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Ebookwise Conversion Issues

If you have a pocket pc or a palm device, get  µbook. This post isn’t necessary for you to read. If you have an Ebookwise Reader, below are some answers to frequently asked questions on how to get the most of out of your unit.

Q: Can I read secure ebooks that are sold by Simon Says, Harper Collins and other NY publishers?

A: Yes, but you have to use a converter which may be illegal in some countries. The converters that are out there are Amberlit and ConvertLit.

Q: What about PDFs?

A: Only if the PDF is unsecured (meaning that is has no DRM attached), can you do so. If your copy is unsecured, then you need to do a ) copy and paste into word or wordpad or b) a conversion program like ABC Amber PDF.

Q: What do you do with those free books at Black Mask or at Project Gutenberg like Jane Eyre.

A: At PG, you generally have the option to download the html or the txt file. I find I have fairly good success downloading the html file. To download the html file, hover your mouse over the link and right click. Select “Save File As” or “Save As”. A dialog box will open and you can navigate to the folder that you are keeping your ebooks. Save it.

Project Gutenberg

Q: But what do I do with the html or rtf file?

A: Using the Ebookwise Librarian or eBook Librarian, you can convert html, rtf, or txt files into the “IMP” format that your Ebookwise can read. If you have extracted a “lit” file, look in the folder for the “opf” file. With either program you can use the “drag and drop” method. Dragging involves clicking on the item that you want to convert and then, while still holding the mouse down, you drag it onto the program window until a “+” sign appears. Then you release the mouse button or “drop” the file. For the rtfs, htmls, just drag those file. If you have an “opf” file, drag the OPF file.

The key to using this “drag and drop” menu involves making sure both the file and the program appear in the same window space. You can do this by resizing the program and the file folder.

drag and drop

Q: What are you talking about? I don’t see any “.opf” or “.html” or anything like that. For that matter, I don’t even know what those mean.

A: Every file has a three or four letter extension. That three letter extension tells your computer what program to open. For example, a file named letter.doc will tell your computer to open Microsoft Word for the computer believes that all files with the extension “doc” is a Word file. These are called “file associations.” Your computer “associates” files with programs based on their extensions. A file with an extension of “pdf” opens Adobe Reader. A file with “html” opens an internet browser. That internet browser may be AOL, Internet Explorer or Firefox. Here’s a handy file –> program association index:

PDF Adobe Reader/Adobe Acrobat
TXT Notepad or Wordpad
HTML Internet Browser
WPD Word Perfect
RTF Usually, MS Word or MS Works. Can also be opened with Wordpad
LIT MS Reader
PRC Mobipocket Reader
PDB Ereader or Palm Doc

Q: That’s all well and good, but my computer doesn’t show those three letter extensions.

A: They are hidden and you have to “unhide” them. This is how you do it. In any File Explorer window, Click Tools –> Folder Options –> View –> Show Hidden Files and Folders

File Options

File Options View

Just be careful that when you rename a file, you remember what the file extension is.

Q: Do I have to buy those two software programs mentioned above?

A: No, you can use the online conversion.

Q: Sometimes my conversion fails when I try to use an html.

A: You may need to do a couple of things. You can try renaming the file. (getting any punctuation out of the name helps). One thing that has always worked for me is to open the file in Word and save as an RTF. If you have Amberlit, you can save directly to rtf from the LIT file and skip this process.

Open as Word

Save As

Q: But I don’t have MS Word! What then?

A: You have a couple of options. One option involves using a program called HTMLTidy. This is a program you can download and run from your computer or you can use the online Tidy program. If you use the online Tidy program, you will be given the option, in the upper right hand corner to save the “tidied” file. I would click “save as” like you did here

If you use the HTML trim program, simply download and extract the program. Under the “options”, go to the last tab “CleanUp.” Look at the below picture. I have had success “tidy”ing files with the options below checked.

Tidy Options

Q: I have used up all my passport activations. What do I do now?

A: You need to call (866) 834-8317 and get more. Or, if you are anxious to read your new books as it can take up to 5 days to get a call, you can create a new passport and get 6 new activations. The catch is that all the books that you purchased and read under the old passport are not readable so be sure to convert those files to htmls or rtfs before getting a new passport.

Q: What about Adobe, do they have an activation help number?

A: They do. It’s 800-833-6687.

For fun, here’s a collection of bookshelf photographs. What do your bookshelves look like? Drop a comment, ask a question, give a tip, and I’ll send a random winner, Rachel Gibson’s I’m In No Mood For Love and Julie Kenner’s Carpe Demon, both books which will be reviewed this week. Right Jayne? Oh, and I am sorry but this free book giveaway is only available for those in the US and Canada. It is tres expensive to send these books overseas. I am sorry. :(

Next Sunday will be feature a review with lots of pictures of the Sony Reader. I broke down and bought one. For the good of the blog, of course.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jayne
    Oct 08, 2006 @ 07:31:00

    I'll send a random winner, Rachel Gibson's I'm In No Mood For Love and Julie Kenner's Carpe Demon, both books which will be reviewed this week. Right Jayne?

    Uh, yeah… right…maybe. Um, I’m working on them. [g]

  2. Keishon
    Oct 08, 2006 @ 08:07:21

    Next Sunday will be feature a review with lots of pictures of the Sony Reader. I broke down and bought one. For the good of the blog, of course

    Oh, sure of course, for the blog. Can’t wait for that review. Is it a tax write off too? Where did you buy it?

  3. Nicole
    Oct 08, 2006 @ 08:31:28

    Oooh…you bought one! Can’t wait to see what you think. I’m still waiting for a next gen one.

    Now I have to go find time to visit you. For the good of my blog, of course.

  4. Helen Madison
    Oct 08, 2006 @ 08:54:23

    Need an opinion. If you could spend up to $500.00 on an e-book reader, and you had NO existing files, what would you pick? Would you wait until something new came along? Or is there anything on the market now that’s superior?

  5. Kim
    Oct 08, 2006 @ 09:14:53

    I have an older Palm that I use only for reading e-books. I use Mobipocket and Adobe Reader for Palm software. I can pretty much read most file formats with these programs.

    I think you have to be a little tech savvy to read ebooks. I have a few friends that will not read them just because you have to work through all this. Even if I say, “it’s not that tough”, they come back with, “why would I want to do all this to read when I can just pick up a book?”. Hard to argue with that.

  6. Keishon
    Oct 08, 2006 @ 09:28:48

    I think you have to be a little tech savvy to read ebooks. I have a few friends that will not read them just because you have to work through all this. Even if I say, -it's not that tough- ?, they come back with, -why would I want to do all this to read when I can just pick up a book?- ?. Hard to argue with that.

    True but it’s worth the advantages to me but hard to argue the point. I am not all that tech savy, ask anyone but the only thing that I convert my files to html and that’s about it.

  7. Robin
    Oct 08, 2006 @ 12:57:41

    If you have a pocket pc or a palm device, get  µbook.

    With my Treo 650, do I want  µbook or  µbook lite? It’s unclear to me from the Gowerpoint site, and I’m even more confused after seeing that the  µbook lite description contains the note “soon for smartphones” — so does that mean it won’t work for my Treo at all? By the time I figure out how to use this damn Treo properly, it’s going to be extinct! And I got it because as a Mac user I figured it’d be easier.

  8. Miki S
    Oct 08, 2006 @ 15:36:56

    I always try to remind people that want to convert books to eBookwise that you can actually get the free eBook Publisher software to create the IMP files from Ebook Technologies Inc. (which actually make the readers).

    It can be found at:

    It’s not quite as user friendly as the Ebook Librarian (EL), but I find it doesn’t balk at certain situations the way EL does. For example, if you don’t want “justfied text” and you want to have page breaks at every chapter, you just format the RTF file that way and it works. If I remember correctly, the only way to turn off full justification in EL is to tweak the registry. Eek! And it won’t acknowledge page or section breaks.

    It also seems to refuse to convert books with certain special characters in them. I had a book that had line feed characters in it, and it stopped converting at the first one it came to. Same with bullet points.

    I even had one book I converted using EL that completely crashed my reader! That gave me scare, believe me. Turns out, it didn’t like the pictures included (which the eBook Publisher would have converted to a more usable version or possibly ignored).

    When I first tried converting books with EL, it was so simple and so fast that I thought I was in heaven. But after the problems I’ve had with it, I went back to ETI’s eBook Publisher. It may take a few extra clicks and leave me with 4 files for every IMP it makes, but I haven’t crashed my reader or gotten an unreadable book yet.

  9. Jane
    Oct 08, 2006 @ 19:02:14

    Keishon – I got the Sony Reader from the SonyStyle store in KC

    Nicole – yes, we should get together. Maybe we should have a midwest reader’s blog party.

    Kim – I agree that you need to be a little tech savvy. I think the Sony Reader hopes to overcome that problem.

    Helen – It depends. If you don’t need a booklight and are a bit tech savvy, I would say the Sony Reader has the very best screen resolution out there. If you read in low light situations, I would probably go for an Ebookwise Reader or a Pocket PC. If you go with the Ebookwise now, it’s only $100 and you could then buy an eink device or something better when the kinks are worked out of the e ink devices.

    Robin – ubook lite for you. The Smartphone that gowerpoint refers to, I think, is the Symbian OS for phones not running palm or windows mobile.

    Miki – I’ve seen that and had problems with it, but you are right, it is a free alternative. Thanks for bringing it up.

  10. Antonia Siemaszko
    Jan 04, 2007 @ 14:14:20

    I had an EBook reader but it died, and now I’m stuck with some IMP books and my standby Tungsten C with Palm OS, I know how to convert books TO IMP but how do I convert them from IMP? Thanks.

  11. Jane
    Jan 04, 2007 @ 22:47:26

    As far as I know, there is no way to convert IMP to something. You may try going to back to the vendor who sold you the individual ebooks and ask if you can get your books in a different format.

  12. Miki
    Jan 05, 2007 @ 00:15:55

    A couple of thoughts:

    If the books are not encrypted, they can be read in the plain-vanilla viewer that comes with the free ETI eBook Publisher program. You can download the Publisher program at:

    I don’t know of any way to get the viewer separately, but you could try Googling it and see what you find.

    Also, I’ve seen instructions – again, I believe it only works for certain unencrypted books – that suggest you can open the IMP files in Word or Wordpad, delete the header and footer text, and the plain-text book would remain.


  13. marifor
    Mar 02, 2008 @ 12:10:41

    I just bought an ebookwise 1150 e-reader and quite frankly I have no idea how to download my books from my computer to my reader. Most of my books are pdf and some are html. I already downloaded a driver for the e-reader but I cant seem to find a link on how to copy my books from my pc to my reader. the e-reader also has a 64mb external card for additional storage but I cant seem to access the content of that card either. This is my first ereader and I’ve had this for almost a month now and quite frankly, its getting me really frustrated. I need help.


  14. Lynne Connolly
    Mar 28, 2008 @ 15:17:30

    Okay, now I’m completely stuck and beginning to panic.
    New laptop, with Vista SP1 and my Ebookwise Librarian program won’t work. I can’t convert anything and my Ebookwise won’t recognise it.
    When I drag a file (txt, doc, html, opf) on to the window, it gives me a Fatal Error.

    When I open the Librarian, it says:
    Error Opening/Creating HOSTS fuke error=

    I can’t find anything about that on the net. I’ve tried running the program in XP mode, and I’ve followed the instructions on the ebookwise site about using the Librarian in Vista. Nada, nothing. I’ve uninstalled, cleaned all the references out of the registry and reinstalled it. Nothing.

    And what makes it stranger is that it worked fine on the machine I’m selling, also with Vista SP1 installed, with the same configuration, but different core. The old machine has AMD dual core, the new one has Intel dual-core.

    If anybody knows what to do, I’d be really grateful. I love my ebookwise and I’ve spent a day on this problem already, with no result.
    What puzzles

  15. Lynne Connolly
    Mar 28, 2008 @ 15:19:21

    Anybody else had this problem?

  16. Robert Saunders
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 12:13:55

    I got the following error when starting EBookwise Librarian.:

    Error opening/creating HOSTS file error=5

    I, too, have Vista SP1. And I followed eBookwise’s recommendations when installing on Vista.

  17. Jane
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 12:52:39

    You might want to try the ebookwise support.

  18. MB (Leah)
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 17:57:53

    To Jane- eBookwise’s tech support sucks at best and you don’t hear from them for a couple of days. Some things I just figured for myself after messing around with stuff.

    To Marifor- you need a translator program to transfer those types of files to your eBookwise. Like Librarian. Otherwise the only books you can put on it are those bought from eBookwise or Fictionwise.

    To the Vista users: I’m running Vista sp1 with dual core and I know I remember having an error problem as well even after doing the instructions posted for Vista, although I don’t remember the error type.

    Support sent me this, which I think helped with my problem and maybe it could help you.

    Are you using Windows Vista? If so, you might have to uninstall and
    then reinstall the eBookwise Librarian using the “Run as
    Administrator” option. Instead of double-clicking on the installer,
    right-click and choose “Run as Administrator”. Here’s a link to the
    installer if you need to redownload it (after uninstalling):

    Other stuff: for non-DRM PDF files, you can also just “save as” and then choose “TXT” and then you can download to your ebookwise as well. You get question marks in place of quote marks, but it’s not that bad.

  19. Robert Saunders
    May 01, 2008 @ 00:20:30

    Uninstalling eBookwise Librarian, and then reinstalling with the (right click) “Run As Administrator” option did the trick. As an extra measure I also went into the installation folder (C:eBookwise Librarian) and set the two .exes to “Run as Administrator” as well. (Right click the .exe files >> Properties >> Compatibility >> Win XP SP2 and Run As Administrator).

    Thanks, MB (Leah)! I’m able to convert and upload now, no problems.

    (I also turned off the proxy settings in the reader, too.)

  20. MB (Leah)
    May 01, 2008 @ 08:28:31

    Robert- About proxy settings— When I first got the eBookwise I downloaded some books from from Fictionwise. Then I got Librarian and uploaded some books from it. But when I went to download again from Fictionwise, it kept saying the reader couldn’t connect. I finally figured out, no thanks to tech help who when they did respond gave a completely inappropriate answer, that you have to delete the proxy settings to connect to eBook or Fictionwise. Then to use Librarian again you need to retype the proxy settings in again.

    It’s also a bit of a pain about the IP address. The eBookwise doesn’t automatically pick up your IP address and since I’m using wireless at home, sometimes the IP changes if DH gets online before me. So I always have to do an IP config to find my IP address and change the proxy settings every time I want to use Librarian.

    I don’t know if everyone has that problem, but I thought I’d mention it here just in case. Maybe there is an easier way, but the answer that tech help gave me didn’t have anything to do with my problem, so I don’t know.

  21. Robert Saunders
    May 01, 2008 @ 10:37:37

    The eBookwise Reader (ETI2) may not pickup your IP address automatically, but you can use the eBookwise Librarian to find out your IP address without using ipconfig.

    Just click “About” on the right hand side of the Librarian interface, and the dialog box that appears will display your IP address at the bottom.

  22. Cynthia
    May 12, 2008 @ 00:46:37

    I just bought an Ebookwise Reader and would like to change the font size so I can read without my glasses. I tried to make change font my shortcut and tried to change settings and neither worked. I know I’m doing something wrong or missing a step. Could you please help? Thank you.

  23. MB (Leah)
    May 12, 2008 @ 09:41:05

    Cynthia- If you want to change the font, you don’t need to do a shortcut. After opening a book, tap the upper left button (the pic of a book with an arc and dot) and in the top box there is the font change button. Just tap on that and it will change the font. There are only two font sizes so you are stuck with those only.

  24. Gwen
    May 13, 2008 @ 12:03:38

    TREMENDOUSLY helpful, Jane! Thanks!

  25. Polly
    Aug 23, 2008 @ 22:06:04

    Ok, I am only slightly more computer literate than a rock. I bought the ebookwise ETI-2. It took 4 days to get the USB to work. I have not been able to get ebook Librarian to send non ebookwise downlds ( I find their selection paltry) in rb. to my reader/device. I do not see a selection in “Library” to export to reader. yeah I dnld the gemster usb. No luck there.
    The biggest let down has been the LACK of customer support. I wouldn’t reccomend this to anyone who didn’t have a much higher understanding of computers than myself.
    I have since thrown in the towel, broke down and ordered a Kindle. At least I know I will get some sort of support from amazon.
    Any hints for info reguarding the poxy ETI-2 and transering content beside what is contained on the Library “about” page will be useful in at least finding out what I was doing wrong.
    Thanks for any help or just letting me vent.

  26. Miki
    Aug 23, 2008 @ 23:50:22

    Hi, Polly! I don’t use eBook Librarian, so I’m not sure about using it to send books to the reader (I just use a SmartCard reader attached to my computer, copy books like copying any other file on my computer, then insert the SmartCard in my reader).

    Anyway, your problem might be that you’re trying to put .rb files on the eBookwise, which reads .imp files (Half-VGA IMP, if you’re looking at Fictionwise). The .rb format is for earlier incarnations of the ETI-2 (Gemstar, Rocketbook).

    Can you redownload the books in the .imp format, or are they all you have? I believe there’s a converter available, but I’d have to go look. (I think it’s available on ETI’s website, actually, but again, since I don’t have the earlier versions of the eBookwise, I’ve not looked into it in any detail).

  27. Dennis
    Sep 08, 2008 @ 13:57:02

    I recently purchased an eBookwise 1150 eBook Device.
    I followed all of the instructions. I have installed the USB driver and have received my User ID and Password. I have registered with eBookwise. However, when I attempt to order eBooks through the Bookstore of my Device, I spin around in circles.
    When I press “bookstore”, I am forwarded to the Customer Support in my Device. There are three(3) choices – “register”, “bookshelf” and “learn more”. “Bookshelf” is only good when I actually purchase an eBook. “Learn More” is the history of the inventor. When I press “register”, I am prompted to fill out a Registration form with a “continue” button. When I first pressed “continue”, I was given a User ID and a Password, with another “continue” button. Here’s where it gets complicated. When I press “continue”, I get a message saying “Communicating with eBook Network” and get sent back to Customer Support.
    I have telephoned Customer Support and sent them an e-mail – awaiting there reply. In the meantime, can anybody out there help me? Has anyone else had the same problem, or am I simply missing something very obvious?

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