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  1.  (10135.1)
    Hello. I took on a new project, converting certain Finnish anthologies and zines to ebook formats helping them to distribute the materials to a wider audience. I've been so far mostly tinkering with ebook conversions just for my personal interest, and getting the stuff I've promised to read or edit to my Kindle.

    The way I'm thinking it, the most time efficient / effective way would to convert the books to ePub and mobi, which would cover the most popular e-book platforms. I'm thinking of using Calibre for this.

    Now, then, does anyone here have some actual experience in doing ebook conversions, someone who could drop hints of the most common pitfalls and best practices?

    The other thing is, where to distribute this stuff. Amazon and Apple's ebook store are out, since neither of them support material in Finnish. Then again, people now and then drop links to ebook repositories where they publish free and paid content. What other "alternative" services can you recommend for this - for free or paid content?
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      CommentAuthorFauxhammer
    • CommentTimeAug 10th 2011
     (10135.2)
    I'll be following this thread with interest; me and a buddy will be uploading some shit to Amazon within a few weeks.

    I don't know if Calibre can do it; I've used it to reformat Project Gutenburg books into Kindle format, but I'm not certain if it works to send stuff up for mass consumption.
  2.  (10135.3)
    I know that mobi files and Amazon's version of mobi use HTML for formatting. With a little play I've made a few books ebooks for myself from interviews taken from the internet that I often reference. That's all I know.
    • CommentAuthorSteerpike
    • CommentTimeAug 10th 2011
     (10135.4)
    Author Linda Nagata's worked with Calibre to convert her books, I know. Maybe drop her a line on http://www.mythicisland.com/ (her website).
  3.  (10135.5)
    I've spent the past 6 months or so learning all of this to help my wife self-publish her book and here's what I've got:
    - smashwords is a good option for indie publishers that allows you to sell (or give away) your material on their site as well as submit it for approval for their "premium distribution" (Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks, and a few others). Not sure of their language requirements, but their "meatgrinder" tool only accepts files in .doc format and will do a barely acceptable conversion to .mobi, .epub, .rtf, .txt, and a few other formats.

    - With all that being said, I still prefer to create my .mobi and .epub files myself using Calibre. The best results I've received come from using an HTML template I've pieced together and then running a few steps with a text editor. If you start with that then Calibre will do a wonderful job converting to damn near any format.

    - In general converting between .mobi and .epub is harmless to the quality. Starting with a pdf is hazardous and the result is almost useless.

    I'm still extremely new to all of this and very much self taught but if you have any more questions I'm glad to try and answer them. Also, do a search for "mobileread", their forums are an endless supply of knowledge for ebooks and the creator of Calibre and Smashwords both are regulars there.
  4.  (10135.6)
    All right, the book is out but so far only in the publisher website. Going to take a look at the Smashbooks, it definitely looks interesting, but it's a bit weird if one can't send a book there in any other format apart from doc...

    Any other recommendations as to a place for free e-books?
  5.  (10135.7)
    Hmh, just realized something - I've done an epub/mobi translation of a book and a half, and just realized that what I did by hand are less buggy than literally any commercial ebook I've bought from Amazon, which tend to be riddled with weirdness like missing spaces between words, unwanted line breaks etc. The absolute nadir was Pratchett's Snuff, which has code snippets showing through, anfangs on separate lines and shit like that.

    So, does anyone want to commission me to do epub conversions? :D
  6.  (10135.8)
    I've done an epub/mobi translation of a book and a half, and just realized that what I did by hand are less buggy than literally any commercial ebook I've bought from Amazon, which tend to be riddled with weirdness like missing spaces between words, unwanted line breaks etc.


    I noticed the same thing, especially with the larger publishers. It seems like they're not really putting a lot into their paper --> ebook conversions and A LOT of little shit gets through, whereas smaller/independent publishers see the huge potential offered by ebooks and are often creating them by hand which results in much better products if done correctly.