500px-1967_Ambassador_DPL_conv_top-down-winter-FL_palmAre you a control freak, in a good way, when it comes to e-books? You’re a DIYer and you want your self-published novel or other work to look just so.

How to handle your preferences, such as for dropped caps at the starts of chapters?

Well, if you are this way and maybe even if you aren’t, check out Jump in the Convertible: Ebook Conversion Tools, by David Kudler, an author, editor and publisher writing  for Joe Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer.

Kudler’s list:

  • Apache’s OpenOffice has a plug-in called Writer2ePub that allows you to save files as ebooks (open source office suite)
  • Scrivener (commercial writing app)
  • Apple’s Pages for OS X or iOS (consumer word-processing/page-layout app)
  • Adobe’s InDesign (professional page-layout app)
  • QuarkXpress (professional page-layout app)
  • Jutoh (ebook design and creation app)
  • iBooks Author (fixed-format ebook design app)
  • Calibre (ebook library app with file-editing utility)
  • Sigil (dedicated ePub file editor)

In each case, Kudler briefly discusses “the possibility of using one of these tools to create the ePub ebook file, and then a text editor or web-design app to do any post-conversion editing.” Each time he starts with “a formatted Word document from a book that I’m working on (my own novel Risuko, actually).” Risuko, by the way, is a “YA historical adventure novel set” in Japan, and a video trailer is here.

Related: Kudler on preparing your manuscript and your images for the e-book-to-be, as well as 4 Ways to Create an ePub eBook. Also see The Ultimate Guide to E-Books, Michelle Lowery’s overview in Search Engine Journal (SEJ).

Image credit for the convertible photo: Here.


  1. These are pretty good “here and now” suggestions for authors but I wish he had touched on the ongoing transition from ePub 2 to ePub 3. As an art form, writing seems far more confined by technology and commerce than other art forms. It’s as if we will always be expected to stick with right-to-left text and maybe a few static images. In other words, stick with ePub 2.
    What artist does not crave a richer palette?

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