ODT->KDP - questions for noobie
#1  provlima 02-07-2022, 01:14 PM
I have a book manuscript (ODT file) which I want to convert to a file format that can be successfully uploaded to Amazon's KDP.

This conversion process is somewhat confusing to me and I am trying to determine if the process of publishing a properly formatted ebook is something I can do, or leave it to a service like

Can Calibre software be used for this purpose or is its primary purpose to organize you ebook collection.

Can Calibre software be used to properly format and edit an epub file?
Thanks for your help and advice

#2  BetterRed 02-07-2022, 03:47 PM
@provlima - I'm moving this to the Workshop forum

Calibre may have a role to play, but you'll probably need to use several tools to get your book KDP-ready. The 'experts' hang out in the Workshop.


#3  retiredbiker 02-07-2022, 08:39 PM
A properly made odt file can be converted by Calibre very well - convert to an epub format, which is what Amazon prefers. By "properly made" I mean that you have used paragraph styles throughout, with no formatting using the tool bar except the occasional italics or bold phrase. Use Writer's Heading 1, Heading 2, etc. for chapter headings, for example.

The reason for this is that Calibre will use the styles to generate good html with css styling. If your odt manuscript is formatted just using the toolbars to "make things look right", the conversion will produce a code nightmare. (This applies to ANY conversion tool you may find, not just Calibre.)

The odt converter is a bit on the old side, so conventional wisdom these days says save your odt manuscript with Writer as a docx file, just for the purpose of conversion. Don't edit the docx, just save it that way and convert, only because the conversion routine is a little better.

Even if you have used styles everywhere, the Calibre conversion will try and help make your book more readable: it will change it slightly. So you are going to need to edit the epub after conversion. This will probably be minimal, but will require you to know or learn some html/css ebook coding. The Editor can do this part very well.

Many thousands of books have been made this way for Amazon, And some of the folks you'll meet here are professionals at it. So give it a go, and ask questions if you need more information.

#4  Quoth 02-08-2022, 08:58 AM
  1. Edit only the odt file. Use styles & headings.
  2. Do an extra Save As a docx file
  3. Convert docx to epub2 yourself (recommended by Amazon). Use either Calibre or Sigil. Do not use Indesign for other than PDFs for paper.
  4. Upload the epub2 and cover separately to Amazon KDP. Same files work for Google Play books/Playstore and Smashwords (who send it on to Apple, Scribd, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo).

I've used Sigil and it's recommended if you are doing anything that doesn't work automatically for docx -> epub2 in Calibre. You CAN edit CSS & HTML in Calibre editor too, but KISS ebooks work perfectly (without CSS or HTML edit) if you have the MS Word or LO Writer styles & headings done properly.

Only use freely usable fonts, embed and subset. Check that the ebook is OK on old kindle (Kf7/mobi) and newer kindle (azw3 or kF8 mobi or dual mobi) when default Kindle fonts are used. You can't upload Kindle versions to anywhere except Smashwords (dual mobi best for that), they are only for local testing.

Only edit the odt, never the docx. The docx is only for making the epub2, it works less well to upload that to KDP than an epub2.

Amazon then make mobi, azw3 and kfx for customers according to which Kindle or app they use and if Download via PC or "whispernet" direct delivery (2G/3G/4G or WiFi).

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