Monday, January 16, 2017

How to Backup, Move and Export Your Library in Calibre

Have you ever lost your files? Crashing hard drives and accidental deletions teach us that there are two kinds of people: those who backup their files and those that will start to backup their files. Thankfully, calibre comes with tools to do just that – quickly and easily. That way you won’t lose your collection the next time your laptop crashes.

How to Export Your eBook Library

If you want to prepare for a disaster or just move your collection to your new device, make a backup. To export your calibre library:

  1. First, click on the “[your library name]” button on the main screen and select “Export/Import all calibre data”. 

  2. Then, choose “Export all your calibre data”. 

  3. In the dialog box select the library you want to export and click “OK”. 

  4. Finally, select the folder where you want to save your backup in. 

This process will create a series of 1 GB-large files with your whole library. You can then save it on a backup drive, burn them to DVDs or just stash them away somewhere safe.

How to Import Your eBook Library

You exported your library. Now, to restore your library after a loss or move it to your new computer, you need to import it:
  1. First, go to “Calibre library > Export/Import all calibre data” once again.
  2. This time select “Import previously exported data”. 

  3. Then, find the source folder of your backup. 

  4. And finally, specify where to save it.
  5. Then, click “OK”.

How to Move Your eBook Library

Say you have two hard drives and the one that has your collection on it is getting full. You decided to move it to another drive. To move your library to another location: 

  1. First, click on your library’s name and select “Switch/create library…” 

  2. On the next screen select the new path for your library and click the option to “Move current library to new location”.
  3. Finally, confirm by clicking “OK”. 

Now your library is in the new location!

Cloud Services Are Another Option

If you want to access your library from any location and keep an additional backup, but for some reason do not want to use calibre’s server option, you can add your library to the cloud service you use (e.g. Dropbox or OneDrive).
To do this, you must either move your library to your cloud service location on your device (e.g. your Dropbox folder) or add the library’s folder to be synced in the cloud’s settings. Just remember that if you do that, the cloud service provider will have access to your library. Note that there are also some 3rd party tools to help calibre and cloud services cooperate.
Important note: using cloud services with calibre is risky and may lead to data loss. It is known that Google Drive is not compatible with calibre. Use those services at your own risk and always make a backup.
To minimize this risk, synchronize your library with only one cloud service and only when calibre is turned off. Read more in the manual.
So, there you have it – the basics of staying safe with calibre.

This blog post was contributed by Bartosz Makuch, a Freelance Software Copywriter. He studied Physics and Management and loves to write stories that move people. In his spare time he listens to classic rock and reads sci-fi novels. You can find him at

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Managing Your Kindle Library Is Easy With calibre

Are you tired of spending so much time looking for your eBooks on an ugly Amazon page? Did you download an eBook from another website, but it’s an epub and you can’t easily send it to your Kindle? Well, let me help you with that.
Kindle devices are incredibly popular and sometimes they’re used to back up arguments that paperbacks are dead. You can fill them with eBooks in an impressive pace. eBooks are everywhere: on Amazon and in hundreds of other stores, you can also find millions of free ones online. When you do, you might find it hard to get them on your device. Kindles are very particular when it comes to file formats.
There’s this powerful tool called calibre. It can manage all your eBooks, no matter where they came from and help you select the ones that will get on your device. With it, you can track which books you read and which ones you liked. It can download covers and metadata or compile a series of novels. It can also convert books from one format to another and even make your personal documents into eBooks. Kindle applications just don’t measure up to what calibre is capable of.

How to Set Up Your Library

You open calibre and plug your Kindle with USB for the first time. The program will scan its contents and create a file with metadata – this will allow you to control what eBooks from your library are on the device and vice versa.

Unfortunately, you cannot transfer eBooks you bought on Amazon from your Kindle to the calibre library directly. If you want to copy them:
  1. First, log in to your Amazon account.

  2. Then, choose “Manage Your Content and Devices” from the “My Account” tab.
  3. Finally, click “Download & transfer via USB” from under the “Actions” button.

You will be prompted to select which device you’ll read this eBook on. This question pops up because of the DRM protection Amazon puts on eBooks they sell.
To add the files, you just downloaded, to your calibre library, just drag-and-drop them to the calibre’s main window.
Sending content from your calibre library to your Kindle is much easier. We’ll get to that in a bit.

How to Convert eBooks Using calibre

Let’s say you downloaded an eBook from somewhere on the Internet (say, The Gutenberg Project). But it turns out it’s in a different format than mobi or azw. Most likely, epub.
Epub is the most popular eBook format and most eReaders support it because it’s open-source. Kindle devices, however, do not. Amazon uses its own two file formats: the older, mobi and the newer, azw (also: azw3). Both are Amazon’s property but offer a wider selection of options (e.g. adding a built-in dictionary or support for annotations and comments). The azw format was built upon mobi and offers better compression and encryption.
If you want the eBook on your Kindle, you need to convert it to mobi or azw first. When you opened calibre for the very first time, you went through the configuration wizard. During this process, you already told calibre what device you use. Because of that calibre already chose the best file formats to convert to and you don’t even have to convert your eBooks by yourself, just send them and calibre will do the rest.

How to Send Your eBook to Kindle Using calibre

Okay, you prepared your eBook. Now, what? How to transfer them to your Kindle and start reading? Let’s dive in.

Sending eBooks To Kindle Via USB

To send the eBook to your Kindle, just right-click on it and select “Send to device > Send to main memory”. Note, you should still be keeping your Kindle plugged in via USB. Your eBook will be on your Kindle in seconds.

Sending eBooks To Kindle with Email

If you prefer to send your files with email, right-click on the eBook and select “Connect/share > Email to …”. The “…” bit should be your Kindle email you set up on Amazon.

If you want to setup or change this email, log in to your Amazon account and then:
  1. Go to “Manage Your Content and Devices” and choose the “Your Devices” tab.
  2. Then, click “Edit” by the mail listing. 
To manage your emails in calibre:

  1. First, click “Preferences” in the main window.
  2. Then, select “Sharing books by email” in the “Sharing” section.
  3. Finally, you can add new emails by pressing the “Add email” button and remove old ones by pressing the “Remove email” button.
  4. The e-mail displayed in the menu in “Connect/share” is whichever address you made default. To make an address default, press the “Make default” button.
If you don’t get the eBooks you sent with email on your Kindle shortly, consider using an email relay like GMX.


Remember that when you transfer your eBooks with email, Amazon will have access to them and will convert your files once again. Transferring via USB ensures that no one has access to your files but you. It also gives you more control over the content.
That’s all you need to know to start managing your Kindle library with calibre. This program, however, has a lot of other options. To explore them, browse through the User Manual or other posts on this blog.

This blog post was contributed by Bartosz Makuch, a Freelance Software Copywriter. He studied Physics and Management and loves to write stories that move people. In his spare time he listens to classic rock and reads sci-fi novels. You can find him at