Print-On-Demand (POD) sites like CreateSpace, Lulu or Lighting Source. In this case, you would also need to purchase a bar code for the back cover.
As I mentioned before, an ISBN is unique to the format, so the same book can have several of them. For example, let's say your book will be available in:
  • Your own or a book seller website in PDF form
  • On Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble
  • In print both soft and hard cover
You will need:
  • One number for the pdf version. (not mandatory, unless it is required by the online distributor)
  • One number for the epub version in Apple and Barnes & Noble.
  • None for the Amazon/Kindle format.
  • One number for the hard cover print version.
  • One number for the soft cover print version.
So in total you would need 4 different ISBN numbers for the same title. If the book is non-fiction and needs to be updated and re-published as a new edition, it would need a whole new set of ISBN numbers.
The cost is $125 for one number, $250 for a block of 10 numbers, $575 for 100 numbers, and so on. You can purchase them at Bowker and you can get more details at ISBN.org
A few more things:
  • An ISBN cannot be re-used even if the book is out of print.
  • ISBN numbers cannot be transferred or sold by anyone other than Bowker.
  • The same ISBN number can be used to sell the book worldwide.
  • Some printing companies or sites will offer to assign an ISBN number for free, the issue with this is that the printing company will appear as the publisher, not the self-publishing author, be careful on this and read the fine print.


So the follow up answer to the initial question of "Where do I start?" is: if you don't have the money to buy ISBN numbers, then Amazon/Kindle for you, if you have a block of 10 numbers, the Internet is the limit!


If you're interested in self-publishing or have any questions, you can contact me through my website www.ebook-format.com or you can email me at Ellie.Mendz@gmail.com

eBook Cover Guidelines

A book, either printed or digital, really is judged by its cover which can create a sense of what's inside. Covers intended for eBooks will need to take into consideration a few guidelines since most of the eReader devices have a black and white screen. Even though full color images can be seen with Kindle Fire, tablets and smartphones; it is better to create a cover than can be seen in any eReader device.

The eBook cover guidelines for those publishing in Kindle are the following:
  • Images should be JPEG or TIFF (with minimal compression)
  • Dimensions of at least 500 x 800 pixels
  • Maximum of 2000 pixels on the longest side is preferred
  • Ideal height/weight ratio of 1.6
  • Save at 72 dots per inch (dpi)
  • Cover art with white or very light background will benefit if a narrow border in medium gray is added
So, what does that all mean? Basically avoid very light or very dark colors. In some cases only a few modifications are neccesary in order to achieve a great look.
As an example, I worked on Frosted Shadow by Nancy Warren and this is the first draft of the cover she was intending to use:


This is how it looks like on my Sony eReader:



I loved the cover, but I recommended her to go back to her cover designer Sharon McKenzie at LooksGoodCreative.com and make a few changes. Make the tip of the eyeshadow brush more noticeable and sharpen the knife. This is the updated cover used in the book:


And this is how it looks on the eReader:


Big difference, right? If you have an eReader, you can test out a cover by converting it into a PDF or EPUB file and uploading it on your device. Details count!
If you're interested in self-publishing or have any questions, you can contact me through my website www.ebook-format.com or you can email me at Ellie.Mendz@Gmail.com

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