Over the last year we’ve released several iterations of our EPUB Converter. At first this was a side project – we updated it when we had a chance (which wasn’t often). But then we noticed something: people used it. Actually, a heck of a lot of people used it. Every day. This was encouraging and we were glad to give something back to the community. After all, getting things into EPUB format wasn’t easy and we wanted to help, not to mention encourage people to upload work to our own online EPUB Reader.

We also noticed something else – people uploaded a million different permutations and got mixed results. So we made a decision to rebuild the EPUB Converter. To give it more guidelines and more documentation. To spend time making sure it worked correctly and that we could support it. This is what we’ve launched today.

Now all you need is your book in .html format and to use our index file. Well, that and to follow a few easy steps.

  1. Start with a folder that contains your book in html format. It can include up to 4 MB of images.
  2. Save each chapter as a separate .html file – not required, but easiest. As you save these .html files make sure their formatting is set to XHTML 1.1 (Dreamweaver > File > Convert > XHTML 1.1). To avoid getting question marks in your files, make sure they’re set to UTF-8 (Dreamweaver > Ctrl + J > Title Encoding).
  3. Download our example file and use that index.html file as a template for your own by copying it into your folder. It includes detailed instructions about how to modify it – put in your own title, author, description and more.
  4. Create the table of contents using the default list in the index file, again following the comments. When you’re done, test the index file in a browser, then zip up the folder and upload.

There are plenty of advanced details on the Converter Page as well, but the above instructions spit out a decent EPUB file. The great thing about this is you don’t need to be a digital book expert or even a developer; if you have the ability to make a webpage you can make an EPUB book. And there are a lot of people that know how to make webpages. Put in good html (following the guidelines above) and you get a good book. Simple.

In addition we’ve built in validation. Developers know validation is important, but in layman’s terms validation gives consistency across epubs, and makes sure people who are building Readers know what to expect.

With your feedback we’ll continue to refine the Converter, so let us know what you think. You can find the Converter here.