GrabMyBooks: A Firefox Add-On For HTML To ePub Conversions & Making Your Own eBooks

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html to epub conversionA few years ago most of where unfamiliar with the ePub format or eBooks. Thanks to the mushrooming of PDAs, smartphones, and of course eBook readers, we all know what the format is for: reading great content on the go.

Now, is it a happy chance that our lack of time has coincided with the mushrooming of productivity tools and apps; more likely its necessity that has been the mother of invention. This catchphrase is summed by the very useful Firefox experimental add-on called GrabMyBooks. GrabMyBooks is your browser based tool that can grab content from any webpage (or the entire webpage itself) and compile it in a very readable ePub format for your digital handhelds or eBook readers.

The best thing about GrabMyBooks is that it works right from your browser. You don’t have to go looking for online converters (e.g. BookGlutton) or desktop tools (e.g. Calibre). GrabMyBooks is not only a HTML to ePub converter but also bit of an editor. The two roles combined help you to build your own compilation of web content into customized eBooks.

Just after you download the Firefox plugin you can put it into action the following three ways to ‘grab’ content. All from a right click context menu. With a right click, you can grab content in the following three ways and add it to your eBook (My Book) visible in the notification box on the side of the browser screen.

Grab a Selection

Selecting text of course, copies only that part into your ePub file.

html to epub conversion

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Grab a Link

Selecting a link grabs the content that the link points to and helps you to quickly add content when building your ePub file.

html to epub converter

Grab a Webpage

This command lets you grab the entire visible webpage in one go.

html to epub converter

But the desired for feature is not that you can grab links or pages…it is that you can compile all your ‘grabs’ into an eBook just as easily and do a bit of editing on it. All your ‘grabs’ are stored as separate pieces of articles in your eBook. This is how it stacks up together. You can view each individual article using the dropdown.

html to epub converter

If you have many articles, you can rearrange them in an order using the Up and Down clicks. You can add your own content into any of the articles or a separate article by clicking the Edit button and opening the article in the book editor.

This is really helpful as now you can simply add more relevant matter from non-browser based sources like PDF files or Word documents.

Finally, GrabMyBook gives you the entire compilation as a download in your desired ePub format. Save it on your desktop and transfer it to an ePub reader or a mobile device for reading on the go.

The quick-click and save feature of GrabMyBooks is really what you need to build up your notes and transfer them to an eReader for study. I can see myself letting it work on my feeds using the in-built feed capture tool (My Feeds) and building an ePub file for offline reading on a mobile device. As you can see from the screenshot, I can select the articles I want by using the checkboxes alongside the articles in the feed.

html to epub conversion

For study, research, or just general interest reading, this add-on could soon graduate from the experimental to the main stage. What do you think?

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