How to (cleanly) convert PDF files to eBook files

For anyone’s who’s gotten an ARC in PDF format (looking at you NetGalley) and tried to read it on an e-Reader, you’ll know how frustrating the experience can be. The font isn’t adjustable so you’re stuck reading size 4 text, alignment can get screwed up, etc etc. Overall, not a great experience. For any Calibre users out there who’s tried a direct conversion from PDF to .mobi or .epub, the conversion isn’t much better. The line spacing and text alignment are all wonky, words get cut off in strange places, etc.

While I’m aware that there are plenty of online services that offer PDF to eBook conversion, there’s a small concern in the back of my head about uploading files (especially unpublished ARCS) to the Internet and not knowing where that file may end up.

Through trial and error and many a frustration, I’ve figured out a way to successfully convert PDFs to eBook files that leave the text (mostly) readable. This method isn’t perfect, but I’ve found it works for about 90% of the PDFs I’ve received and hopefully it’ll help some other bloggers out too.

For this guide, I’ll be converting a copy of Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells, which I received as a .pdf  from NetGalley without an option to send to my Kindle. If there are any issues, please let me know and I’ll take down the post and replace the images with something in the public domain.

What you’ll need:

  • Calibre (a eBook management/databasing software and one of my person favorites, also completely FREE!)
  • MS Word (or a free equivalent: OpenOffice, LibreOffice, etc)
    • I’ve only ever done this with Word, so if someone uses another program, let me know the results!
  • the .pdf file

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2018 in Review: Excel Edition

Now that 2018 has passed, I have a full year’s worth of fanfiction novel data to blab about. Let’s start with the basics.



  • In 2018, I read a total of 46 books (I know the number on  my Goodreads account disagrees, I’ll get to that later) for a total of 5,051,121 words, with an average WC of 109,807 words/book
  • The longest book I read was Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson at 213,348 words. The shortest was All Systems Red, a novella by Martha Wells at 34,398 words. I’m excluding Extra Curricular Activities by Yoon Ha Lee (14,255) because it’s really more of a long short story.
  • Author-wise, 26 books were written by female authors and 20 were written by male authors, for a 56/44 split. As a reader of almost exclusively SciFi/Fantasy, I’d say that’s a pretty good split considering the genre’s author demographics
  • Amusingly, the only contemporary romance book I read, Crazy Rich Asians, was written by a male author, Kevin Kwan

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