Lifestyle and Emerging Technology In Plain English

How to easily convert almost any eBook to open ePub format

My iPod Touch is also my eBook reader. I use the Stanza app (recently upgraded), and the Stanza desktop applic­a­tion to get pdf and other formats into my iPod Touch. But Stanza can’t read all formats, and occa­sion­ally an impor­ted file will not dis­play cor­rectly — the lay­out gets messed up.

This is where 2epub.com comes in. This online eBook con­verter will take up to 5 eBooks of vari­ous formats (doc, epub, fb2, html, lit, lrf, mobi, odt, pdb, pdf, prc, rtf, txt) and con­vert them to ePub (or fb2, lit, lrf, mobi) format.

Then it’s a simple mat­ter to share the file with Stanza, and send it to my iPod Touch.

I’ve only con­ver­ted a couple of titles so far, but the out­put files have worked like a charm.

2ePub is a very cool and soph­ist­ic­ated applic­a­tion, util­iz­ing a few ‘hid­den’ backend applic­a­tions — accord­ing to the developers:

2EPUB relies on vari­ous open source soft­ware, includ­ing Cal­ibre, Open­Of­fice, Abi­Word, Uno­conv and pdftohtml.
2EPUB can con­vert only those doc­u­ments that were, inten­tion­ally or not, made suit­able for auto­matic conversion.
So now, when I get a new eBook (in whatever format) I’ll be run­ning it through 2ePub first, to clean it up and make it more shar­able with my vari­ety of hard­ware platforms
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8 Responses to How to easily convert almost any eBook to open ePub format

  1. Another pro­gram I have found that works very well with the Stanza iPhone/Touch app, and also does a good job con­vert­ing other formats to ePub, is cal­ibre. I haven’t tried 2ePub, so I can’t say which pro­gram is bet­ter, but I would be curi­ous to see a review of the two compared!

  2. Thanks! I’ll look into Cal­ibre soon, esp. from the eBook man­age­ment per­spect­ive which, from read­ing the cal­ibre faq, seems more soph­ist­ic­ated ;) Thanks for the heads up!

  3. Hi Brad ,
    I am think­ing of pur­chas­ing an eBook reader and so far I like Kindle WiFi at $139.00 and Kobo at $149.00.
    Ques­tion: With either reader can I down­load books from any where or am I locked into Amazon or Barnes Noble?
    How about shar­ing read­ing to voice?
    Can I listen to music down­loads with ear-buds?
    Finally I would wel­come your comments.

  4. Hi Kate,

    Great ques­tion! I’m not sure of the details regard­ing B&N ebooks (for the Nook), but for Amazon and Chapters / Indigo (they carry the Kobo in Canada) you are tied to buy­ing books through their online store, or buy­ing un-encrypted ePub format books from online retailers.

    I believe all eRead­ers will read unlocked PDF and ePub books, but if you buy a locked eBook from Amazon for your 2yr old Kindle (for example), and want to put it on your new B&N Nook, then you’ll have to get it unlocked — and there are a few pro­grams and sites with details on how to do that…a bit too tech­nical for this com­ment response :)

    Unfor­tu­nately most new books are sold locked. I guess the authors, pub­lish­ers and dis­trib­ut­ors don’t really want you chan­ging devices.

    re: Voice (audiobooks) The Kobo won’t read to you. Not sure about the Nook or new Kindle. If they play music, I assume they’d be able to read audiobooks.
    re: Music, I believe you have to manu­ally copy the music to the device, not stream it from the inter­net or a server. Kobo doesn’t sup­port Audiobooks

  5. Just a cla­ri­fic­a­tion of your last com­ment about being locked into stores:
    – with the Kindle you are basic­ally locked into Amazon (unless you do things like break DRM and con­vert formats) since they use a pro­pri­et­ary format.
    – the Kobo does not lock you to a par­tic­u­lar store; pretty much any ePub can be read on it (with a few excep­tions like B&N ebooks). Kobo is also sup­por­ted by Bor­ders and a few other chains in other coun­tries as well as Chapters/Indigo.
    – the B&N Nook also uses ePub, but with spe­cial DRM that doesn’t allow B&N books to be read on other readers.

  6. Thanks for the cla­ri­fic­a­tion Ash! I tried a few Chapters/Indigo books, and had no luck con­vert­ing them, but it may be that I was test­ing with books that were ‘excep­tions’. I’m look­ing for­ward to try­ing it again this hol­i­day sea­son as I’m expect­ing I’ll be pick­ing up a few more ebooks :)

  7. I used the 2 ePUB applic­a­tion to con­vert some older PDB (palm) files but teh applic­a­tion is restric­ted to 250mb — is there a way to con­vert lar­ger files (say 500mb)?