[FORMATTING] odt to mobi

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Sonya
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[FORMATTING] odt to mobi

Post by Sonya » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:11 am

Hi all please forgive me if this has been asked before and just point me in the direction of the right post.
I have published a paperback book on Createspace using Open Office and am now following the advice here and going to kdp itself to publish a kindle version.
What are the steps to convert an odt to a mobi file? And what else do I need to do that's different (e.g. remove the page numbers)?
Many thanks for your help
Sonya

walton
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Re: [FORMATTING] odt to mobi

Post by walton » Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:40 am

Roughly, you have three choices:

OO > e-pub > Mobi
OO has a very good epub conversion plug-in. Get it, install it, and use that. It will convert your file to an e-pub. Then get Calibre, Use Calibre to convert your file to MOBI.

I often open the epub in Sigil. This is a WYSIWYG epub editor. You can make tweaks to the e-pub in it.

You can open both the epub and the MOBI in Calibre and review it. Also, you should get Kindle for PC (or something like that) This is a Kindle reader for the PC, if you're on Mac, I believe there is an equivalent program. I figure these are somewhere around 80-90% reliable.

I would test the MOBI on at least one Kindle device, preferably several of different vintages. If there are problems, you would go back either to the epub and fix things, or sometimes back to your source (odt) file.

Word to Kindle
Aaron Shepard has three books (all on Kindle) that are relevant:
From Word to Kindle
Pictures on Kindle
HTML Fixes for Kindle

Obviously, the first title is the most useful. If these Kindles are any indication, and I think they are, his system works well.

KDP Conversion
The other solution would be to save your file as a .doc file, then simply upload it to Kindle for them to convert (assuming I understand this correctly). I am suspicious of this, and have never done it. But the Kindle forum if full of people who apparently create their Kindles this way. That said, CS offers a conversion to KDP, and as far as I can tell, it ain't worth the money.

General
There are things that Kindles do not have, or usually do not have: page numbers, traditional running headers, section breaks with two or more blank lines, forced line breaks, etc. So a lot of conversion programs/methods strip these out. I have had much better results when I do all that manually: remove headers and footers, remove forced line breaks, etc. In other words, clean up the file before you convert it.

Of course, make these changes on a copy of your file.

As I said above, test your Kindle book on as many devices as possible. No file will be perfect on all devices, but you should catch as many things as possible.

I prefer to work in InDesign. It had a Export to Kindle feature a few versions ago. It worked well, especially if the file was prepared. But they stopped it. Now the process is to convert to e-pub, then clean it up and convert to MOBI. I have not used KDP or CS to convert a book to Kindle, and I have not gone the Word to Kindle route. I have tried the OO epub plug-in, it did a good job.
Walton

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Seisa
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Re: [FORMATTING] odt to mobi

Post by Seisa » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:04 am

walton wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:40 am
Then get Calibre, Use Calibre to convert your file to MOBI.
Or just upload the ePub file to KDP. They'll accept it and convert it themselves. I often have trouble with Calibre Mobi files at KDP, but never with the ePub (created or tweaked with Sigil and validated using http://validator.idpf.org/).
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Sonya
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Re: [FORMATTING] odt to mobi

Post by Sonya » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:07 am

That's a great help Walton and Seisa thank you. Finance is an issue this end so I do not have Word or Indesign and am always looking to try and find free ways round problems - I am sure there are others like me.
I think what I'll do now is go back to the .odt file and do as you say - strip out headers etc and then follow your route one:
OO > e-pub > Mobi
Fingers crossed and thank you both.
Best wishes
Sonya

walton
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Re: [FORMATTING] odt to mobi

Post by walton » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:18 am

OO, the OO e-pub plug-in, Sigil, and Calibre are all free programs. Sarah will, but I think the e-pub upload to Kindle for them to convert is free.

At a minimum, I would open the e-pub in Sigil and see how it looks. You can tweak things there, in fact, you could do everything there, except the e-pub to MOBI conversion. However, as Sarah said, she has had problems with the MOBI conversion in Calibre and uploads an e-pub.

Always have copies of your files . . . it can't be stressed enough.

Let us know what you do and how it works for you!
Walton

Bleeds , free, 91 page guide to bleeds, margins, covers, and annotated CreateSpace guidelines. Prepress Glossary free, 79 page, fully illustrated prepress glossary with annotations forCreateSpace users. Typography free, 112 page illustrated guide to designing books, typography, with glossary and type specimen pages. Free list of free PDF downloads.

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Sonya
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Re: [FORMATTING] odt to mobi

Post by Sonya » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:20 am

Okay I'm afraid I have now run into problems.
I have done the general strip out as suggested of headers/footers etc. in my open office document.
Then you say:
OO has a very good epub conversion plug-in. Get it, install it, and use that. It will convert your file to an e-pub.
I have tried using Writer2ePub as the plug in.
I get a warning message: general output error.
Is that the plug in you meant?
Many thanks
Sonya
I am using Open Office 4.1.2. and I am not very technical so the simplest conversion tool possible would be great.

walton
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Re: [FORMATTING] odt to mobi

Post by walton » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:31 am

As I recall, Writer 2epub sounds like what I used. But I just checked. I used it with LibreOffice, not OpenOffice. These are fundamentally the same programs, but are different forks . . . that is LO started with OO, but made some changes, what? who knows. OO was open source code, free for others to use and develop. I think it was Oracle that was maintaining OO, but announce some years ago that it was dropping its support. LO became a supported alternative. I do not think this explains the error message. I just wanted to see what I have. And I am not suggesting you change from OO to LO. See if you get any other replies. I'll do some thinking at my end.

What did the error message say exactly? Or was what you said it?
Walton

Bleeds , free, 91 page guide to bleeds, margins, covers, and annotated CreateSpace guidelines. Prepress Glossary free, 79 page, fully illustrated prepress glossary with annotations forCreateSpace users. Typography free, 112 page illustrated guide to designing books, typography, with glossary and type specimen pages. Free list of free PDF downloads.

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Sonya
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Re: [FORMATTING] odt to mobi

Post by Sonya » Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:47 am

Hi Walton thank you for being there and being so helpful.
The message says; General error. General input/output error.
I googled it and the reply on how to solve it was something about having to re-confirm your user profile or something in OO. All sounded pretty difficult to me so I thought I'd try another route.
At present I am on the track of saving .odt into OO as a .doc as I think Calibre can cope with .doc.
Hey ho!
I will press on and keep following the rabbit.
Best wishes
Sonya

Sonya
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:12 am

Re: [FORMATTING] odt to mobi

Post by Sonya » Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:46 am

Well I hope this might help someone else sometime...
So I have stripped all the formatting out of my book in OO with my book file as an .odt
Then I need to convert .odt to ePub but I can't seem to find a plug in that works.
So in OO I have done a Save as and saved .odt to .doc
I have downloaded and installed Calibre.
Then I have followed the steps in a very good page which I won't link to as I'm not sure links are allowed.
Basically you follow these steps:
Firstly open your word document, change format style of the book title and all chapter titles to "Heading 1".
Then save your documents as ".html" with the "Save As" option.
Then you go to Calibre.
In Calibre you fill in the Metadata, from the left side menu, click on "Look & Feel", select "Removing spacing between paragraphs", click on "Table of Contents", select the "Level 1 TOC" wizard button, A new window named "Match HTML tags with tag name" will pop up. From the drop down list select "h1".
Then you can convert from .html to epub.
Success! I now have an epub file.
My steps for tomorrow will be to download Sigil and check it all in that and then try to do whatever else you suggested.
Best wishes
Sonya

Sonya
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:12 am

Re: [FORMATTING] odt to mobi

Post by Sonya » Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:10 am

Okay you might be able to help me out!
My task for tomorrow is to do as you suggest and use Sigil.
This is the instruction I have been given by that good web page I was using:
"After trying calibre extensively, you can have a try to convert html to epub sigil. All you have to do is just throw your html files (it automatically imports images referenced by them) and add some metadata. Procedure is also very easy, download Sigil, then add your html files to sigil and save as epub. The key to the conversion is to remove everything but the main part of the chapter from the HTML files when adding html to sigl. Don't forget that."
The problem is I don't understand the vital bit:
"The key to the conversion is to remove everything but the main part of the chapter from the HTML files when adding html to sigl. Don't forget that."
Does it mean remove all Chapter headings from the html document? Or what does it want me to remove?
Many thanks
Sonya
PS I have already removed my images from the document as I thought the recommendation was to add them back in using Sigil.

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