Kindle Conversion Whizzes?

Apropos that previous blog entry, software challenges are assuring that I do fail to meet my holiday season profanity quota.

I’m trying to convert an  MS Word document into a Kindle format, and have it finessed – except for one minor glitch….


13 Responses to Kindle Conversion Whizzes?

  1. David December 6, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    Hi Jim- I might be able to help you out. I’ve done it both by converting to HTML and hand-editing, and by using Jutoh. I’m not sure which was easier, but…what’s up?

  2. Jay December 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    I’ve done it by saving the Word document in html, as David suggests, but then using a program called Calibre ( to convert it to Kindle .mobi format. I actually use Calibre to manage all my non-DRM books.

  3. Jim December 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Jay, to my consternation, my trial version of MS Word is blocking me from saving it in HTML. I may just ship it to an acquaintance with Word (may it burn in hell) and having them do the conversion.

  4. Jim December 6, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Actually – some of the comments i read on the web indicated that Calibre is a bit rough as far as preserving formatting when it converts. What is your experience?

  5. Bear December 6, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Mobipocket Creator (freeware) worked for me. And it’s a smaller package than Calibre. You still have the issue of saving your file in HTML, though. Open Office has an HTML save option, which I admit I haven’t used for ebooks; you might give it a shot.

  6. David December 6, 2012 at 9:48 pm #

    Jim solved his problem…but FWIW I’ve used OpenOffice’s HTML save. Well, LibreOffice’s, but it’s probably very similar. And the HTML is junk, which is why I hand-edited a lot of HTML.

    The problems really show up if you want readers to be able to choose their own font on the more recent Kindles. Which means defining font families all over the place won’t work anymore.

    And I use Calibre for my ebook “library” too. But it loses lots of formatting in the conversion.

    I wish I had a good/quick/easy solution. If any of you guys find one, let me know? It’s been taking me at least a few hours per book to get stuff reformatted. And that’s after I figured out a repeatable process. :-/

    Tomorrow I get to mess with Smashwords and B&N. So that’ll be a fun learning curve.

  7. David December 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Hey, cool! Jutoh just exported a Smashwords ODT file for me, which I opened in LibreOffice and saved as a Word .doc, which I then submitted to Smashwords.

    No problems, at least as far as their “autovetter” goes. And it also did fine with the epub version for B&N. So…it was a lot of work initially, and the built-in editor lacks a lot of features, but I’m a happy camper with the results.

    Jutoh even has mobi-only and smashwords-only styles built in, which means I don’t have to maintain separate documents.

  8. Jim December 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    David, thanks for the update. I’m glad you found a silver bullet.

    Thanks again for your help yesterday – I’m amazed at how Microsoft & Amazon Kindle software are…. maybe ‘counterintuitive’ would be the best substitute for a long string of profanity.

  9. Jim December 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    David Young has an excellent website at

    Definitely worth checking out…

  10. Bear December 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm #

    Heh. You think Amazon’s _software_ is counter-intuitive, Jim? Just wait until they demand that you prove you didn’t sell your rights to your own books to someone else, refuse to tell you what documentation would even meet their standard of “proof”, and delist _all_ your books (not just the ones they “challenged”).

  11. Jim December 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Oh dear.

    Well, at least I have something to look forward to.

  12. David December 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    Thanks, Jim. The site’s basically for readers of my fiction & people who enjoy my rants relating to writing & publishing. So far these are two fairly small groups of people. And I don’t think there’s much overlap, either.

    But I’m having fun with it.

  13. Jim December 7, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    I got the book uploaded and it is now under ‘review’ at Amazon. Should be available sometime in the next few days. Only glitch i saw in the Previewer was a single line zapped in the Preface.

    I’ll do the usual tub-thumping here when I get a live site/web page for it.