View Full Version : Best software to convert/create epub version for my book

03-07-2011, 12:49 PM

My name is David Pauly. My book has been published as paperback. Now the publisher gave me the right to create and sell my own non-kindle ebook version. I use Microsoft Word 2007 to write and edit my original document. My wife is trying to do the conversion/creation of the epub version from the Word document that we have. Here are some of her questions:

- Which software (preferably freeware, or InDesign CS5 and Word 2007 which we have) is the best for creating the epub version that can be run on Nook, iPad, Sony Reader and other major ebook reader machines?

- Should we add DRM if we are going to sell it on Barnes & Noble Nook website or other ebook websites?

- Which ebook websites should we contact?

- We would like to give a couple of giveaway ebooks to readers for quality reviews, should we put them on goodreads, redroom or other sites?

Thank you very much
David Pauly

03-07-2011, 03:01 PM
A lot is written around this site. As usual, everybody had it's own opinion. I am not familiar with InDesign, but from what I understand it has some quirks regarding epub generating, which has to be changed afterwards.

You can use Word and if you use styles, it will make things easier. I would advise Liz Castro's book about ePub. Some parts are written for iBooks, but in essence it is a good book which would help you enormously. Personally I use Word and Sigil. If you keep the layout relatively simple, it should pose no problems on any reader.

You will not find many supporters of DRM here. It will cost you a lot of money due to licensing and it can be stripped without real effort. I do not know whether B&N will require you to have DRM available, for your sake I hope not. Anyway, the Nook can read any ePub.

The websites are various. There are many (e-)bookstores available. You could try smashwords, which is used a lot and will allow you to sell DRM-free books. I do not know of give-away books, but you could try to give some away here. There are some very dedicated people here.

03-10-2011, 03:38 PM
check the Sigil forum for a good ePUB creation document. Also check Calibre to convert your existing document to ePUB. These two tools are both free and can give you what you want. They both have their own forums.


03-11-2011, 05:31 PM
Thank you very much for your suggestion. After reading much valuable information on Sigil here and doing much hard work, my wife has successfully created the EPUB version for my book.

According to her discovery, the best way to build an ePub version is cleanning out all of the stupid MS Word html tags and build the ebook from a very clean html source with just <p></p> and minimum information. It is much easier to add more format, fonts, color, images... to the book if you start up with this clean minimal file, Ughhh

03-11-2011, 06:34 PM
If you want to start with a Word doc, I would suggest you use OpenOffice (or now, LibreOffice) and the "writer2epub" plugin. (There is a writer2epub forum here as well.) As Toxaris suggested, use styles in your document as much as possible, to simplify your results. The OpenOffice to epub route will be much much easier than trying to clean up a Word-generated html file.

This will get you a fairly basic but functional epub, which you can easily tweak with Sigil to get the appearance you desire.

The epub will be fairly easy to convert to other ebook formats, particularly the mobipocket format for Amazon Kindle. (But that's a whole 'nother topic!)

03-11-2011, 06:52 PM
Word Perfect gives the cleanest HTML conversions I've seen since Microsoft Word 97.

03-11-2011, 09:29 PM
Word Perfect gives the cleanest HTML conversions I've seen since Microsoft Word 97.

I keep a copy of Word 97 and xcel 97 for exactly this reason.


03-15-2011, 07:43 AM
DaleDe, Word 97 generates HTML 3.2,
Word 2000 and later generates HTML 4.0, very awful HTML,
but ePub needs XHTML.

If not davidnpauly prefers freeware, I would recommend my ePub Maker
(see my signature), which based on HTML Cleaner for Word.

03-15-2011, 09:26 AM
It's relatively straightforward to convert HTML to XHTML. Sigil does it very well - import the HTML file(s), and Sigil does the work of turning the code into valid XHTML. It's important, though, to use Word's "Save As... Web Page (Filtered)" when saving the Word doc as HTML. That option actually does do a pretty good job of filtering out all of the MS proprietary code, and leaves only valid HTML, albeit too much of it in places sometimes (depending on how the formatting was handled in the Word doc).

@davidnpauly : if you decide you want your ebook encrypted with DRM, it isn't something you do, yourself, when creating the EPUB. If you decided to submit the EPUB to Barnes & Noble, for instance, it would be Barnes & Noble who would add the DRM encryption to the file, before making it available for sale on their website.