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I have a bunch of book length text files I'd really like to read on my EPUB reader (as it happens FBReaderJ). What would be the best route to convert them?

I have access to Mac OS X and Linux (Ubuntu). Probably happiest with a command line, but would setting for a GUI for batch conversion.

My criteria for success are really based upon the shortfalls I have found with Calibre

  • must do the whole book
  • at least a guess of what the title/author may be. Minimum the source filename for the title.
  • hygienic with files it uses - tidies up after itself (this is less important)
  • doesn't try to be an all-in-one library manager (again, less important).
  • is lenient in parsing special characters (e.g. < and & characters).
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Happened upon this thread many moons later.

Just liked to point out there is a command line tool Calibre uses to convert. It's called (surprise, surprise) ebook-convert. See 'ebook-convert -h' or 'ebook-convert dummy.html .epub -h' to see conversion options for converting html to epub.

Haven't explored it though. I am most curious about --list-recipes (and if it works), it looks as somethings interesting.

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Perfect for batch processing, thanks. – Quentin Pradet Aug 15 '12 at 14:15 Found this gist detailing how to get it to work using Brew. It seems a little funny that it's not available for install without Calibre. – counterbeing Apr 25 '15 at 19:13

I'd say, Calibre is for you, it works on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.


Output Formats: EPUB, FB2, OEB, LIT, LRF, MOBI, PDB, PML, RB, PDF, TXT

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Thanks. My criteria were based upon the shortfalls of Calibre. – jamesh Sep 8 '09 at 11:16
ahh, didn't know that ... but when it comes to EPUB, there isn't really much out there except Calibre, even the gurus in an ebook forum where i'm a member don't have other solutions for this format. :( – Molly7244 Sep 8 '09 at 11:46
I'd point your gurus here! Would love to hear what they have to say (I posted an answer, btw). – jamesh Sep 8 '09 at 12:45
up vote 4 down vote accepted

For the Mac OS X and Windows, I have had success with Stanza for Desktop.

This supports a good range of export formats.

More importantly, it copes very well with

  • detecting chapters in large text files.
  • unicode, including "significant" characters like < and &.
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There are online tools to convert to epub files.

Example of such a website here.

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Thanks. This worked, although I did need to do some curation on the file. Not yet suitable for batch importing. – jamesh Sep 8 '09 at 12:46
This one supports more sensible input formats, and is quicker: – MGOwen Jul 8 '10 at 6:04

If you have a MacOS X 10.6 machine, try this:

It relies on Automator

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You may want to try ODFToEPub. This is an OpenOffice extension that lets you export a document to ePub.

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If you have access to a Windows system, you can try Atlantis Word Processor. It converts not only TXT but also DOC, DOCX, and ODT files to EPUB. Only a few mouse clicks are needed to convert a document to EPUB. Convenient batch conversion is also offered. You can find details here:

Or see the main page of its site (there is also a download link).

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Best way to convert to epub is with Calibre, it's free and really easy to do. I just had to do this with a bunch of documents for our sales team to take into the field with the iPad. Here's the guide I used:

Free download, quick conversions, doesn't get much better.

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A bit off-topic:


Well, not quite EVERYTHING, but very informative nevertheless :)

This being a Russian website, they're focused on some of these extraordinary Russian eBook reading programs such as ICE Book Reader Professional, CoolReader 2 (maybe not as sophisticated as ICE but free) and AlReader 2. None of these support the EPUB format though.

There's also a link to several ePub libraries, which might be of interest for you.

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