I have an HTML file (XHTML 1.1 strict, if you want to be technical about it) that I am trying to make into a Kindle format (.mobi) book.

I've been trying to use calibre and have found the process to be very confusing.

  1. Are there other options besides calibre? (If so, what are they?)

  2. For people who have made Kindle/mobi documents, what have you used as your 'source' materials? Plain text? (X)HTML? Markdown? Word/Pages/Scrivener/etc?

  3. If you have used calibre, how did you figure out which options you needed to use and which to just leave along? There's a metric buttload of them.

ps - yes, it would be nice if Kindle would just accept ePub files, wouldn't it?


I didn't enjoy Calibre. But then I realised that it comes with a bunch of command line utilities, and that made things easier for me.

Imagine you have a bunch of epub files.

for f in *.epub
  anytomobi --dest-profile=Kindle "$files"

That's the Linux command line to convert them all to mobi using the calibre tool. Except I think the command line toold have changed name in the newest release.

Here's a website, from the Calibre pages, that claims to by a guide to converting HTML to e-book formats, including mobi.


This page seems most important for your question, it has nice screen shots for the settings used.


  • 1
    Oh, I prefer the command line (yeah, I know that's weird)… so that is good to know. Thanks for the links too.
    – TJ Luoma
    Oct 2 '11 at 23:09
  • 2
    I have not found any better solution for this, and the command line tool is better than using Calibre, at least for me, so I have accepted this as the "official" answer (with the minor caveat that there's no really "good" way to do what I want, but this is "less worse" :-)
    – TJ Luoma
    Oct 18 '11 at 1:56
  • There's also ebook-convert, which comes with calibre. What is anytomobi? Sep 3 '13 at 23:34

The Send to kindle Mac app is really neat. You just drag and drop any .doc .txt .pdf and it's being sent right away on your device.

The most awesome part is that you can select the option to convert the file into .mobi

It also adds a "Sent to kindle" option in the print dialog, so you can sent anything that can be printed.

I'm sold! :)


  1. I'd say no - most other options are deficient at the moment. But maybe try Stanza.
  2. Usually, InDesign / .doc > EPUB >> Calibre > .mobi. I think InDesign might support .mobi natively.
  3. Not sure how to answer this, but maybe the Lifehacker tutorial can help.

Here are some options from http://www.labnol.org/software/how-to-convert-files/19523/, or you could try Auto Kindle eBook Converter if you have access to a windows environment.

You may use consider Sigil, a WYSIWYG ebook editor that can convert HTML and text files into EPUBs.

Amazon offers a free command line utility for Windows, Mac and Linux called KindleGen that you may use to convert any HTML, XML or EPUB book into a Kindle Book (MOBI).

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