Part 7: learn about the most popular ebook creation programs currently available.
As mentioned in the previous article, to hand-code an ebook you’ll need to download the following programs Notepad++ (free, open source), Kindle Previewer (free) and KindleGen (also free).
Notepad++ is where you’ll compile your ebook’s HTML, Kindle Previewer allows you to preview it (fancy that) and KindleGen generates MOBI files suitable for uploading to Amazon. If you haven’t downloaded these already, do so and install them.
There are a number of other ways to generate MOBIs and EPUBs. I have used none of these programs and my descriptions are purely hearsay, but I’ll include them because it may help to shape your own research.
Calibre (freeware, open source)
Calibre is primarily ebook management software, but it has a robust if inaccurate converter which covers a large range of ebook formats. People have used Calibre to generate MOBI files from other formats, but it appears that these are no longer accepted by Amazon.
Jutoh (US$39, WYSIWYG)
Jutoh allows direct converting from a Word/ Writer document to EPUB and MOBI. As always, results will never be as good as a hand coded ebook, but it appears that Jutoh is the choice of people who are happy with results of automatic coding. Its ‘what you see is what you get’ interface is extremely friendly to beginners.
Mobipocket Creator (free)
Mobipocket Creator has been around for a while now, and many people state that it has entered obselesence, if not become obsolete.
Open Office extensions (Writer2EPUB, etc.) (freeware, open source, WYSIWYG)
Converters such as Writer2EPUB generate EPUB files directly from Writer. However, they come with a steep learning curve for installation and operation.
Scrivener (US$40, WYSIWYG)
Scrivener is more of author’s assistant than a converter per se, Scrivener can be used to generate MOBI and EPUB files.
Sigil (freeware, open source, WYSIWYG)
Sigil is purely an EPUB generator, but should be mentioned in the context of ebook manufacture because of its popularity among users.
Proceed to Part 8: ‘Ebook formats’, or return to the article index.
While I’ve endeavoured to provide you with accurate information, what is considered ‘accurate’ will change over time. If I’m wrong, or you’d like to ask a question or share your thoughts, I’d love to hear your take on things.