How to Convert a Word Book to EPUB

Books & Writing October 7, 2014

Converting a book from .doc to .epub isn’t as difficult as it sounds, but does require some preparation and a correctly formatted word document. Given below are the basic steps that need to be followed for turning your book into a functional .epub file.

1. Prepare the word document

Make sure your book has a cover, a first page with the book’s title and name of the author, as well as a clickable Table of contents, and that the book’s content is properly formatted. Don’t forget to include an Introduction page, Conclusions, and a blurb for social media links if you’re planning to promote your book on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks.

Your book’s structure should look like this:

  • Cover
  • Legal page for copyright notice and disclaimer
  • About author
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Conclusions
  • Social media blurb
  • Back cover

2. Create a clickable TOC

Once the TOC is created, you have to make it clickable in order to facilitate the navigation through the book’s chapters and pages. Here’s how to do this:

  •  Go to the Introduction page. Select the title and click on Insert -> Bookmark in the menu bar. A window will open, asking you to insert the bookmark’s title. Add a bookmark that’s suggestive (“introduction” for example) as shown below, then click “Add”. Each chapter should be defined through a different bookmark. Note that bookmarks’ names can only contain letters and numbers, but no spaces or special characters. Repeat the step for each chapter/subchapter.


  • Go to the Table of Contents. Select the Introduction and click on Insert -> Hyperlinks in the menu bar. A window will open, asking you to select the hyperlink’s destination. Select the second option in the left (Place in this document) and from the list that appears, select “Introduction”, which is the bookmark you’ve created in the previous step. Once you click ok, the text in the Table of Contents will become hyperlinked. Do the same for all chapters.


  •  Don’t forget to add a bookmark for the TOC as well (“TOC” or “Table of Contents” for easier identification).

3. Save the word document as .html file

Once you’re done, save the document first as a .word file, than make a copy and save it as .html file (filtered web page). This is the file you’ll be using for .epub or .mobi conversion.

4. Convert to .epub or .mobi using a specific software

You can convert the book to .mobi / .epub using Calibre, Mobipocket creator or even the Kindle Previewer from Amazon. I’ll show you how to do the conversion using Calibre.

  • Drag and drop the .html file in the main window in Calibre, then click on “Edit metadata” in the menu bar. Add the cover (.jpg) and edit the metatada, then click ok to save the changes.
  • Select the book’s title from the list in the main window, then click on “Convert book individually” and in the upper right corner, select the preferred output format (.epub, .mobi, .azw3).


Calibre will do the conversion for you and you can test the final document directly with this software or you can open it with Mobipocket reader for a fast preview.

That’s it!

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