Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Talk about various bits of technology (both hardware and software) here. Also used for troubleshooting and other problems.

Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Postby slickrcbd » Mon Nov 11, 2019 6:29 pm

I've got a bunch of old fanfics I might like to reread. I'm wondering if there is an easy way to convert them to Kindle format so that they are read as a single story instead of dozens of "books" for each story.

They were downloaded using an old standard that was popular on Tannim's "Ranchan & Co Crossing Bridges" aka Tannim's Ranma Crossover Archive.
Basically, each chapter is in a sequentially numbered text file, which may or may not have leading zeros in the numbering. All the chapters for the story all have the same filename except for the numbers at the end.

A rare few are using the same scheme, but with HTML files. For a good example of both (and a good fic), look at Ben Oliver's "Nuke 'Em Till They Glow" at The Lost Library of Florestica. The chapters are available in numbered HTML format, but there is also a ZIP file that has it in text format exactly as I described.
http://florestica.com/boliver/nettg/index.htm

Is there an easy way to convert those multiple files into .mobi/.azw/.azw3 with each file it's own chapter?

I've got Calibre, but it seems to treat each file as it's own "book" rather than a chapter in the book.

**Edit**
I just looked at the site and noticed I might not have picked a good example, since it has things like "Chapter 10 part A" and "Chapter 10 part B" with names like "NG10.txt" "NG10-2.txt". I only glanced at the folder and saw "ng01.txt" through "ng07.txt" and did not scroll the window.
slickrcbd
Chibi Sailor Senshi
Posts: 229
 

Re: Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Postby Spica75 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:07 pm

Is there an easy way to convert those multiple files into .mobi/.azw/.azw3 with each file it's own chapter?

I've got Calibre, but it seems to treat each file as it's own "book" rather than a chapter in the book.


Converting isn't a problem, but i'm afraid i haven't seen any software that will properly handle making chapter-files like that, and i tried out several programs before settling on ConvertLit or CLit as it is so neatly abbreviated as.

The best idea i can think of is to first figure what you're going to name the files and how to place them, then add a link at the end to the next file in each chapter, then do the conversion with the links retained.
Haven't converted that direction however so i don't know if it even works.
Spica75
User avatar
Prism Power Senshi
Posts: 2195
 

Re: Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Postby slickrcbd » Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:51 pm

I haven't done much research on making e-books. I'm not really sure what you mean, although I could probably learn.

Mostly I've just used Calibre to convert epubs, .html, .doc, and .rtf and a .lit file somebody gave me, to mobi, which is a completely automated process. I just open up the file in Calibre, and select "convert book", choose mobi and Calibre does the rest. Then I can "send to device" or copy it over with Windows Explorer.

Also if I wasn't clear, I wanted to take the multiple text files with each file holding a single chapter and make a single .mobi or .azw file and load it onto the Kindle, preferably with something that makes a table of contents and can handle chapter navigation.
I was hoping there was something in Calibre to do this that I was missing (such as a plugin similar to FanFicFare), or some other program that could do it easily.
slickrcbd
Chibi Sailor Senshi
Posts: 229
 

Re: Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Postby PCHeintz72 » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:57 pm

Heh... I'd be of little help here... I actually wrote a program to bust up single file stories into separate TXT files by chapter, as it is my preferred method of reading. Basically, the exact opposite of your needs.

If all you wanted was to combine the TXT files, that is actually easy if you know DOS, as with DOS commands you can merge TXT files using either Copy or Type commands. Or just load them into a professional level text editor and copy paste merge them that way.

But even if you did know DOS commands, or used a text editor, neither would convert the file to Kindle.

If the story is also on FanFiction.NET, you could use FanFictionDownloader.NET to dump it in one of the supported formats.

I refuse to use Calibre... got into a discussion with the author a number of years back on some discrepancies I found when it dumped to Text.... suffice it to say the attitude rubbed entirely the wrong way and I deleted the program. (Thus why I use FanFictionDownLoader, and my own custom written buster program to break files up)
PCHeintz72
User avatar
Prism Power Senshi
Posts: 2718
 

Re: Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Postby slickrcbd » Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:20 am

To be honest, like you I preferred that method for over 20 years for multiple reasons. Hence why so many of my old fanfics are in that format. I've only started going for the big file variant since I found a Kindle Keyboard when dropping some old stuff off at Good Will for my mother since I pass by one on my way home from work.

Heck, one of the reasons was was that back then I was in community college and I sometimes had gaps between classes. I used to load fanfics saved in .txt format onto my TI-89 calculator to read as going to a computer lab was inconvenient (no smartphones yet, and I wouldn't even get an analog cell phone until 2001), and carrying a book was extra weight when the textbooks were heavy enough. However, the TI-89 had a 32K or 64K file size limit (can't recall). I'm sure you can figure out why I preferred chaptered stories.

As for downloading, a good deal of the stuff I downloaded from Pit of Voles was done with De-FFNet-Izer instead, which outputs chaptered stories instead of one big file.

However, the needs of reading on the Kindle are different from reading on my computer. It may be an obsolete model (Kindle Keyboard) I literally picked up for $10 at Good Will, but it still does the job quite nicely, and I couldn't justify buying one in my current financial situation when I could do the same thing with my phone (squinting) or my laptop (and the cord is a trip hazard if I read it in bed and put it on my night stand when ready to sleep).
slickrcbd
Chibi Sailor Senshi
Posts: 229
 

Re: Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Postby Spica75 » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:09 am

slickrcbd wrote:I haven't done much research on making e-books. I'm not really sure what you mean, although I could probably learn.

Mostly I've just used Calibre to convert epubs, .html, .doc, and .rtf and a .lit file somebody gave me, to mobi, which is a completely automated process. I just open up the file in Calibre, and select "convert book", choose mobi and Calibre does the rest. Then I can "send to device" or copy it over with Windows Explorer.

Also if I wasn't clear, I wanted to take the multiple text files with each file holding a single chapter and make a single .mobi or .azw file and load it onto the Kindle, preferably with something that makes a table of contents and can handle chapter navigation.
I was hoping there was something in Calibre to do this that I was missing (such as a plugin similar to FanFicFare), or some other program that could do it easily.


Ah ok...

Well since it can convert .doc or .rtf, you could do what Heinz suggested and manually piece together the chapters to a single file you can then convert.

Actually, after some searching, it seems there should be an "Edit" function in Calibre that probably allows you to do what you need.

Here, this looks like what you want?
http://blog.calibre-ebook.com/2013/04/m ... c-for.html
https://dearauthor.com/ebooks/creating- ... n-calibre/
http://howtowriteshop.loridevoti.com/20 ... h-calibre/

And this, merging and splitting:
https://www.howtogeek.com/168444/how-to ... it-ebooks/
Spica75
User avatar
Prism Power Senshi
Posts: 2195
 

Re: Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Postby slickrcbd » Tue Nov 12, 2019 3:28 am

I could do
Code: Select all
copy story*.txt fullstory.txt
or
type story*.txt > fullstory.txt
and then copy the result onto the Kindle (the Kindle can handle .txt, .mobi, .pdf (badly), and .azw directly), but that would not make the chapter feature work or give a table of contents.
I was hoping for a tool that would automate the process of combining those into a chaptered .mobi file, as I have quite a few stories and if I have to manually go through and mark each chapter it will take a lot of time.
slickrcbd
Chibi Sailor Senshi
Posts: 229
 

Re: Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Postby Knight of L-sama » Tue Nov 12, 2019 6:03 am

I used this link to convert stuff into mobi but it can be a bit wonky depending on what format you're converting from. It handles other e-book formats like epub just perfectly but word processor formats can wind up with some odd spacing issues and headers and footers in pdf docs create merry havoc with the formatting.

For that I suggest a free epub editor like Sigil to make an epub file (you can edit out things you don't want like author's notes and create chapter breaks) then convert that to mobi format.
If your spirit has wings to travel, even across the breadth of a thousand, million nights, imagination will guide the way and the gates of El-Hazard will always be open to you.
Knight of L-sama
User avatar
Chibi Sailor Senshi
Posts: 381
 

Re: Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Postby Ellen Kuhfeld » Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:41 pm

If I have a story that I really want to re-read, I pull the whole thing into a word processor, adding each chapter to the end as it comes up. Then I do my best to tame it down to a nice word-processor file, and save it as RTF. That can go through Calibre and come out in any format you like - since you are using a Kindle, that should be MOBI. Also save the RTF, it might come in useful.

If you also have a smartphone, download Alreader from the Google store (if it's Android). That handles almost any unencrypted text file format gracefully, and fits in your pocket. There, I just use the RTF files, if that's what I've made. Or, I go back to the source if it can be found, and download it with Fanfiction Downloader. If you are reading on AO3, you can download the whole thing at once right there.

A folder full of TXT is not graceful, unless the reader has the space to handle it. In that case, Microsoft Word (I use 2003) can handle it. It can search and replace paragraph marks, and most TXT files have two in a row to mark paragraphs. So I change two-in-a-row to some otherwise-unused character with search and replace, then replace the remaining paragraph marks with spaces, and convert that otherwise-unused character back to paragraph marks. I mostly use LibreOffice Writer, but that isn't so good with formatting marks.

This is a royal pain in the nether regions, so I only do it to things I really want to re-read.
Visit Big Washuu's Lab of Arcane Knowledge at http://washuu.net
Ellen Kuhfeld
User avatar
Sailor Starlight
Posts: 1989
 

Re: Converting old fanfics to Kindle

Postby slickrcbd » Tue Nov 12, 2019 8:28 pm

I have an HTC One X+ phone, and I recommend Cool Reader, I find it is nicer than Al Reader.
I'm not sure which link is correct, there seem to be two results:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... coolreader
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... ader.newui
https://sourceforge.net/projects/crengine/
https://www.apk4fun.com/history/1557/

That said, this topic wasn't about the android solutions, as Cool Reader handles the files in question quite nicely. This is about making those same stories work with the Kindle and take advantage of Kindle's features.
I heard that epubs often have many files inside them, I assumed there was an easy way to convert stories where each chapter is in it's own file to epub (though .MOBI or AZW would be better), and from there Calibre can easily convert it to MOBI or AZW3.

As for the other idea, I'm too tired tonight to try it. I'll try it after my job interview tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have a better job tomorrow.
slickrcbd
Chibi Sailor Senshi
Posts: 229
 


Return to Tech

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users