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.

Take Charge of Your eBooks- Part 3

The removal of DRM from your books gives you control from seller-imposed restrictions. The Kindle App for PC allows you access to your Kindle library. The next app allows you to create a library you can finally own.

This app has been around for years. It’s available for Windows, Mac, and Linux! It’s not written or controlled by any major company. It’s free for anyone to download and use. I have used it for years. Calibre is an app which every eBook owner should have.

At this writing, the latest version of Calibre is 6.9.0, but I use 6.1.0 because it works perfectly for our purpose.  

Step 1– Download Calibre and the Plugin

If you have not done it yet, download the app and the special plugin we will need. 

Calibre 6.1.0

DeDRM_tools_7.2.1.zip

For the plugin, do not download the source code. Download this exact file.

Step 2– Install Calibre

Navigate to your download directory and click on the Calibre 6.1.0 installer and install the app.

You will be asked to accept the license and also if you trust the program. Of course, you must say yes to both. Once the app is installed, you can open it.

The first time you open Calibre. It will ask you to choose your language and it will show you where the Calibre Library is normally installed and give you the option to change its location.

This YouTube video is an excellent step-by-step on how to install Calibre.

Step 3- Install Plugin

To install the plugins, open Calibre. On the right, top corner, click on “Preferences.”

Bottom left corner, Click on “Plugins.”

Bottom right, Click on “Load Plugin from file.”

Navigate to your Zipped DeDRM , and click on it.

A security risk warning will appear. Accept it and Calibre will unzip and install the tool. That’s it!

Next post: Creating your Library.

Note: If this post was confusing or you had trouble following any of the directions, please let me know. My posts are always a work in progress, and I aim to clarify the content.

Take Charge of Your eBooks- Part 1

My personal eBook library contains a little over fifteen hundred books. This library is totally under my control. It holds books I’ve bought from various sources over the years, mostly from Kindle. It is available to me wherever I am. It can be loaded into any device or reading app which supports EPUB format. Most reading devices and reading apps support EPUB. In fact, Kobo, Nook, and iBooks use EPUB format.

For your collection of books to be truly yours, it must reside in a location of your choice. It must be usable by any reading app you choose, in the device of your choice. It must be accessible anywhere you go and anytime. No seller has access to it or the right to remove it from you. You bought your books, not rented them.

Before you can do anything to a book file, you must transfer a copy of it to your computer. I work on a PC running Windows 10. Most of my books are Kindle, but I do have books from other sellers and sources.

Kindle books are easily transferred to your computer. Kobo also makes it easy to transfer books. Barnes & Noble has made it very difficult by removing their Nook desktop app. I no longer buy their books because of this. Apple also makes it difficult to transfer your books out of their domain.

In order to liberate your books, you must address the removal of DRM from them. DRM are coded locks the seller uses to limit your control of the book. DRM removal is not illegal. In some cases, such as removing DRM from library loans, it is unethical and morally wrong.

Each book seller uses different DRM methods. There are many articles online which address DRM removal tools, and I advise you to do a little research on the topic. There are apps which claim to remove different types of DRM. Most of them you have to buy and seldom do they work on every seller.

I use Calibre with DRM Removal plugins. Both the app and the plugins are free, open source. I use Calibre version 6.1.0 Created by Kovid Goyal. There are newer versions, but this one has worked perfectly for me. Install the Calibre app as you install any other download. Be careful to choose the 64 bit for a 64 bit system.

Calibre is free and safe to use. It is capable of creating an incredible library with myriad management tools. You’ll love it! Calibre, with the right plugins, will remove the DRM from most books. It works especially well with Kindle books as well as Kobo and Nook. It will not work with iBooks.

Calibre Download Site

DRM Removal Tools

EPubor is also a popular DRM removal tool for Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and Adobe Digital Editions. It has a limited free edition, but you must buy the paid version for full capability. Again, it does not remove Apple DRM. At the time of this writing, their Ultimate Edition was on sale for $24.99 (reg $59.99)

Epubor Download

In my opinion, the most difficult DRM to remove is Apple DRM. There are few options for Apple DRM. You can buy a DRM removal tool specific to Apple books. Since I have never used it, I cannot vouch for it, but you can visit the website and read the reviews. It’s for Mac’s only and costs $30. If your library has many iBooks, it may be money well spent.

ViWizzard iBook DRM Removal Tool

To liberate your eBook collection, you must transfer a copy of your books out of the seller’s control and then remove the DRM restriction. Not all books have DRM. I do not choose to add DRM to the novels I’ve published. All traditionally published books are sold with DRM restrictions. Publishers insist on it.

Once your books are free of DRM, they are truly yours. You can change their format, open them in other apps, move them to other directories, etc. In this post I tell you what needs doing. In my next post, I will tell you how to do it!

Next post: Downloading your Kindle books to your computer.

Truly Read for Free

Are you an avid reader? Do you find yourself spending too much on your reading habit? A subscription service such as Kindle Unlimited may be the thing for you. While Amazon offers unlimited reads, the books are mostly self-published books. The traditional publishers opt not to make their books available on Kindle Unlimited with the exception of older books which have had their run. You will not find a recent best-seller on KU.

Lately, I’ve gotten hooked on the Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries by C.S. Harris. The entire series is listed at $107.00 on Amazon. That’s a serious expenditure on books, especially when I also read many other authors. The books rarely go on sale and never in reading order. I do have a solution to the problem.

I whip out my dedicated reading device and open up a sweet little app called Libby. You can download the app from the Google Play store, your Apple App store, your Kindle App store, etc. It works seamlessly with most of their reading devices.

Libby replaced the old OverDrive app, which I also loved. In order to use Libby, you must have a library card from a public library: any public library in the USA that is listed in the Libby directory. I believe just about every public library is listed.

You open Libby, log into your library, search by author or title, and borrow the books you want, provided the library owns them. If the book is already borrowed, you can place a hold on it. The library will send you an email when the book becomes available.

I did a quick search on my library, and just about every book by J.R. Ward, another favorite author, showed up in both ebook and audio book format. When you borrow the book, you can choose Epub or Kindle. You can choose to read the book using Libby itself, or you can choose to read using Kindle.

If you choose to read using Kindle, the site takes you to your Kindle account where it shows as a borrow. Click on the book, and it downloads to your Kindle device of choice (such as Kindle App for PC). Remember to delete it from your Kindle account after the borrow expires or is returned.

My library did not have every book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series, but it owned  many of them. The books are checked out to you for 21 days, and you can check out multiple titles at the same time. You can also renew a borrow.

Best of all, there are bestsellers and novels by popular authors. You are limited only by what the library has. If the book you want is not on the list, you can recommend to the library that they purchase the title.

Are there negatives? The only one I see is that the latest releases are grabbed quickly, and you usually have to wait a few weeks to get them. If you are willing to wait for them, you can read them for FREE! Really for FREE with no strings attached.

At this time, I feel it’s important to make clear that I do not work for Libby. I am not connected to or, in any way, make money from this post. I do not in any way profit from recommending the app. I honestly like it and feel that my readers deserve to know about it.

Click on the link below to visit the OverDrive site and download Libby. 

Get Libby