EBook Conversion for Self-Publishers

There’s a wide range of ebook conversion services out there, from tools to let you do it yourself to companies that will produce the whole ebook for you. Below is a list. (NOTE: I have not used all of these services). Remember: it’s important to test your files on all devices you use. Books will look different depending on format and device. Validating is also important. If a file is not valid, you will not be able to sell it on most platforms.

Paid EBook Conversions

Aptara. Good for when you need to convert large numbers of books.

AtoZ Ebook Conversions. They do EPUB, MOBI, and even author websites.

EBooks2Go. They make ebooks, enhanced ebooks, and apps.

Data Conversion Laboratory. Websites says they do quality work for textbooks.

EBook Architects. Highly recommended. They’re particular good with the KF8 (Kindle Fire) format.

EBook It. Conversion and distribution.

Gutenberg Technology. Good for textbooks.

Magic Software. Website says they will make interactive content.

Middleton Book Conversion. Website says they will customize.

Free and Easy Ebook Conversions

Note: These services do not always guarantee quality. Because they are automatic, there is a good chance it will have poor design, which will turn off readers. Some of these services also require or only let you sell your books through their sites.

BiblioCrunch. Easy to use site that converts Word docs to EPUB, MOBI, and PDF.

iAuthor. Drag and drop to make interactive ebooks. See my post, iAuthor.

Kindle Direct Publishing. Converts Word docs and EPUBs to MOBI. See How to Publish Your EBook for KDP for more details.

Kobo Writing Life. Very convenient, and allows you to download your EPUB file after, so you can distribute elsewhere.

Pressbooks. See my post, Using Pressbooks to Make EBooks.

PubIt. Barnes & Noble’s platform. Converts Word docs to EPUB.

Smashwords. Converts Word docs to EPUB. Also distributes to multiple channels and platforms.

DIY Ebook Conversion

Note: Not the same as from scratch. These services and tools have some automation or drag and drop capabilities. I’d recommend using them more as a starting point and then tweaking.

Adobe InDesign. Better for PDFs. Can be tricky converting to EPUB.

Calibre. Would not recommend. Makes messy code that doesn’t always validate, but good to be aware of.

Sigil. Easy to use, but doesn’t always validate.

Create EBooks from Scratch

Oxygen XML Editor. A handy tool, but you will have to pay. Free trial for the first 30 days.

TextWrangler. Use this free XML editor to hand code your ebook.

For Audio Books

Audacity. Free tool. Most useful for cutting up audio clips for children’s read aloud books/media overlay (currently only works for iBooks).

Online EPUB Readers (for testing)

Adobe Digital Editions. Free download, but cuts off reflowable ebooks sometimes.

Aldiko. For Android devices.

Firefox. Use this add-on to read in your browser.

Mobipocket. Don’t know too much about this one, but it claims to work with PCs.

Monocle. Use to display samples of your book on your website.

Readium. Good for EPUB3 books.


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