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Old 08-29-2010, 09:34 PM   #1
kajoob
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Arrow How do converted ePubs look on the Kindle?

eReader newbie here. I did a bit of searching on the forums here, but didn't really see a thread that answers my particular question.

I've been looking at eReaders for a little while now. ePub support is big in my book so I pulled the trigger on a used Kobo on eBay. I haven't gotten it yet, but I've played around with it the Borders store and it's fairly decent, but it does have its flaws. No wifi, page turns are a little slow, and there's no search feature. BUT, since it supported ePub, I got it instead of the Kindle.

After looking on these forums, I understand that you can convert ePubs into a Kindle compatible format. My questions is this: How do those converted ePubs look on the Kindle? Is it just convert and go, or is there some tinkering? If there is some tinkering, does the text looks just as good as a native amazon ebook?

I wouldn't mind converting ePubs if it meant I could use the Kindle since the reviews seem to indicate it's a really nice eReader. However, the most important thing is that the text and formatting is just as good as you would get from the amazon store. I want to take advantage of ePubs from my library system and I may sell the Kobo and get a Kindle if a converted ePub is the exact same quality of a native amazon eBook.

Thanks in advance.


Last edited by kajoob; 08-29-2010 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:09 PM   #2
ATDrake
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Firstly, library e-books will have DRM which you'd have to strip before converting them for the Kindle. This may or may not be quasi-legal in your area, depending, and requires a certain (fairly low) level of comfort with computer fiddling.

Secondly, how well an ePub converts depends on how complicated its formatting was to begin with. Very plain ePubs convert quite well, but ones with more advanced formatting will sometimes end up with display errors of varying severity (margins over-indented, drop cap initial standing all on its own with the rest of the word starting on a new line, etc.).

This is because the Mobipocket format which the Kindle uses can only do very simple layouts and is poorly documented so the people who make the conversion tools do the best they can with relatively little info. Amazon does have a second format, Topaz, for fancier display, but it's generally highly disliked and closed, so you can't convert to it.

The nice thing about ePub is that it's pretty easy to open up and fix the formatting, usually just by modifying the CSS file a little before conversion.

Generally speaking, when converting from ePub to Mobi, it shouldn't end up too badly, although you'll likely lose some display niceties along the way.

Hope this helps, and welcome to MobileRead!
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