The Calibre book-making program

I decided to do a more detailed post on Calibre. There are a lot of sites that you can go to that will give you the exact reason why things work and how to do really complex cool stuff. Me, I don’t really care. I just want it to work. So here’s the I-don’t-really-care guide to Calibre.

1. Add Books: Top left. Click on your html file.

2. Edit Metadata: Next to “add books.” The file you just added should be highlighted. “Download cover” is in the middle of the page — find your cover. Input “Title” top left, author below, title sort (same as title) author sort (Carter, Alisa format),  tags (I just used paranormal teen), description in “comments” if you like, and click “OK” bottom right.

3. Convert Books: This icon is conveniently next to “Edit metadata.”

  • In the far upper right corner, click the drop-down menu of “Output Format.” Select EPUB for Nook, MOBI for Kindle.
  • Click on the “Structure Detection” icon to the left. Type into the “Detect Chapters at (XPath expression)” line the following:  //*[((name()=’h1′ or name()=’h3′) and re:test(., ‘.*’, ‘i’)) or @class = ‘chapter’]
  • Still on the “Structure Detection” screen, in the “Insert page breaks before (XPath expression)” line, change the line they already have to the following (they say “h2”): //*[name()=’h1′ or name()=’h3′]
  • Click on the “Table of Contents” icon to the left, and in the “Level 1 TOC (XPath expression)” blank, type the following: Level 1 TOC : //h:h3
  • If you chose EPUB conversion, click on the “EPUB Output” icon to the left and click the box for “Preserve cover aspect ratio.” If you went MOBI and didn’t want a table of contents, you could click the box for “Do not add Table of Contents to book.”
  • Click “OK” bottom right.

4. Which takes you back to the original Titles screen. Make sure your book is highlighted, then click the “Save to disk” icon, top right. Watch the little “jobs” circle at the bottom right. When it goes from 1 to 0, you’re done.

That seriously is it. You’re done. Leave the site designer, Kovid Goyal, a donation at the big red heart to thank him for offering this free program if you like. If you have questions, click on the “connect/share” button, or go to the MobileRead Calibre forum for help. There you will see a couple of dumb questions by me. (

About alisaacarter

I am a writer of young adult novels, wife, mom of three, lover of animals, former magazine editor, reader of anything paranormal, and coffee fanatic.
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