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Old 09-13-2010, 03:41 PM   #1
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Combine Kindle Collections with Calibre Catalog

I have devised a way to combine the Collections feature on my K3 with the Calibre feature for creating a catalog to get a series listing for each author.

After obtaining the series meta data in Calibre, I sort first by series and then by author to have the data organized. I then highlight all the works by a given author and choose "create catalog of books" under the arrow next to the "Convert Books" icon in Calibre. Under the options for the catalog, I add the authors name in the title section, add a . in the regex box to exclude genre information and remove the checks from all the boxes except "series".
Once the Calibre book is created, I change the metadata to remove the description, and author and author sort to the authors name, plus I remove "catalog" from the tags section. I then convert the book to mobi format which updates the metadata for the catalog, and send the catalog book to my Kindle.

From my Kindle, I create a collection with the authors name and add both the books by the author and the new catalog book. The result is a collection where the first book is a listing of each book in the collection by series.

Seems like a bit of work, but really goes very quickly.

Many thanks to Kovid and his genius's for the catalog creating tool.

cheers
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Old 09-13-2010, 11:45 PM   #2
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What a concept! Thanks, Leep for the great idea.

Hadn't noticed your avatar.....beautiful picture!
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Old 09-15-2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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Did you ever know that you're my hero?
Seriously, I was just sitting down this morning trying to figure out how to do something like this in order to better organize my K3. You are a God!

couple of notes, think of these as "Common Mistakes The Clueless Make"

Can't uncheck all the boxes except series unless you have a newer/newest version of Calibre. I was 2 iterations behind and didn't have the series option so I couldn't figure out what you were talking about at first. I updated ad there it was.

When it says "Convert to Mobi" you have to do this even if it is already in Mobi .. so you are converting from Mobi to Mobi. If you don't, when you send it over to your Kindle it sees it as a Periodical and you won't be able to put it into a Collection, that option will be greyed out. But if you convert from Mobi to Mobi then you can move it to the Collection.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:16 PM   #4
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Can someone elaborate on what this does for you? I don't have my kindle yet (and have never seen/used one), so I am having a hard time visualizing what this accomplishes.

Thanks.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:24 PM   #5
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okay - let me see if I can explain it, I'm not always very good at this.
I just did it with the Arcane Society Series. This is a series of books 9 books that actually has 3 different author names. This particular author writes under one name when she is writing historical novels, another when she is writing contemporary, and another when she is writing futuristic. But all the books are tied together.

So on my Kindle I have a Collection titled "Arcane Society". You can think of this like a folder. In the folder I have 9 books listed. What shows on the Kindle is the Book Title and the Author name.

The problem is, when you are reading on your Kindle and you finish one book, you really don't have a way of knowing what the next book in the series is unless the name makes it obvious (like the Stephanie Plum books which or numerical or the Grafton books which are Alphabetical).

So this creates a "book" if you will which lists the series in order and gives a brief summary of each book in the catalog. You create this catalog using Calibre and the move it onto your Kindle and the place it in the correct Collection. Then when you open the Collection on your Kindle the very first "book" listed is your summary book.
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Old 09-15-2010, 01:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abookreader View Post
Did you ever know that you're my hero?
Seriously, I was just sitting down this morning trying to figure out how to do something like this in order to better organize my K3. You are a God!
You gave her Karma, right?
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
So this creates a "book" if you will which lists the series in order and gives a brief summary of each book in the catalog. You create this catalog using Calibre and the move it onto your Kindle and the place it in the correct Collection. Then when you open the Collection on your Kindle the very first "book" listed is your summary book.
A couple of refinements as I have worked with these collections. First, pointed out in another thread by a very clever poster , use a symbol at the beginning of your collection names which ensures that your collection folders appear first on your Kindle. One poster mentioned using a . as the symbol, which is less distracting. However, the . from the Kindle keyboard does not always work. You may actually need to open the symbols under the sym key to type the . Don't ask me why, I just ran into that very strange anomoly when I used the period from the keyboard.

Second, to ensure that the series index (Calibre catalog) is at the beginning in each Collection folder, add a 1 at the beginning of the catalog title when you make the catalog. This will enable you to sort your ebooks alphabetically by title within each folder with the index always first.

cheers
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:59 AM   #8
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It's a great idea OP but I confess to being a bit lazy with these things. I tend to look up said author on wikipedia where you normally get a biography plus book list and other info then use kindlepedia http://www.edukindle.com/downloads/kindlepedia/ which is a free tool to convert the wiki page into a nicely formatted mobi file ready to put on the Kindle.

It's very quick and easy but I appreciate that we all devise our own methods. The author you mention of the arcane society is on there.

The other point I like about the wiki method is it shows me what books I need to purchase to complete a series or author whereas with Calibre, it obviously only works with the books you've collected so far.

Last edited by TheKindleWorm; 09-16-2010 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:07 PM   #9
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That's a cool method to get info on Authors as well.

I also like fantasticfiction.co.uk as a resource for series info.

Nice to have this forum to explore different solutions for solving Kindle deficiencies.

cheers
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:20 PM   #10
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Thanks for the fantasticfiction link - never seen that site before
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:29 PM   #11
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okay - let me see if I can explain it, I'm not always very good at this.
I just did it with the Arcane Society Series. This is a series of books 9 books that actually has 3 different author names. This particular author writes under one name when she is writing historical novels, another when she is writing contemporary, and another when she is writing futuristic. But all the books are tied together.

So on my Kindle I have a Collection titled "Arcane Society". You can think of this like a folder. In the folder I have 9 books listed. What shows on the Kindle is the Book Title and the Author name.

The problem is, when you are reading on your Kindle and you finish one book, you really don't have a way of knowing what the next book in the series is unless the name makes it obvious (like the Stephanie Plum books which or numerical or the Grafton books which are Alphabetical).

So this creates a "book" if you will which lists the series in order and gives a brief summary of each book in the catalog. You create this catalog using Calibre and the move it onto your Kindle and the place it in the correct Collection. Then when you open the Collection on your Kindle the very first "book" listed is your summary book.
Thanks! I think I get it. I have actually been scheming ways to get books in a given series to display in the correct order. Having a 'summary' book is the next best thing to actually being able to set the sort order. I will try this out when I finally take deliver of my (wife's) kindle.

Last edited by foghat; 09-16-2010 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:50 PM   #12
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It's a great idea OP but I confess to being a bit lazy with these things. I tend to look up said author on wikipedia where you normally get a biography plus book list and other info then use kindlepedia http://www.edukindle.com/downloads/kindlepedia/ which is a free tool to convert the wiki page into a nicely formatted mobi file ready to put on the Kindle.

It's very quick and easy but I appreciate that we all devise our own methods. The author you mention of the arcane society is on there.

The other point I like about the wiki method is it shows me what books I need to purchase to complete a series or author whereas with Calibre, it obviously only works with the books you've collected so far.
That is kind of a neat idea too. I assume you take this generated kindle file and add meta data in calibre?
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Old 09-16-2010, 03:58 PM   #13
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idea rocks, wow fantastic
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:38 PM   #14
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I just got my Kindle yesterday so I'm not very familiar with it yet, but had been wondering if I can edit the metadata of the books themselves to help with sorting. I know some people would be really annoyed having their book titles be something like "1-Eye of the World", "2-Great Hunt", and "3-Dragon Reborn" etc., but if that doesn't bother someone can it be done and if so, would it be workable or risk screwing stuff up?
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Old 09-16-2010, 04:46 PM   #15
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Not sure if you can edit the metadata on the kindle itself. Could do it in Calibre - that said not sure if you can use Calibre if the file still has drm.

The main issue I see with naming like that is, that while it will work for sorting books within a collection, it will bugger up your Kindle wide sort by title.
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