Written by Natalie MootzNatalie has been writing for the web since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Or at least since dinosaurs achieved blogging technology. She's also written for About.com and Joystiq.
Create e-textbooks from PDFs
Amazon's self-publishing arm, Kindle Direct Publishing, recently released a new tool for teachers, called Kindle Textbook Creator which allows them to turn their existing PDFs into e-textbooks.
The free tool can convert anything from study guides to complex charts and equations into a Kindle book. Although it's still in beta, Kindle Textbook Creator can even add nifty functionality to the e-book like dictionary look-ups, highlighting, and flashcards.
Teachers can then distribute the e-book to their students or release it for sale via Amazon to other students and teachers around the world.
E-books created with the Kindle Textbook Creator can be read on most mobile platforms including Kindles, iPads, iPhones, or Android devices.
Convert your paper library into Kindle e-books
Amazon is also selling a tool called Kindle Convert for PC that provides a way for you to convert your paper books (hardback or paperback) into Kindle e-books.
Everything you scan from the paper book will be included in the e-book, including handwritten notes, autographs, and images. The software also allows you to convert other documents and keepsakes.
Authors don't need to worry about their intellectual property being resold because the converted books are only available in your own Kindle library.
The Kindle Convert software is far from perfect, though. One drawback of the conversion process is that you must scan your entire book page by page. You can scan two pages at a time, for a maximum of 1,000 pages per book. Reviewers have also left negative comments about the inaccuracies of Kindle Convert's optical character recognition (OCR) and the slow speed of conversion.
The Kindle Convert software costs $19 and it's only available for Windows 7 or Windows 8 computers. If you have a Mac, you'll need to use ABBYY Fine Reader. (ABBYY also has a Windows version of its book conversion software.)