Converting RTF to iBooks: Use Calibre, not Stanza

I recently had occasion to convert an RTF file to EPUB format, for reading in iBooks on my iPad.

When I searched for how best to do that, the first recommendation I saw said to use Stanza Desktop. I had used and more or less liked Stanza as an iPhone ebook reader, so I had at least a mild positive association with the name.

So I downloaded it and tried it out. It worked very smoothly, and I proceeded to read the document in question in iBooks. (The margins were too wide, but not impossibly so.)

And then last night I converted another RTF file the same way, and discovered that Stanza's conversion process unitalicizes all italicized text.

Fortunately, the first document didn't have a lot of italics in it, so I didn't miss much. But it had enough that I'm kind of annoyed with Stanza.

So I searched for other options, and found Calibre. It's not perfect by any means, and its interface on the Mac is kind of clunky and confusing, but it does retain italics in converted documents.

So I figured I should post about the italics issue, as a public service announcement.

(I probably ought to have used iBooks Author instead, but that requires Mac OS X 10.7, and I haven't gotten around to upgrading my MacBook yet.)

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