Several months ago, I wrote about how to convert Word files to ePub files. I’ve since stumbled across two other methods, one automated and one manual.
First, the automated method: There’s a new application on the block called ODFToEPub. It works with OpenOffice files, but if you use Word, don’t run away. Since OpenOffice understands Word files, you can use ODFToEPub to convert Word files to ePub files.
You can download OpenOffice for free. I use it to create the PDF files that are available on my story site, since it offers security options that Word’s “Save as PDF” feature doesn’t. OpenOffice also understands a bunch of other file formats, such as WordPerfect and Google Docs. You can find the list of supported file formats at the ODFToEPub site.
ODFToEPub isn’t free. You can obtain a 15-day trial license. After that, you’ll have to buy it. It’s 39 euros, which is quite the deal if it works well. I haven’t tried it myself, but I intend to do so next time I have a spare moment.
Now the manual method: If you’re technically inclined and a hands-on sort of person, you might want to work through the Build a digital book with EPUB tutorial at IBM’s developerWorks site. The tutorial assumes that you understand XML and have the skills to process it. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, this method isn’t for you.
Again, I haven’t given this a whirl, because I don’t need to build ePub files by hand. Since I write fiction, I never have to worry about charts, tables, and illustrations. Most automated conversion methods give me a great head start when I want to convert to an ePub file. If you’re trying to convert a complex file and the automated methods aren’t working for you, this tutorial might help.
If you’ve tried either method, please let me know how it turned out.