Mobileread
Converting old multi-file .txt fanfic to Kindle
#1  SlickRCBD 03-27-2020, 10:37 PM
I've been reading fanfic off the internet for around 25 years, but only found a Kindle at Good Will a couple years ago.

A lot of the old classics used to be posted to websites one chapter per file, with a naming scheme of Title1.txt, Title2.txt, Title3.txt, etc. The last chapter might be TitleEpilogue.txt or TitleEpi.txt, or it might follow the number scheme.

Reading fics in this format on a Kindle is a pain as the chapters are often not that long.

It also makes using "copy title*.txt title.txt" to concatenate a story with more than 9 chapters difficult because DOS/Windows does not handle the lack of a trailing zero with number properly, and will put chapter 11 through 19 after chapter 1 before doing chapter 2, then chapter 21.

Does anybody know a way to convert the old-school fanfic format of one plain text file per chapter to a Kindle e-book format that lets the index and chapter navigation work?
I can't figure out a way to get Calibre to do this, and lack any other e-book creation tools.

I CAN concatenate the text files into one massive text file with a little work renaming the first 9 chapters, but the chapter navigation on a Kindle does not work. I can't figure out how to get Calibre to do it either and lack any other tools or knowledge of what tools to try.

Ideally, I'd like to know of a tool or plug-in for Calibre that I can point a the directory with the fanfic (I tend to stick stories in this format in their own folder), and it will automatically convert it into something the Kindle Keyboard (I know, it's old, but it only cost $10 and still does the job) can read.
I can easily convert an e-pub to such a format with Calibre, I just want something that works. I know little about e-book formats, just how to use Calibre to convert epub to mobi or to use Omnibuser, Fanficfare, or Fanfiction Downloader to download fanfics to read offline on the Kindle by treating it as a USB drive.

I don't care if it's .mobi or .azw, just as long as the Kindle Keyboard will read it and navigate it properly.
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#2  SlickRCBD 03-27-2020, 10:48 PM
Oh, here is an example of such a fanfic.
http://animeprime.proud-sites.net/ff/md/cmdframe.shtml
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#3  dwig 03-28-2020, 09:01 AM
Quote SlickRCBD
...

It also makes using "copy title*.txt title.txt" to concatenate a story with more than 9 chapters difficult because DOS/Windows does not handle the lack of a trailing zero with number properly, and will put chapter 11 through 19 after chapter 1 before doing chapter 2, then chapter 21.
...
I use a tool to bulk rename files when I run into this sort issue. I use BulkRenameUtility to accomplish this. For you example, I'd select only the single digit files and either replace "Title" with "Title0" or insert "0" at position 6, both are options in BRU. The files will now sort in order and concatenate in order.

Check out: https://www.bulkrenameutility.co.uk/
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#4  DaleDe 03-28-2020, 11:46 AM
These seem to be simply text files. It is best to use leading zeros to get the order right which means you need to rename the files. To make a mobi or azw file most people start with an ePub these days. Even Amazon tools can work with an ePub and convert it to an AZW. I would suggest you are going to have to concatenate the files anyway at some point. You will need some sort of word processor. Calibre can be used. Atlantis Word Processor can create ePub and Mobi directly as can a few others. Not all create a clean file if you have some special formatting but txt files are easy since they don't have much formatting but hard in that they depend on spaces and CR/LF to define what spatial formatting they do have. There is some help in our wiki on HowTo: Create an eBook@Wiki ».

Also see the wiki page FLAG@Wiki » for a tool that can do some of the work for you.

Dale
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#5  SlickRCBD 04-10-2020, 11:05 PM
I'm sorry, I expected to get an e-mail alert, but I have no idea why it did not appear when I got replies.
In any case, I see a long list of program, but can any of them take a bunch of text files, assume that I fixed the names so they are nice and numbered correctly, and automatically convert that into an ebook where it will assume that each file is a separate chapter, without me having to manually go in, add
each
file
one
at
a
time,
then
manually
mark
the
chapter
header
before
adding
the
next
file
which would be as tedious and annoying as reading the above.

Basically, what I was trying to ask for, an automated tool to take the standard "1 chapter per file" fanfic format of the 1990s & 2000's and make it into an e-book with proper chapter navigation.
I can understand if I need to use Bulk Rename Utility to fix some of the filenames, but beyond that, is there anything that I can point at the folder with the fanfic's chapter files and it will turn it into an e-book for me?
It seems on the surface fairly simple to automate that, and I can't believe it hasn't been done.
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