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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).

9 Answers 9

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

Input Formats: CBZ, CBR, CBC, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, MOBI, ODT, PDF, PRC**, PDB, PML, RB, RTF, TXT

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, 2009 at 11:16
  • 1
    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, 2009 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, 2009 at 12:45
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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, 2009 at 12:46
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    This one supports more sensible input formats, and is quicker: 2epub.com
    – MGOwen
    Jul 8, 2010 at 6:04
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If you have a MacOS X 10.6 machine, try this:

http://padilicious.com/epub/index.html

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.

http://www.pincette.biz/odftoepub/

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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:

http://osxdaily.com/2010/08/12/convert-to-epub/

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

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Well, it's been a while, so FWIW, FBReader now has very decent support for reading pure .txt files.

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Nowadays libreoffice natively exports to epub. It's not perfect (e.g. Table Of Contents only take Heading1 into account), but I find libreoffice/openoffice the most easiest way to produce a good enough ePub. If you want to format plain texts I recommend the libreoffice plugin alternative searching.

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