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How to Make an eBook Anyone Can Read with ePub

Updated on November 8, 2012

How to Make an eBook Anyone Can Read with ePub?

An eBook in PDF format doesn't means that it can be read on any e-reader or other mobile device, because a PDF is a static or unchangeable image, it's page can't be resized to fit the screen of any given divice, while the text in ePub format can be changed and reflowed:

"Many new authors might make the mistake of thinking that if they have a portable document format (PDF) of their book it means that it can be read on an e-reader or other mobile device. While in many cases the PDF can be opened, the text is far too small because it is a static or unchangeable image. ePub makes it so your text is resized to fit the screen of any given device. Since the text in ePub format can be changed in terms of size, font and color, reading an ePub book becomes a much more personal experience for the reader. "

What is an ePub, and how can you convert my manuscript to Epub on your own?

It might help you understand better what an ePub is by looking into an ePub file. This Epub Tutorial is a great place to start. You may try to download the sample .epub file by following the links, and rename the .epub extension to .zip, open the Zip file and look inside the file. What's inside may surprises you, because you can extract files and directories, and open these files in any text editor or Web browser. Actually, the .epub is a standard for eBooks created by the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF). It consists of basic XHTML for the book content, XML for descriptions, and a re-named zip file to hold it all in. Anyone can make these eBooks, and since they're essentially just XHTML, anyone can read them.

After you have basic knowledge of IDPF Specifications, that is:

  • Allowed Mark-up reference for included XHTML files
  • Structure
  • Container

You can make ePub files with just the programs that came with your operating system, a text editor and a tool to make a .zip file, then rename it to .epub.

ePub Creators

Of course, it will be quicker to use a tool specially for making and converting a manuscript to a .epub format eBook. Below is a list of free tools and resources to help you convert a variety of file types into the Epub format:

Calibre: Free tool for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux that allows you to convert to ePub from a wide variety of formats. Calibre is reported to be one of the better conversion tools for preserving styles and formatting of source documents.

eCub: eCub is a cross-platform tool for creating EPUB and MobiPocket books. eCub offers a convenient way to import text and XHTML files and create all the necessary components of an EPUB file.

Sigil is a multi-platform WYSIWYG ebook editor. It is designed to edit books in ePub format.

eScape is a free Open Office Writer to ePub creator. It lets you instantly and effortlessly turn Open Office Writer documents (ODT) into perfect ePubs ready to share with your friends.


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    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 5 years ago from Canada

      Thank you for this. I am doing research now about how to go about making an e-book. I will check out these links. Great hub!

    • profile image

      Onoo 6 years ago

      ebooks can be created by websites such as They are easy to use, cheap and convenient for all users. In addition, include interactive catalog to help advertise your ebook.

    • chspublish profile image

      chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

      Great to see your article here on eBook making. I've been tearing my hair out trying to understand the process, since I'm not exactly a wizard with html or xhtml etc. So your article here is very helpful. Wish I had a better understanding still though. Just about learning what to do at the moment. Will follow thorugh on some of the items you mention. I find the Open Office best to 'prepare' the text for ePub via Writer2Pub. I will try eScape as well today. Thanks very much for all this.

    • dobo700 profile image

      dobo700 6 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for the tips, great hub

    • Ladybythelake55 profile image

      Ladybythelake55 7 years ago from I was Born in Bethesda, Maryland and I live in Chicago,IL

      Expensive new hardware that very few people can buy, I guess England doesn't have the same hard time economy that the U.S. does with people out of work and people collecting their unemployment. It is easier to use a website or blog and go from there.

      God Bless,


    • profile image

      omay 7 years ago

      PDF to ePub Converter can convert eBooks from PDF to EPUB format, so you can read eBooks more easily on your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Sony Reader or other eBook Readers.

      It supports batch conversion and support most popular html/text and image formats to ePub format like HTML, XML, SHTML, TEXT, JPG, GIF, PNG etc

    • profile image

      the fix 7 years ago

      Great Hub, thanks for sharing your knowledge!