iPad Tutorial: How to transfer your ebooks library to Stanza

A little while back, we did a tutorial on how to read your old (non-epub) ebooks using iBooks.  It featured Calibre, a powerful (and free) software that can easily manage and convert all your ebooks to the epub format. At the time of writing, Stanza, my preferred ebook app, had yet to receive a dedicated iPad version and thus, iBooks was essentially the only e-reader on the device. Well now that Stanza has received a recent update to make it a universal app (along with some other new and much welcomed features), we’ll be taking a look at how to transfer your existing ebooks collection onto the  popular e-reader app on your iPad.

Note: The Calibre portion of this tutorial can also be applied to both the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Calibre Interface

As I mentioned in the previous tutorial, Calibre is a great tool to keep all your ebooks organized, much like iTunes does for your music, movies, tv shows and what not. Aside from being able to convert just about any ebook format to ePub (the standard that’s accepted by Apple), it also allows users to pull various news sources from around the net, automatically download covers and other metadata, sync with other ebook readers on the market and much more. So if you’re a book lover and have yet to check out Calibre, I highly recommend you download and install the software first. It even runs on all major OSes, like Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. And for newcomers, you can refer to our aforementioned tutorial on how to install/use Calibre.

Note: You can also check out our more recent post on how to transfer ebooks to Stanza with the Dropbox app.

1. Assuming you have Calibre already running on your Desktop/Laptop, click on the Preferences icon located on the top toolbar (or Ctrl+P on Windows) and find the Content Server settings section. Here you will need to start the Calibre network server in order to sync your books with Stanza. You may also check off the “Run server automatically on startup” box to have it enabled every time Calibre is booted up. And if you prefer not to share your goodies with anyone else on the local network, be sure to set your username and password.

As a side note, it should be worth noting that if you intend to convert ebooks into the epub format for your iPad using Calibre, ensure you optimize the output settings with the following:

  • Set the Preferred Output Format in calibre to EPUB (this can be set under Preferences –> General)
  • Set the output profile to iPad (this will work for iPhone/iPods as well), under Preferences –> Conversion –> Page Setup

2. With the Content Server enabled, fire up Stanza on your iPad (or iPhone/iPod Touch) and tap on “Get Books”. In the “Shared” section, you should see the server with the name of your computer sharing the ebooks.

3. In the event you don’t see your computer under  the “Shared” tab (which is rare), you can try connecting manually. Tap the ‘+’ on top right corner and enter http://youripaddress:8080 into the URL field. If you’re not sure how to find the IP address of your computer, have a look here: Windows and Mac. Once the required info are entered, tap ‘Save’ and you should now be able to connect to the Calibre server.

4. Once you access your shared library, Stanza allows you to browse through your ebooks by Date, Title, Ratings, Authors and so forth. You can then choose to download all ebooks at the same time (top right button) or download them individually.

5. To find all the ebooks you’ve synced onto Stanza, simply tap on the Library tab (bottom) and you will now see your collection of precious ebooks and other reading material on the iPad.

Alternatively, if you prefer not to use Calibre to manage and sync your ebooks over to Stanza, you can opt for the File Sharing option via iTunes (this method only works of the iPad at the moment). First, plug in the iPad to your computer. Once iTunes recognizes the device, click on it and find the “Apps” tab. Beneath your apps is File Sharing. Find and select Stanza from the list. To begin moving your ebooks into iPad, simply drag and drop your files into the window to the right. You can also use the ‘Add..’ if you wish. Note: you can only upload .pdf or .epub files via this method.

And finally, as part of the recent 3.0 update, users can also import ebooks into Stanza right from an email attachment. Assuming someone has sent you an epub file (or you’ve sent it to yourself to sync at a later time), the import process is very simple and done via the native iPad email app.  Open the email with the epub file, tap on the attachment icon to download the file and tap it once more for the Open in “Stanza” option. This will directly take you to Stanza and the ebook is then automatically saved into your library.

There you have it folks. Transferring your ebooks collection into Stanza is a real breeze, be it via Calibre, iTunes or email app. Personally, I much prefer using Calibre as I’m able to access my entire library via Wi-Fi at home and I don’t need to plug in my iPad just to sync with iTunes. Ultimately though, the choice is yours.

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