Converting your book to an epub or mobi ebook file you can upload to Kindle and other sites is a pain
After formatting scores of ebooks and getting pretty skilled with ebook layout, conversion and coding, here’s what I’ve learned:
- Making it look the same, on all the different devices, platforms, and ebook stores, is really really hard.
- Most of the big publishing companies know this: so they use extremely simple ebooks that are more likely to look “OK” everywhere, even though they lack stylistic flourishes.
- Little details like dropcaps and first paragraph indents don’t matter much. All you need is for the text to flow and not look broken, so that the readers have a chance to get into your story.
So, I created this FREE online ebook making tool to help indie authors save some money and have more control over their publishing. It’s basically one simple form, so you can upload your manuscript and convert it instantly to epub and mobi format.
PS. The tool wasn’t working so I moved it to its own site, so if you click the form below, you’ll end up at publishxpress where you can use the working form for free. It’s just one of my many tools I’ve built to help self-publishing authors.
- Amazon Kindle no longer requires the .mobi ebook format, so you really just need to save the .epub version and upload that.
- You’ll still need to do some basic book formatting on your document so it converts well and looks good. I also have a huge list of the best free fonts to use depending on your genre.
Make your own ebooks!
How to make an ebook file with this free online tool
Upload your book file (DOCX is best, but you can also use HTML, RTF and PDF) fill out the info, click the button, and download your Epub (for Barnes and Noble, Kobo and most other ebook sites) and/or Mobi file (for Amazon Kindle).
The program is based off of Calibre, an open-source ebook making program, but I’ve tried to make this version dead easy to use. Just upload your manuscript and hit the button, you should see download links to the ebook files immediately.
You don’t have much control over the process or the style, and it is offered without warranty.
But your ebook should work, and it’s free, easy, and it just takes a minute.
If you can afford it and want to have more control and spice things up with design and fonts, pay somebody to do your ebook conversion for you. But keep in mind – there’s a reason why the big publishing houses have stopped doing this… personally I’d pay a designer to make sure the print version of the book is laid out and styled beautifully in Adobe InDesign, and keep the ebook simple.
If you want a clean file that works and is good enough, and you want it done NOW, go ahead and take advantage of this free tool. However, if you really want your ebook to look great it may be worth getting some formatting software.
Best ebook formatting software
You could start with my free book formatting templates. Those are for MS Word, and they work, but formatting in Word can be buggy. You can just upload your work manuscript (if it’s formatted right) to kindle and they will covert it to epub for you. But if you want to add images – even full page spreads that look amazing – an author page with social media links, a working TOC and everything… this is what professional authors use:
– I paid $500 to get my first book formatted and it was a waste of money. Now I only use Vellum: , a mac-based software that’s the easiest and best. Worth it if you want the best quality.
Get Vellum Here.
– Atticus is basically an ebook formatting alternative for the PC, which is pretty great (I did a little consulting on some of the features). It does work pretty well and is easier than formatting an ebook from scratch (unless you keep it simple and just use our free ebook maker tool!)
You can also use Draft2Digital to upload your files, convert to epub and download again; or Reedsy’s book formatting tool. I hope to make some new tools to help… but mostly you either want to format in MS word and upload straight to Kindle (I do that if I’m in a rush) or use Vellum (I do that when I’m redoing a series or making a boxset and I want everything to look perfect and super-cool, with fancy graphics and images and things, or dropcaps and chapter headers that improve the reading experience.
PS. After you’ve converted your book into epub format, you may need some great book marketing ads or tips on how to build an author platform that sells books on autopilot – I have a *lot* more to offer as someone who got into self-publishing 20 years ago and hasn’t been employed since, so I hope you’ll stick around and find some of my free materials which have had over 3 million views.