How to convert file types for the Kindle with Calibre!

5:00 PM Nina S. Gooden 0 Comments

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I was pretty bummed the other day when I bought a spiffy new book for my e-reader, only to find out the files weren't compatible. Luckily, there are a few trustworthy programs out there that can change that. At first, I was a bit wary of downloading some random program from the internet...but my book addiction is greater than my fear of my husband's wrath (he's the one who ends up having to fix my computer after questionable downloads). Anyway, I figured it out, so I put together a quick tutorial for a spiffy new Twitter friend...only to realize it'd be helpful to others as well. Anyway, enough yacking! Onto the explanation!

 First and foremost, there are several different programs out there, but I chose Calibre. It's got the best reviews and the easiest layout to learn so...yeah. I downloaded it from the following website: Again, I was a bit wary, but nothing wonky popped-up and even after two just-in-case virus scans, nothing appeared out of place. So I'd say it's safe.

After downloading it, I opened it up and ended up on this page.

As you can see, there are a lot of buttons and goodies with this program. Right now, we'll just focus on getting our books where we want, so we'll go through the bare minimum. Later on, you may want to explore a bit, though! Our first step is to click Add Books, as show here:

Find your books in your library. I usually save mine in a folder titled "books," but depending where you got your purchase from, it might just be in your download folder. If you cannot find it, you might want to go redownload it, and remember the file address you land on when you do so. It's easy to backtrack! Once you've found your book in your library, double click it and it should appear in your list, as shown:

Now that you have your fantastic book (mine is from Carina! It was pretty darn good, if I do say so), highlight it with a click and press the button on the top of the screen that says Convert Books! It's circled in red, here:

 Once you hit the Convert Books button, another screen pops up. This one is actually super cool. You can change a lot of settings here, but as I said, you should play with that later. Right now, you should go to Output Format in the top right-hand corner and click it. You'll end up with a drop down menu with lots of options. Keep in mind the ones that are supported by Kindle, and pick the one you like. I usually stick with the standard TXT (text) file.

After you ask the genie for your file wish (hit OK at the bottom of the new screen), you'll see a spinning wheel on the original page. This is just showing you that the program is working on your request. It should only take a couple of seconds, though don't panic if you have to wait a few minutes.

Once the wheel vanishes, you'll notice something new and shiny on your page. We have second format! Yay!

If you click on the "Click to Open" next to path, it will show you where your new format is saved. Now, with TXT format, you lose a bit of your formatting with the conversion. Mostly indention. I didn't find it that annoying, but if you cannot abide by the suckiness, you can open the new document in Word and alter it yourself. A quick Alt+A and a Paragraph alteration and you're ready to send this bad boy to your Kindle.

So there you have it. It sounds like a bit of work, but in all actuality it takes less than ten minutes to set this up. After that, it shouldn't take more than three to convert your books. I hope this helps, and please let me know if you have any questions at all!

Happy reading!