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diy

Playing with Kindle, Automator and Calibre

As well-known fact, Kindle do not support EPUB formatted e-books. That’s part of the politics in Amazon and I’m not here to judge them for that. All I concern is that how find handy way to convert a small collection of EPUB books into .mobi which is working just fine on Kindle.

The most popular solution so far seems to be Calibre, free and open source e-book management application. On the one hand it really works – converts documents and books from one format to another, finds my Kindle and all that kind of things. But on the other hand it is one of the most ugliest piece of software I’ve ever used. You even don’t have to download it to be convinced, check the screenshots right here.

That was the reason I panically started to search an alternative for Calibre. Short googing and I found command line tool KindleGen, provided by Amazon to build ebooks that can be sold through Kindle platform. Unfortunately it’s not the ideal solution in situation where all the books that are waiting to converting are not in standard EPUB format and in some cases are even PDF files.

It seemed that I’m not the only one who is or has been looking similar solution. Oddly most of them turned back to Calibre but this time using the command line method. It turned out that after applying command-line tools from Preferences pane users are able to insert short command

ebook-convert eBookName.epub .mobi

and its there.

My next thought – there should be an app for that. Or at least simple Automator application to where you are able to drag your EPUB file. I found that Kris Johnson has covered that topic on his blog post, although with creating the service not application. But basically this applies to application as well.

Save it and use it. Basically you are free to convert all the formats that are supported by Calibre. Just drag and drop the file on the application icon and wait patiently for few seconds or a bit more and ready made *.mobi book should be waiting you in the same directory as original file.