Making an Ebook for schools

On this page you will find a step by step guide to converting a story written in Word to an ebook format. This is great for students wanting to be able to share their work. Technology changes rapidly, but the theory will hopefully remain steady. The product used in this example is Calibre, which can be found here: Please note that Black Sky Books has no relationship with Calibre and no control over the product. Other software is available, though often with a fee.


The main screen

To see the whole image of the interface, click on it. The main section lists the stories already in the software. They can be sorted by the various column headers.


adding the word document

Click on the Add books option in the top left. Navigate to the Word document you wish to import.


Story details (metadata)

It is now time to make sure all the story details are correct. The story should be visible in the list. If you have added many stories, you an use the search by to find a particular work. 


customising metadata

There are a number of details that you can fill out, but the key ones are Title and Author.

To make the ebook really stand out, use the change cover section to upload an image. 600 pixels wide by 800 tall is fine, but you can double that as well. PNG and JPEG formats are the way to go. Consider either scanning in hand drawn covers or use illustration software. Use the brows button to find the saved image.

The series field could be used to indicate a body of work or a school subject. Once you are happy with the details, select OK.


convert to an ebook

Right click on the story in the main screen. Select convert books and convert individually.


ebook options

The Output format will determine what devices can read the ebook. You are able to convert the book into more than one format if required. ePUB is used by iPADs, Kobo readers and many other ereaders. Mobi is for Kindles. Many ereaders support PDF files, but as the text cannot be shifted to suit the screen size, it is often a poor option for reading on mobile devices. There are many settings that can be adjusted, but for a simple ebook, select the preferred output format and hit OK.


job progress

In the bottom right of the main screen, there is a jobs counter. Click on this for detail. Short stories will convert quite fast. Close this window when you want to return to the main screen.


finding your ebook files

To find the files, simply right click on the story in the main screen and select Open containing folder. This will reveal them in Finder (Mac) or Explorer (Windows).



example output

In this example, an epub version of the file has been create. The epub file is the only one needed for an iPad.


adding the ebook to devices

The process of adding ebooks to ereading devices without going through a store like Amazon is called sideloading. Different devices will have their own methods, though most are simple and a web search for your device and sideloading should get you plenty of guides.


Sample Files

School's Out Word Document

School's Out Epub File


Advanced TIP

Conversion and editing metadata have a bulk option. If you are working with many stories, consider using these options to speed up the process.



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