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how do i convert a epub ebook to kindle format?

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Initial post: Oct 20, 2010 8:25:11 PM PDT
Reve says:
Hi all

I've just download KindleGen. Am i able to use this to convert epub ebook to kindle format? If yes, how do i do it?

Thanks all.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 23, 2010 4:24:04 PM PDT
DMSmillie says:
Assuming you're using Windows, and you installed Kindlegen in the directory C:\kindlegen, move or copy your EPUB file to your desktop, then open a Command Prompt window (Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt). Type "CD Desktop" (without the quotes) and press ENTER, then type (again without the quotes) "C:\kindlegen\kindlegen filename.epub" (where "filename" is the name of your EPUB file). That should create, on your desktop, a MOBI version of the EPUB book.

- Donna

Posted on Oct 24, 2010 5:15:26 PM PDT
Hitch says:
FYI: DMSmillie is absolutely correct, but please note that any TOC in the ePUB will not convert to an active TOC via KindleGen--not without a lot of hand-coding on your part. So if that happens, you will know it's not you. ;-)



Posted on Nov 1, 2010 12:34:02 PM PDT
Talyn says:
If you're not comfortable with the command line for using Kindlegen, you can also install the Kindle Previewer which will open an EPUB file and run Kindlegen for you with no command line needed. It's the closest they have now to a Kindlegen GUI.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2010 1:36:32 AM PDT
Reve says:
Hi all

thanks for the advice given. I tried DMSmillie's method. But i was prompted with an error message. No BODY tag found in content file. Does anyone know what is that?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2010 6:41:38 AM PDT
DMSmillie says:
I'm afraid I've never had that error, and I have to assume that the HTML file(s) in your EPUB do indeed have a body tag (though it might be worth checking - try running the EPUB through EpubCheck - ). You could try posting on the DTP forums ( ), though not many there work with either EPUB or Kindlegen, but a few do, so you might get some suggestions there. You could also try emailing - they just might be able to advise.

Sorry I can't be of more help with this particular error!

- Donna

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 6, 2010 6:54:43 PM PDT
Alan Drabke says:
Taylyn- I tried inserting a Sigil built Epub file into Amazon Previewer. The error message was "Failed To Build", "Language Not Specfied In The Meta Data" (or words to that effect) What do I do?

Posted on Nov 7, 2010 1:56:05 PM PST
Hitch says:
Joel: Does that ePUB pass ePUBcheck 1.05? If the language isn't set in the DC (dublin code) metadata, the file shouldn't pass. DL and try using Valloric's Flight Crew--it's enormously helpful. When your ePUB passes, then try KindleGen again.



In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2010 2:13:03 PM PST
Alan Drabke says:
I'm given to understand that Kindlegen is a waste of time in that it does not and never will add a toc.ncx file to the final PRC file. But, I will have a look at Flight Crew. Thanks.

Posted on Nov 7, 2010 3:18:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 7, 2010 3:33:51 PM PST
Hitch says:
Joel: It's not the toc.ncx; there's one present when it's done...the problem with the TOC issue is that KindleGen does not translate the toc.ncx into a static html toc to which the Guide can link; why KG doesn't really recognize that toc is teeth-gnashing. It's very frustrating, I've been working on a clip to automate the process for a while now, because I too prefer to use my hand-crafted ePUBs to build the concomitant Kindle books for my clients.

You could try Previewer as an alternative, OR yank your html out and put it into MBP Creator, to get all the features.

FWIW: Please note that a LOT of people confuse the two issues--some think that you have to have the toc.ncx for an active TOC (which isn't correct--it's for the progress bar, really), and there's confusion about what build builds what files, for example, MBP Creator doesn't create a toc.ncx, so one needs to be added, but it DOES build an html TOC that will display in Kindle. But KindleGen won't build an html.toc from an ePUB file that doesn't already have an html.toc page--it's not auto-generated from the toc.ncx. Does that make any sense? There are apples & oranges here--two different Amazon "build-Kindle" products, each with TOC issues; each with its own separate problem.


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 7, 2010 3:47:46 PM PST
Alan Drabke says:
Are you telling me you build the toc.ncx by hand? I'm not having a prob with the hyperlinked TOC. That I can accomplish in the doc format file. It's the toc.ncx file that has me buggy.

Posted on Nov 7, 2010 10:36:01 PM PST
Hitch says:
Joel: I'm having trouble understanding what the issue is, now; I see that Donna helped you on the other thread; in this thread, you said your Sigil ePUB wouldn't build, which it should do if your Sigil ePUB passed ePUBcheck 1.05 (because your language error in the Dublin Core metadata would have been caught and you would have fixed it). I make all my ePUBs in Sigil, or nearly all, and they all build in KindleGen. KindleGen *does* have a toc.ncx, which it gets from the Sigil ePUB. What KindleGen does NOT do is create an active TOC, linked from the TOC menu in Kindle. But you say you've built a hyperlinked TOC, which means you should be able to do both; navigate from the static html toc page, AND navigate from the TOC *menu,* particularly if you're building out of MBP Creator and not KindleGen.

As I said earlier--two related but separate problems that confuse a lot of people. Are you trying to add a toc.ncx to a MBP Creator file, OR are you trying to get a) an ePUB that will build through KindleGen/Previewer or c) a TOC that is accessed from the TOC *menu* button on a Kindle?


In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2010 2:51:11 AM PST
DMSmillie says:
Joel, the specific error "Language not specified in the Metadata" means that the book's language hasn't been coded in the metadata section of the OPF file in the EPUB. When you create your EPUB with Sigil, you need to go to Tools, Metadata Editor, and specify the book's title, author and language. That will ensure that those bits of information are coded into the EPUB. And as Hitch recommends, you should run your EPUB file through Epubcheck before trying to use it with Kindlegen or the Kindle Previewer.

- Donna

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2010 4:37:56 AM PST
Alan Drabke says:
DMSmillie / Hitch- That's awful good news that I can go from Sigil to Amazon Previewer and end up with a PRC file that will pass muster. Thanks a bunch! I would say thanks a million, but with our run away inflation, a million isn't worth very much. I'll try your algorithm as soon as I can.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 8, 2010 4:46:46 AM PST
Alan Drabke says:
Hitch- My understanding is that if my MOBI file shows a toc.ncx, and a hyperlinked table of contents, and a start, and a cover point, I can sell my book on Amazon. Right now the Calibre driven EPUB to MOBI conversion builds a file that will pass these tests. The only prob remaining, Calibre puts a second, unnecessary hyperlinked table of contents at the end of my manuscript. Do you know what to do?

Posted on Nov 8, 2010 5:59:58 PM PST
Hitch says:

As a matter of fact, I do. In Calibre, in the conversion process, there's a place where you can check whether or not to add the TOC to the file. Make sure it's not selected.

HOWEVER: FYI, Calibre-generated .mobi's do not work with K4PC once they are DRM'ed. Been there, done that, which is why I now make my mobi's differently. Calibre-genned mobi's work ok on the Kindle device, once encrypted, but can't be opened on K4PC, Calibre doesn't leave adequate room in the headers for the 2nd layer of encryption. if you're not adding DRM, you're fine for saleable product.



Posted on Sep 29, 2011 8:06:38 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 30, 2011 9:16:47 AM PDT
After spending hours combing these discussions, I cannot find any description of how to get a table of contents into the mobi file for the Kindle.

I have created a sample book in Pages for Mac and exported an epub version.

The epub file works fine when I take it to the Apple eBook reader including the TOC.

When I take the same file to the Kindle Previewer, it displays nicely but it complains there is no TOC.

From the discussions I understand that the Kindle format wants some other form of TOC to go with the ePub file but I cannot see where anyone has described it. I am ok with coding it into the original file as I am an former HTML coder and Unix geek.

Can anyone point me to how to lay out the alternate TOC that the Kindle needs. Manual creation is ok but I need to know what to create.

My goal is to have a document that can be output in the formats suitable for the various on-line stores, Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble, etc.

Posted on Mar 12, 2012 8:23:51 PM PDT
AB says:
I converted an epub using KindleGen. The mobi file produced does not seem to have the EBOK cde tag present. Is there any way to add the EBOK cde tag ?

Posted on Mar 14, 2012 8:49:19 AM PDT
Loretta Ivey says:
I got the TOC to show up using the Kindle Previewer by creating the TOC in Word, saving the doc as a web page and running the resulting HTML through KindleGen. But the Word produced TOC is UGLY.

My problem now is getting a cover into the MOBI.
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Discussion in:  Kindle Publishing forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  19
Initial post:  Oct 20, 2010
Latest post:  Mar 14, 2012

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