The epub format is used by most ebook reading devices. But the mobi ebook format, or Kindle book format, is a file type that can be added and read on Kindle devices and Kindle apps.
It is very easy to convert Microsoft Word to mobi and epub. But why do you need to know how to do this?
Because it is the only way that you can check and make sure that your Word document is correctly formatted for ebook reading.
You need to do this before you upload your manuscript to a self-publishing service such as Amazon KDP, Smashwords or Draft2Digital.
How to prepare your manuscript
Converting and checking your Word document and ebook formatting on your own Kindle, iPad or PC is vital.
When you convert Word to Kindle format, you will be able to see if there are any formatting errors in your docx or doc file before your ebook is published and goes on sale.
Poorly formatted ebooks are a sales killer. So you really should take the time to learn how to check your ebook well before you publish.
But before you start converting Word to epub or mobi, make sure your Word document is correctly formatted using Word Styles.
Good formatting in your Word document will make your ebook look and read much better for your potential ebook readers.
The most important formatting element is to make sure you use Heading 2 for your chapter titles. By doing this, your table of contents will be automatically created in your ebook.
You should use Hearing 1 for your book title, and normal for your text.
You should also perform a thorough grammar and spell-check. Grammarly is highly recommended as a grammar correction tool.
But for authors, Prowritingaid is the preferred writing tool because it works so effectively when analysing long documents such as a book manuscript.
Either tool will help ensure that your manuscript is as error-free as possible before you start proofreading your ebook.
Now you are ready to convert either Word to epub format, or Word docx or doc to mobi Kindle format.
Don’t worry if you are not technically minded. The conversion process from Word to Kindle mobi or epub is very easy and you don’t need any special computer skills at all.
How to convert a file from Word to epub or mobi file format
The first step is to download a free software programme called Calibre. It is a free open source programme available for both PC and Mac.
Calibre comes with many features which you can learn about later. But as Word to a mobi and epub converter, it is one of the easiest and quickest tools to use.
Once you install Calibre, there are two basic ways you can add your Word file.
The easiest way is to use your Word docx file. If your manuscript is in the old doc format, all you need to do is do a save as in docx. This will create a new copy of your manuscript that you can now use.
The second way is to save your Word document in .html.
To do this, click on “save as” and then select the file type as .htm.
If you know how to edit HTML, this is the best time to clean up your HTML file before file converting.
But if you are new to ebook creation, you should use the Word .docx file type because it is much quicker and easier to convert.
But remember, if your Word document is in doc format, simply do a “save as” in .docx before you upload your file to Calibre.
Preparing for the conversion from Word to epub and mobi
Once you have your Word docx file saved and ready, go to Calibre and click on ‘Add Book’ to select your book’s Word file.
Once you see that your book file is added and listed on the main screen of Calibre, click on ‘Edit Metadata’.
This will take you to the edit screen, where you can add all the details about your book and also add your book cover image.
Once you have added all your data and cover, click OK.
You will go back to the home screen. Now click on ‘Convert Books’ in the top menu.
In the top right corner of the screen, select the file type epub from the book formats list and then click ok.
Your book will now be converted from Word to epub and saved in your Calibre Library.
Repeat the convert books process if you wish to convert your book again from Word to mobi for Amazon Kindle.
You will then have both epub and mobi files in your Calibre library.
It is so easy to convert mobi to epub or Word to mobi and epub.
Read your Word file as an ebook on your Kindle or iPad in a few minutes
Now go to your Calibre Library and copy your new mobi and epub book files. You can then load them onto your e-reader, iPad or Kindle. You can use Send to Kindle also.
Now you will be able to see exactly how your new book will look when it is published as an ebook.
You should carefully proofread your new ebook on your device or app to make sure everything is perfect.
If you find any formatting errors or other edits you want to make, go back to your Word file and make the corrections. You can then convert your new updated Word file in Calibre to check again.
You can open your epub file by using Apple iBooks, or for mobi, use your Kindle or the Kindle app for your iPad, iPhone, PC or Mac.
You can also use the ebook reader in Calibre to read your ebook on-screen.
Only for Mac users
If you use Word on an Apple computer, there is a quick and easy way to convert your manuscript to epub with Apple Pages.
All you need to do is open your doc or docx file extensions with Pages. Then you can export it to directly epub.
However, you cannot export to mobi format with Pages. But this is a simple way to prepare an epub copy of your ebook for beta readers or proofreaders.
Something went wrong!
If you discover formatting errors in your new ebook files, it usually means that there are issues with your Word document.
If you can’t correct the errors, the solution is to take the nuclear approach. You can find detailed instructions in our article on how to apply the nuclear solution to your Word document to solve these problems.
You should always convert your doc or docx manuscript from Word to epub or mobi before you publish.
Then you can check and be absolutely sure that your ebook readers will read a beautifully formatted Kindle or epub ebook.
I started my working life as a lithographer and then spent over 30 years in the printing and publishing business.
Originally from Australia, I moved to Switzerland 20 years ago. My days are spent teaching English, writing and wrestling with technology while enjoying my glorious view of the Alps.
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