OneDrive for Your Library

I have a personal library of over fifteen hundred books. I travel often. To keep my library available whether I’m in Florida, New York, or Texas, I use cloud storage. The most popular ones for personal use are Google Drive, Amazon Cloud, Dropbox, and OneDrive. They all offer free space hoping you will eventually buy a subscription. My entire library is occupying less than 700 megabytes. I use OneDrive.

A problem for those of us who are not corporate users with extensive training is that these cloud services can be troublesome if you are a newbie. You’ve only to search the web to see the endless string of baffled users trying to keep their folders from constantly syncing and hoping to rescue deleted files from their computers. With slow internet connections or during high web-traffic, these syncs can become a nightmare.

Cloud services are designed primarily to “back up” your folders. This means uploading all your folders to the cloud storage swallowing whatever free space you were given. Often these files are deleted from your computer to be accessed from the web. Folders you wish to access offline, must be set to do so individually.

Sometimes, deleting a file or folder from the service means it disappears from your device too! You have to go hunting through the service’s recycle bin to rescue the item and hope it is still there. All this can be prevented, but you have to know how to do it and do it before the installation is final. Once a syncing begins, it is difficult to stop if you have no idea how to do it.

If you are not an experienced cloud user, take the safe way out. Do not install the service on your PC or laptop. You can upload manually from the site itself. In this manner, the storage space becomes a place to keep copies of specific files you wish to protect and access at need. On your mobile devices, install the app but make sure that again, it is not set to automatically sync and backup everything, unless that is what you want.

Now, let me show you my way of creating my library. My way is simple, works, uses my storage space efficiently, and I control it. For the initial upload of your books, you want a fast and reliable internet connection. I live in a remote location and have a slow connection. One book uploads in moments, but owing to the size of my library, it took a while to upload it.

I use OneDrive, which belongs to Microsoft. Anyone can sign up for a free Microsoft Account. You get 5 Gigs free storage with the Basic Subscription. It costs nothing. To get your free 5 Gigs, sign up for a free Basic Plan at the Microsoft site.

To create your library:

You begin by signing into your OneDrive account at the Microsoft site. Do not install the OneDrive App on your PC.

Click on “My Files” folder. Yours should be empty. The image below shows mine, which is no longer empty. Now, click on “Upload.”

The PC’s directory comes up. Navigate to the location of your Calibre Library on the /Users/Documents folder on the PC. Highlight the Calibre Library.

Click on “Upload” at the bottom right. OneDrive will prompt you to confirm. Confirm the upload, and the upload begins. The entire folder will be copied to OneDrive. Nothing will be removed from the PC.

To upload new books:

Sign into your OneDrive account. “My files” screen will come up.

Open the folder labeled Calibre Library. This is where your books reside, organized by author. Click on the folder. All the subfolders show up, one for each author.

Select the author whose book you are uploading. Once the author’s folder is open, click on “Upload.” This ensures that the upload will be made to this folder.

If the book is by an author you do not yet have in your directory, from the Calibre folder (the parent folder) click on “New” and choose “folder.”

Label the new folder with the author’s name. Open the folder. It will be empty. Click on “Upload.”

Navigate to the Calibre folder in your PC, and then navigate to the author, then the book’s folder. Highlight the book’s folder and click on “Upload.” Your book will be uploaded to the right author’s folder, the one you created.

OneDrive will ask you to confirm the upload. Do so, and the upload immediately starts. A few seconds later, the book appears in the OneDrive author folder. Easy as that! Anytime you buy a new book, get it into Calibre and upload it the same way.

BookFunnel for Readers

The freebies you get here are downloaded through the BookFunnel App. BookFunnel allows you to select a preferred format: Epub, Mobi, or PDF by choosing your reading device. The app is made for Android, Apple, and Kindle.

Download the Bookfunnel App

If you are using a mobile device, you can go to the BookFunnel site and pick up the links to the app stores there. You can also search the Apple App Store or Google Play for the app, but Amazon does not offer it. However, you can install it to Kindle devices from the BookFunnel site.

My Freebie links take you directly to the BookFunnel site which gives you options to install the app, get a book code, download the file to your PC, or email the file to yourself.

Note: Before you install BookFunnel App to Kindle Fire, go into the settings of your Kindle Fire, click on Security & Privacy, and TURN ON Apps from Unknown Sources. This allows you to install apps that are not Amazon’s property. Amazon makes it sound scary with the word “Unknown” because they want you to use only their proprietary or approved apps.

On our menu, click on “FREEBIES FOR YOU” and choose your freebie. (You can come back and get the second one too.)

You’ll be taken to the book’s landing page on the BookFunnel site. You’ll have a choice to begin reading the book on your browser or to “Get My Book.”

Click on “Get My Book.” If you already have BookFunnel installed on a device, just grab the Book Code from the entry at the bottom of the box. This code is specific to each book and enables you to download it easily on your app.

If you need to install BookFunnel, then look at the options:

“What do you read on?” You get a list of choices. With each choice you also get the option to email the book to yourself. Each choice has its own process. Just follow the instructions for your device.

BookFunnel gives you a choice of Kindle readers as well as a Mobi file. If you choose the Mobi file, it will download to your computer or mobile device to be saved.

You have options to install for Android, Kobo, and Nook as well. Once your Bookfunnel App is installed, you never have to do it again. Most authors now use BookFunnel to gift and to distribute books from their own independent online stores. It’s an app you’ll use again and again.

If downloading the app is something you don’t want to do, then choose the Mobi, EPUB, or PDF File. You can still store it and sideload it into your device.

Take Charge of Your eBooks- Nook

I buy books from Amazon, Kobo, and rarely from Apple. I stay away from Nook books. It is sad because the first reader I ever owned was a Nook. I loved it. Back then, the Nook desktop app was easy to download and no one was afraid of losing his or her library.

If you own a Nook device, there are two methods you may try to liberate your books.

First Method:

Connect your Nook reader directly to your computer via the USB cable which came with it. If your device is old and you no longer have the cable, you can find used original replacement cables on eBay for very little money. Make sure they are for your Nook model.

Use a USB cable capable of data transfer. Some are for charging only. Often, the failure of a device to connect to a PC is simply caused by a USB cable which is not designed for data transfer. The newer Nooks (GlowLight 4 series and newer tablets) use the USB type C connector which is becoming the norm for most electronic devices. 

Connect your Nook and power it on. In some Nook models, a screen pops up on the Nook asking you to approve the connection. Do so. Then, on your PC, navigate on Windows Explorer to “My Computer.” You should see the device listed as MyNook. For different models, you might see it listed as a separate drive or as a storage device. Navigate to the Nook directory, locate the book files, and drag your books to the Windows PC.

Second Method:

An alternative which may work for you is using Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) app. Adobe Digital Editions is a reading app which supports the Nook and also has a desktop version. The ADE must installed in both your Nook and your PC or MAC.

After installing ADE, you must register (authorize) it with Adobe. Both the PC installation and the Nook installation must be authorized. and make sure each is set to “Automatic Download.” This means that any book loaded to your ADE in your Nook is automatically downloaded to your ADE in your PC.

Your books will sync and appear in the PC’s directory. “My Digital Editions” folder should be located in your Documents directory. Now, Calibre can import them just like it does Kobo and Kindle books.

Without a Nook device, liberating your books may not be easy or even possible.

For those readers who do not have a functional Nook, the problem is not DRM removal or format conversion. There are several apps that can handle DRM, and Nook books are already in EPUB format. The problem is getting the books out of the Barnes & Noble ecosystem.

All articles claiming a true/tried way of transferring books out of Nooks using the Nook app for PCs are useless because Barnes & Noble discontinued the app a few years ago. The mobile app is easily available, but not the one for PC.

I found an Epubor post (Updated 2022) claiming that the Microsoft Store’s Nook app still worked. Imagine my joy! Of course, I quickly downloaded it and attempted to install. It would not allow installation on my Windows PC. A careful inspection of the downloaded file’s entry showed that this is now an APK file not executable on the PC.

The app now available at the Microsoft Store is an APK app, although it is not labeled as such. APKs are created for Android devices, primarily Android phones and tablets.

To run an APK app on a PC, you need to install an Android emulator. These are massive programs used mainly by gamers who wish to run Android games on their computers. Some of these emulators are able to run the Nook app available at the Microsoft Store.

I spent hours installing MEmu, which is a stable, file-sharing emulator with excellent reviews. It kept crashing. I finally gave up. In my opinion, this is just too much trouble.

If you have an extensive Nook library which you want to access without buying a new Nook, there is the option to install the mobile Nook app on your Androids, iPhones, iPads and log into B&N to download your books and enjoy them. There is no need to buy a new Nook to enjoy your books. The Nook app is alive and well for mobile devices. You can download it at your favorite app store or at the B&N store site.

You can also buy the latest Nook and enjoy your library. The death knoll for the Nook has been rung for years, with all kinds of articles claiming that Nook is dead. The truth is far different.

Barnes & Noble are still selling Nooks and will for years to come. They no longer manufacture the devices themselves but contract their manufacture out. At present, they are opening new stores where they had closed years ago. It is evident that neither B&N or Nooks are not going away!

Eventually, someone will come up with a way to easily liberate your Nook library. Here’s hoping!

Take Charge of Your eBooks- Kobo

The process for freeing book files from vendors depends on the vendor. Calibre removes DRM from Kobo and Barnes & Noble books as well. The only books Calibre cannot free are iBooks from Apple.

To free a Kobo book, Calibre uses the Obok_Plugin which downloads together with the DeDRM tools.

Install the plugin exactly as you installed DeDRM. You open Calibre, go to Prefences, Plugins, Install Plugins from File. Select the Obok_Plugin (Calibre unzips it for you).

There is no Kobo library to use as there is with Kindle for PC. However, you will see that one is not needed.

Go into the Kobo store and click on “My Books.” As you look at your Kobo library at the store, you’ll see under each cover, three dots.  They turn red when you hover over them. Click on those and select the “Download” tab. The book will download to your computer’s Downloads directory.

The file on your Downloads directory will look like this.

Now, open Calibre. Click on “Add Books.”

Select “Add Books from a Single Folder.”

Navigate to your Downloads directory and select the book file. Calibre will pull it in immediately. It will have its DRM removed and already be in Epub format.

Kobo books are probably the easiest to liberate as all you need is to buy the book and download it to your computer. This means that even if you do not own a Kobo device, you can buy books from them.

Take Charge of Your eBooks- Part 4

At this point, you should be ready to create your liberated library. Kindle for PC should be installed, and your Kindle library downloaded to your computer. Calibre should be fully functional, DeDRM plugin included.

Open Calibre. The Calibre library should be empty. Click on “Add Books.” This is the green book on the top menu, first on the left corner.

You will see a navigation pane. At the top, it will show “This PC > Documents > My Kindle Content.” If it doesn’t, you can navigate there by clicking on this navigation pane. Remember where Kindle keeps its library? It should be on the user’s Document folder. Click on the “My Kindle Content” folder. You should see a listing of your Kindle books. They appear as yellow folders with the _EBOK extension on the file. Click on the first folder with the _EBOK extension.

The individual book will appear. Click on the blue book file. It has the _BOK extension also. This is the Kindle book file you need.

The Calibre Library will now open with the new book in it.

Click on the book for the first time open. If the DeDRM plugin is working correctly, the book will open in Calibre. The DeDRM stripping happens automatically on Calibre’s first opening of the book.

You have imported your first book stripped of Kindle DeDRM. You will notice on the right top corner that the format is Kindle format KFX. You will now make an Epub version of it.

Close the book. The book listing should be highlighted in blue. Right-click on the listing (You can also use the top menu- Brown book ikon) and select “Convert Books.” Choose “Convert Individually” since you are working on only one item.

A conversion screen will show up. At the top right-hand corner, there is a box marked “Output Format.” This is the format to which your book will be converted. Click on its pull-down menu and you will see just about any format available. Select “Epub.”

At the bottom of the screen, click on “OK.” In a few seconds, your book will be converted to Epub format. You can convert your books into Epub format in bulk too rather than individually.

Your book now exists on the Calibre library in two formats: original Kindle (KFX, AZW?) and Epub. (See the entries under the book cover).

Each book you own can be added to Calibre and stripped of DeDRM automatically as it is opened. Then, you can bulk convert them to Epub. Once your entire library is converted, you will remove all formats but Epub. You do this next.

Highlight the entire library. At the top menu, on the “Remove Books” tab, choose the “Remove files of a specific format from selected books.” If by accident you remove the entire book, just add it again.

Select only the formats that are not Epub (KFX, AZW, Mobi). Click on the format you want deleted and hit “OK.”  The unwanted format will be deleted, leaving you with only an Epub library.

Your original Kindle Library remains untouched and unchanged in your Kindle for PC directory. This is a Calibre library that you may now move, copy, and use as you wish. Each time you buy a new Kindle book, you can individually add it to the library.

Be careful not to set Calibre to automatically import new books from Kindle. It will erase your Kindle library if it is set to automatic import.

Now, for the final step in the process. Close out Calibre. On Windows Explorer, navigate to your Calibre library. It is usually found in the Documents Directory. Click on the Calibre library, and you will see a listing, by author, of your entire Epub library.

The entire library can be uploaded to a Cloud service such as Google Cloud, DropBox, iCloud, or OneDrive. The listing can also be saved to a USB thumb drive. You can use a small external drive and take it with you wherever you travel. I use a cloud service to pull down and load my books into most reading apps on demand.

These books are yours. No seller can access or remove them from your library. Even if Amazon locks you out of your account for whatever reason they choose, your library is intact and readable in any device which supports Epub.

On my next post, I will show you how to transfer books from other sellers into Calibre to add to your library.