Every self-publishing author should know how to convert Word doc to epub and mobi files
While the epub format is used by most ebook reading devices, the mobi format, or Kindle format, is a file type that can be added and read on a Kindle.
It is easy to convert 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 to make sure that your Word document is correctly formatted before uploading it to a self- publishing service such as Amazon KDP, Smashwords or Draft2Digital.
By converting and checking your Word document on your own Kindle, iPad or PC, you will be able to see if there are any formatting errors in your file before your ebook is published and goes on sale.
Poorly formatted ebooks are a sales killer, so it is highly advisable to take the time to learn how to check your ebook well before you publish.
Before you start converting, however, 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.
You should also perform a comprehensive grammar and spell check. Grammarly is a highly recommended grammar correction tool. This will 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 to mobi format, which is in fact from Word to Kindle.
Don’t worry. The conversion process is very easy and you don’t need any special technical 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.
Once installed, there are two basic ways to add your Word file to Calibre.
One is to save your Word file in .docx format. Note: Calibre will not accept .doc files.
The other 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 have a little knowledge of HTML, this is the best time to clean up your HTML file before file converting.
However, if you are new to ebook creation and don’t know how to work with HTML, use the Word .docx file type because it is much quicker and easier to convert.
If your Word document is in doc format, simply do a save as in docx.
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 it is added and listed on the main screen of Calibre, click on ‘Edit Metadata’.
In this screen, you can add all the details about your book and also add your book cover image. Once complete, save, close and then click on ‘Convert Books’.
In the top right corner of the screen, select the file type epub and then click ok. Your book will now be converted from Word to epub and saved in your Calibre Library. Repeat if you wish to convert your book again from Word to mobi for Kindle.
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 onto your e-reader, iPad or Kindle and see exactly how your new book will look when it is published as an ebook. You can now carefully proofread your new ebook.
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.
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 with Pages, and then 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, this usually means that there are issues with your Word document.
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.
By converting your doc or docx manuscript from Word to epub or mobi before you publish, you can check and be absolutely sure that your ebook readers will read a beautifully formatted Kindle or epub ebook.
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