There are many places you can convert various formats to ePub online for free. I have not actually used any so I can’t vouch for the quality or efficiency of said sites. In any case, I prefer to be able to convert regardless of whether I have an internet connection. So I use Calibre to convert all my eBooks to ePub format.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Calibre is free eBook/eReader software which can convert many eBook formats into ePub. You can read more about Calibre in my post here. Although I have not tested it, I know that it also has the function to convert the other way. But it’s worth mentioning that this function is available. The official list of convertible formats is as follows:
Of these, the formats I have actually converted to ePub (as mentioned in an earlier post) are:
I usually use Open Office to convert DOC files (or TXT or RTF) to PDF format so I haven’t tried converting them using Calibre. Open Office, now called Apache Open Office, is a free alternative to Microsoft Office which you can have a look at here. I find it really handy for editing documents before exporting to PDF. I also use Bean which is a very handy free text editor (only for OS X I’m afraid) to open and edit TXT and RTF. It has a really simple clean interface and it is great for opening non English files as it always asks which encoding you require. But I digress.
Anyway, to convert to ePub using Calibre is really simple. Just follow the steps below.
Locate the file you want to convert and add it to the Calibre Library by dragging and dropping it into the main window.
Right click on the file and choose
> Convert books > Convert individually
You can convert in bulk (I do this quite a lot) providing that
a.) all your files are in the same format, i.e., you can’t convert PDF and MOBI to ePub at the same time
b.) you don’t have a lots of books with lots of pictures (if one book gets stuck/takes a long time the whole program locks until it has finished)
Choose the format you want to convert to from the list. The default is usually ePub. You can also choose to change the front cover and other settings. I generally don’t mess around with it too much but sometimes it’s nice to have a good book cover.
When you’re done, start the conversion by clicking OK.
You can check your progress by clicking on Jobs in the bottom toolbar.
When the conversion is finished Calibre notifies you as to whether the conversion has been successful with a message. There will also be a green tick next to the job.
You can then relocate the file in the library and check the ePub works. To check it using the inbuilt reader just double click on the file and it will open the ePub by default.