Originally Posted on: March 8, 2011
Converting ebook formats is a question that comes soon after your first ereader is bought. It sure would be great if everybody could play nice and make files readable across all platforms, but that’s not gonna happen soon. To be fair, it’s not all about companies trying to protect their turf, the varying formats also are caused by advancing technologies that vary with each ereader.So you’ve chosen an ereader, and whether it’s a Nook, a cranny or a Kindle, you may have already noticed that not all your ebook files can be read on your shiny new hardware. Or maybe you’ve found some great books free that aren’t available in the format your ereader uses. Do not despair!Files can be coverted to different formats in most cases, unless they are infected with the dreaded DRM (digital rights management) code that’s there to protect publishers and to shaft you. (Sorry if that’s harsh, but that’s the way I feel about it.)
Amazon offers Kindle owners free PDF (and other common file types) conversion, but pointedly do not offer to convert file types used by competing ereaders, such as EPUB.
Alternatively, you could try to open files in Fox-it pdf reader (free) and edit them as needed. This is not small task though, and is time consuming.
There is a wonderful free software called Calibre that converts all kinds of ereader files. Better yet, it’s open source, so likely to remain free and likely to get steadily better. At the moment, there are bugs, such things as losing the table of contents when files convert – but again, these are likely to be worked out.
As soon as you have your new ereader in your hands you should head over to Calibre and download the software. It will be a lifesaver at times, and is likely to become your best friend… after the ereader itself, that is.