ePub from MS Word – easy as 1-2-3, doh-ray-me…

Hello all out there in blog post reading land.

This is just a quick blurb to let you know that, if you write your poetry, short stories, novels, screenplays or whatever it is you churn out, in Microsoft Word on a PC, you are not beholden to contact a charging “ePub creator” to turn your finished piece of writing into an ereader-friendly ebook.

The makers of the free ‘eCub’ conversion software, which takes plain text, HTML and other formatted documents, have created a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) conversion package called ‘Jutoh’. And at £24 it is a snip.

Getting down to brass tacks, the basic functionality of this software means that we neanderthal Word writers can simply ‘save as’ our novels in ‘plain text’ format, ensuring we choose ‘UTF-8’ encoding (I do not know what ‘UTF-8’ means – it is probably something like ‘Universal Text Format version 8’).

Then download and install the trial version of Jutoh from www.jutoh.com. (You do not have to buy it to create a trial eBook, although the trial puts ‘Created with Jutoh’ at the top of every chapter, obviously this is not the case with the full version.)

Next, open a new project in Jutoh, import your plain text file and cover art.

Then ‘convert’ to ePub or any other format you wish.

You can then change font, graphics, whatever.

It works – I created a version of a Word-based novel entitled ‘Scream’, which I wrote when I was 18, in 5 mins.

Jutoh also plugs into ‘Kindlegen’, Kindle’s own Kindle-friendly ebook generator.In other words, this is the one-stop-shop we need to publish to ebook format.

I have not tried this on a Mac – I have a mate who is trialling this on a Mac to see if it works (Jutoh should do as it is Linux friendly).

Yes, I know if I was willing to go out and pay double the price for a Mac as I did for my PC laptop, and if I were willing to convert (with difficulty) all of my many books, short stories and the rest to Apple’s own ‘Pages’ software, and if I was willing to retrain myself in using ‘Pages’ on a Mac after a lifetime of using Word on a PC, I could publish to ePub format from a Mac.

However I really do not have the money, time or inclination. I might buy a Mac when I have some spare cash. For now I’m a PC and Word type of dude. And for me, and the rest of my PC and Word type dudes and dudettes out there, Jutoh is just the tonic to take the pain out of publishing to eBooks.

Til next time, hang ten, stay safe,

And keep writing!


Em (mE)

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