Ebook Creation software for iPad, Kindle, Sony Reader, etc

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bigdaddymac, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. bigdaddymac macrumors regular

    Sep 20, 2007
    New York
    I'm trying to find a good software program that will allow me to create ebooks, primarily from PDF or .doc, that I can then upload to sell on Amazon, Apple, etc. for Kindle, iPad, the Sony Reader.

    I've seen many online, but it's hard to judge which is worth it. I am trying to find the top programs. Or even a site where someone has reviewed these programs. If you have any tips, they'd be appreciated.

  2. Middling macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009
    Calibre will let you convert between different formats but formatting will probably be lost and the results would certainly not be sufficient for sale.

    Your best bet would be something like Adobe InDesign which will let you layout your book as you want and supports direct export to epub format.

    Scrivener 2.0 is rumoured to directly support export to epub, so if you're using Scrivener to write your book that may be an option in a couple of months.

    If you're familiar with HTML then you could even hand-craft your books. Epub is relatively simple, just being a collection of XHTML files (one per chapter) along with a file containing TOC information and then zipped into an archive. Download a book from epubBooks and unzip it to explore their structure.

    Once you have your raw epub whichever middleman you have chosen to handle distribution should provide DRM. There are two main types; the Apple one (only works on iPads) and the Adobe one (works on pretty much every other ereader, but not iPad so far).

    Since Apple have, annoyingly, denied individuals from uploading their own books you will need a middleman such as Smashwords or Lulu. After both Apple and the middleman have taken their cuts you will have a little more than 50% of the sale price left.

    Amazon's Kindle doesn't read epubs, so you will need to use the .mobi format. I'm not familiar with any software on the Mac that will let you author the files and there are quite a lot of obscure tags in the format (it's based on HTML 4.01) so you'd be better off asking in the Amazon DTP forums.

    The good news is that from June the Amazon DTP t&c will change so that you receive 70% of the sale price of your book if you set the price between $2.99 and $9.99. Some people have tried to spread FUD about Amazon themselves setting the price for your book but nothing in the new t&c supports this.

    The only annoyance is that both Amazon and Apple state that you can't undercut them by selling your ebook for less elsewhere so you can't make up your losses in lower royalties from the Apple+middleman route by charging a higher price. Hopefully increased sales on the iPad will make up for it.
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Adobe InDesign is gross overkill for an ePub publication. The OP needs something like freeware ePub creator eCub if he does it himself. If he uses a third party to make his missive available on the iPad and other ebook readers, then he must use Smashwords.com. This company requires that submissions be in the form of Word .doc files formatted according to its specifications.
  4. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009
    1) Use open office to write
    2) Save in .rtf format (I think that is correct)
    3) Use Calibre to convert from .rtf to .epub, it will preserve (mostly) the formatting.
    4) Profit??
  5. Middling macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009
    I forgot about eCub, although the last time i had a play with it i wasn't that impressed.

    I believe it's also possible to export from Scrivener in Multimarkdown and have Calibre format a decent epub, but so far my results haven't been so good.

    Yeah, it's annoying that Smashwords doesn't allow direct epub uploading. Lulu, however, does.
  6. alkinea macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2012
    odt to mobi & epub

    Here's a new software to convert odt files (LibreOffice) to mobi (kindle) and epub (nook, sony, kobo.)
    It is very easy to use (no need to learn HTML) it's fast and has a few unique features to make beautiful ebooks.
    You can try it here:
    It's still in beta and of course, is free.
    I'd love some feedback from authors to decide what to add in the next release :)

  7. fgparamio macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2012
  8. AuPhalanx macrumors regular


    Apr 23, 2004
    Wilkes-Barre, PA
    Sigil. It's all you need to produce epubs.


    As someone upstream noted, though, converting from PDF to epub will yield not-so-good results. The best way to do the conversion would be to go from PDF to text then use Sigil to do your formatting and editing. (The primary editing you will have to do when going from PDF to epub will be correcting the hyphenated words.)

    After you create your epub, you'll then validate it at Threepress.


    Then you should be ready to go.

  9. alkinea macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2012
    Just updated Alkinea (a free software to convert odt to mobi&epub) for enhanced compatibility with Amazon.

    There's a new option to convert headings and drop caps to pictures that can be legally embedded in the ebook, like here (chapter from Kea, T3W):



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