While there are free services that perform automatic conversions from Document, HTML or plain text formats into common e-book formats, they rarely produce high-quality publish-ready files and they don't take advantage of many of the superior e-books features. Free converters often don't include the bare necessities like author and title metadata or Table of contents. It frustrates many avid readers who expect their digital experience to come with more perks than the printed version, but in the end get far less.
To learn more about the advantages of e-book formats read Advantages EPUB e-books have over printed versions.
So how do you go about converting your content into EPUB and similar formats? Although EPUB is an open standard and there are many resources online on how to learn the procedures, the amount of details and technical ability necessary for the average project proves to be too much for the average author or publisher. Publishing platforms that provide conversion services still haven't solved this problem to the extent of fully satisfying even the most common cases.
The standard EPUB format isn't the only e-book format commonly used today. Amazn Kindle is the most notable platform that requires special attention with their MOBI format. Although the simplest e-book designs convert seamlessly from EPUB to MOBI, more complex cases require doubling the technical effort because there isn't a lot of overlap between the formats. And the problems keep piling up the more complex the design and the more formats/publishing platforms you need to cover.
To save yourself a lot of pain and frustration it's best to let a professional deal with all the tedious technical details and reveals tips and tricks in the today's publishing process.
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