Calibre is a very interesting multi-purpose tool for e-book users – readers as well as writers. It calls itself an e-book library management application and among other things helps you do following
- Library management of e-books
- Conversion between various formats
- Syncing your files to various devices
- Reading e-books of various formats
You will need your e-book files to be DRM-free to be able to use them with calibre, which means that books purchased on the likes of Kindle, Nook or other DRMed e-book sellers can’t be used with Calibre. But books downloaded from places like Gutenberg, or purchased with O’Reilly media would work very well.
Here are some of the things readers and writers can do with Calibre.
Calibre for readers
- Manage all your non-DRMed e-books in one place. You can sort and search through your books.
- Convert to a different format to read on a specific device. For example, if you have purchased a file in EPUB format, but want to read it on Kindle, you can use Calibre to convert it to Mobi format, which is Kindle-compatible. Calibre can also help you sync the converted book to your Kindle.
- Use Calibre as an e-book reader. Calibre as an in-built viewer which can be used for reading the e-books.
Calibre for writers
- Including/Updating Metadata and Cover: If you have an EPUB or some other calibre-compatible format file for your e-book, and want to include or update its metadata or cover, you can use Calibre to do it very easily.
- Generating different e-book formats: Calibre will also convert your e-book to various formats, which you can use to publish it on different platforms or sell different formats through your own website.
- Editing HTML/CSS: If you are so inclined, you can explode an HTML/CSS-based file like EPUB using calibre and edit it at HTML/CSS level. This will be useful only for the technically-inclined though.
If you look around, you will find other usage too. Although, as a writer, do keep in mind that Calibre is an e-book management system, not an e-book writing on creation system. Editing and conversion features that writers can use are incidental. So, if it doesn’t do all that you want, don’t blame the tool 🙂