Quantcast

How To Make Your Own E-Books With Calibre

By Matthew Braga

Knowing how to create a custom eBook is incredibly handy, and lets you turn any piece of text into reading on the go.

Having just returned from Comic-Con with fresh ideas for your Captain Kirk/ Dr. Who fanfiction, we're sure your eager to begin writing your latest, bestselling tome. Of course, let's be frank — no one is going to publish that in print. It's just too awesome for a physical format. That leaves you with the vast world of self-publishing — a world that e-books and digital download have made much easier to enter.
Calibre, and it's just the thing we need to fuel your compulsive, e-reading addiction.  
 
Chris Anderson's book "Free" — which, ironically, is only available free in the US. Once imported, the file should show up alongside other titles in your library, and you can start the conversion process from the toolbar above. 

metadata sections self explanatory, and simply sets the info required to find and sort your book within your reader's library. Look and feel is also particularly important, as it determines the font-size and spacing of the textual elements in a document. The default settings are probably fine, but a bit of fine tuning might helpful in making text more legible on-screen.

But perhaps the most important section is Calibre's page setup section. From Android to iPad, you have the option of adjusting your layout to suit any number of differently sized screens. What's more, you can even throw in some custom CSS to style and modify your book for a more unique presentation.

The output of our first conversion attempt. Pictures have been retained, but the text is a bit too big for our liking. Time to fine-tune!


However, what's cool is that you can convert more than just books into an e-book format. Calibre has a great built-in tool that relies on "recipes" or RSS feeds to news sites and blogs that it scrapes and turns into files for your device. Be forewarned, however, that while this works great on feeds with full-length articles, those who truncate or limit the included content will take a bit more work to display properly.

If you have your own methods for e-book conversion and making books of your own, be sure to let us know — Tested's Guide To Secret World Knowledge isn't going to convert itself.      
 
Lead image via Flickr user maury.mccown.