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Old 01-10-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
halfgone
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Converting Google eBooks to .mobi problem

Hello,

I'm having a problem with certain free epubs I download from google books. When I convert them to mobi, it completes without an error, but when I open the book, I'm missing sometimes the first few pages, and sometimes the first chapter or so. It doesn't happen on all epubs from google, just occasionally.

Do you know what could be happening? here is one book that has missing text, and here is one that doesn't.

Do you have any ideas how I can fix this?

Also, for the book that failed, I tried to convert it to html so I could manually edit it and then convert to mobi, but the html conversion was missing the same text.

Thanks for any help you can give.

HG
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Calibre 0.8.34
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:27 PM   #2
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There are some pages in the beginning that are not text but are scanned images. There are most likely the pages you are missing.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:08 PM   #3
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You would think, but that's not actually the case.

In the example shown, the epub has actual text (re-flowable and all) for the first chapter, whereas the mobi starts on the second chapter. it is actually subtracting information.
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Old 01-10-2012, 10:16 PM   #4
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An epub file is just zipped up html, unzip it and look at the relevant parts (you can use the tweak epub feature in calibre to do this). I suspect you will find the text is not really text. It will be an image, or an SVG or have something else funky about it
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Old 01-11-2012, 01:41 PM   #5
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Thanks Kovid, I'll check it out.

As a quick'n'dirty fix, I just converted the book to text, and then opened the epub in the Calibre reader and the copy/pasted the first chapter into the text file. Next I quickly marked up the text using this guy's suggested techniques and now I have my book. It has to have been text, or else I wouldn't have been able to copy/paste.

Must be some strange coding in the epub that Calibre is thinking is markup and not text or something. I was downloading some sherlock holmes the other day and half of them were having the same problem.

Thanks for the help.

HG
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Old 01-11-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
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He's got a point.

There are graphics interspersed in the beginning, but that's not the problem.

This is related to how Calibre deals with Covers in epubs.

The epub is separated into 20 files. The 1st file includes the cover, some graphics, and eventually, the entire 1st chapter.

This 1st file is at the top of the Spine section of the OPF.
The file is also listed in the Guide section as the Cover.

Everything in this 1st file disappears in the mobi conversion. That's why he can't see the 1st chapter, because it's inside this 1st file.

When I separate the cover into its own file and adjust the Manifest, Spine and Guide sections accordingly, then the conversion works out fine.

By the way, the second book which he offered as an example which didn't have this problem actually does have the problem as well. But in that case, there was only a Preface that went missing so he appears not to have noticed.

So the moral of the story is, don't have the cover mixed in with anything else.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:11 PM   #7
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Sigh, you'd think google would be able to figure out how to create epubs correctly. Not much I can do about this.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff L View Post
The epub is separated into 20 files. The 1st file includes the cover, some graphics, and eventually, the entire 1st chapter.

This 1st file is at the top of the Spine section of the OPF.
The file is also listed in the Guide section as the Cover.
A possible simple work around is to use tweak ePub to delete the Cover entry in the Guide section. It sounds like the ePub would then be "legal", although without an explicit cover.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:19 AM   #9
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Wow. cool. Thanks for the info. (And thanks for showing me what I missed!) I've never used the "tweak epub" feature of Calibre, so I'll have to click around and see what I can learn.

Thanks again,

HG
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