How to Get Manga on Your E-Reader

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

download tutorial in PDF format

After a surprising amount of failed attempts, I have devised a method for getting manga to show up on my Nook. Many attempts ended with either manga that looked totally junky or PDFs that my Nook was unable to read.

Being that I only have a Barnes and Noble Nook, I can only assume this method will work for other ereaders that support PDF files. If you have a different ereader, I suggest testing out one of these PDFs before putting time into doing this yourself. (Update 12/15/12: Sinful Karma has tested this on his Nook Simple Touch and gives his seal of approval.)


You will need:
  1. Digital copies of manga -  I've been downloading mine from Goldlily's Media Archive as of late.
  2. An unzipping tool - I prefer WinRAR.
  3. A JPG to PDF converter - I mostly use JPEG to PDF by Compulsive Code (free). I've tried many other programs, but something or other has always gone wrong with them.

You will want:
  1. IrfanView - Unless you want to resize files and [potentially] rename them one at a time. IrfanView can do this in bulk. Like magic. See steps two and four below.
  2. Your preferred image editing software - Such as Photoshop or Gimp. See step three below.

Getting Manga on Your Nook in 6 Steps:
  1. Download manga. 
    • Note: Once a manga has been licensed in America, it is illegal to download it. Just, uh, buy the official English copy. If it's not licensed, you can support the mangaka buy buying the original Japanese stuff.
    • Recommendation: Download manga that is already complete. Projects in progress tend to either get licensed and therefore dropped, or just forgotten about. It's annoying
  2. Unzip it, be sure the files are in order, delete unwanted pages. Sometimes, when a manga has been scanlated by several different groups, these groups use different systems for naming the files (like this). If this is true and you just leave them like that, your chapters will end up out of order. Bulk rename them in IrfanView. Also, scanlation groups tend to put an ad for themselves and maybe some other stuff in with each chapter. There's nothing wrong with that, since their efforts are the only reason we have this manga available to us, but it's not necessary to include every ad in your end product. One at the beginning or end (or both) should be fine.
  3. Split double pages back into single pages. It's a pity because so many editors do such a lovely job of taking two pages and joining them into one big page. But it won't be useful to you on your ereader, so you'll have to split them back up.
  4. Resize the pages to 600 x 730. I hear that this is the best resolution for most ereader screens. Feel free to fiddle with it if you want; I've tried a few different sizes and have found 600 x 730 to be the best. If you skip this step entirely, your ereader will squish the image itself and it'll look like crunchy poop. Use IrfanView to resize. Like so:
    1. In IrfanView Thumbnails, select all of the images. Right-click and select Rename... The Batch conversion window will come up.
    2. Select the radio button for Batch conversion (or Batch conversion - Rename result files if you want to).
    3. Click the Options button. Drag the slider to change the save quality from the default 80 to 100, and check the box for Save as grayscale JPG. Click OK to go back to the Batch conversion window.
    4. Click the Advanced button. Under Resize, set the width to 600 and height to 730. Be sure the Preserve aspect ratio and Use Resample function boxes are checked and hit OK and then Start Batch.
  5. Convert the images to a single PDF. Just pop them into your selected conversion program, check the settings and hit the go button. In JPEG to PDF (the program I recommended above) be sure to select the radio button for Match Image Size + Margins.
    • Note: I have been unable to find a conversion program that is able to convert longer manga series--say, like, more than five volumes--into a single PDF. They simply seem to be unable to handle that many image files. In the cases of longer manga, you can just split them up into several PDFs.
  6. Upload the PDF to your ereader and enjoy.

67 comments:

Gen said...

Thank you very much for this tutorial. My nook arrives in a week *fingers crossed* and I'm very excited to add some manga. I've been reading mangas for almost a decade (give or take) and it'd be so amazing to be able to read it in nook. Always thought I had to read it as jpeg but having it as pdf would be better. I haven't tried it just yet. I wanted to thank you first.

Plum said...

That's awesome! More and more of my friends have been getting Nooks and loving them. I read a lot of books, but the potential to read manga on it was what made me decide I NEEDED a Nook.

The Nook doesn't [currently, at least] have a regular image viewer; just the wallpapers and screen savers. Which means if you loaded a manga to it as JPEGs you would, like, have to read it by browsing your wallpapers or something. Converting it to a PDF is certainly worth the effort, I think.

I hope you find my instructions easy to follow. :)

Nicole said...

Hi, I've followed your instructions word for word but for some reason IrfanView does not want to resize the files to 600x730. Help please >.<

Plum said...

The first potential problem that came to my mind is something that I've done a couple of times myself: Be sure you know where the "Output directory for result files" is putting your new files. It's possible that it IS working, but the re-sized copies are being put somewhere else.

In case that doesn't solve your problem, let's take a closer look at step four, part four...

So you have all the images highlighted, you've right-clicked, selected "Rename...", changed the radio button to "Batch conversion" and clicked the "Advanced" button. So now we're looking at the "Advanced" screen. Triple check for the following things on this screen (like in the picture I posted above):

1) You have the "RESIZE" box checked.
2) The radio buttons for "Select new size" and "Set one or both sides to" are selected.
3) You have "width" set to 600 and "height" set to 730.
4) Beside those, the radio button for "pixels" is selected (not centimeters or inches).
5) Down lower, the "Preserve aspect ratio" box is checked.
6) After all that is ready, you're hitting "Okay" to go back to the Batch conversion screen and then "Start batch."

If that STILL doesn't work then I'm stumped. You could go to Download.com and look for another "batch resize" program and see if you can find one that works better for you.

Let me know how it goes!

Nicole said...

I found out the problem ^^

I had to uncheck the box "Preserve aspect ratio" and check the box that said "Use Re-sample function (better quality)" to make the words clear and readable.

Thanks for your help, the tutorial helped a lot =D

Plum said...

Typically you would have better results if you leave "Preserve Aspect Ratio" checked. You're right, though, I need to update this to add "Use Re-sample function" since that does give you better results.

I'm glad you got it working! Sorry about the trouble.

kujathedarkone said...

I don't understand why, but for some reason JPEG to PDF is making some of the pages in the pdf a lot smaller than the others. All the files are around the same size, and at first I thought it was for some reason just affecting the first few that are in color, but as I scrolled down some of the black and white pages were really small too. Is there any way to make it stop doing that?

Plum said...

Hmm, I remember typing up a long response to your question, kujathedarkone, but it obviously didn't go through for some reason and I'm just now noticing.

Regardless, my answer has changed anyway.

After converting a new manga to PDF, I can see the same issue when I open the PDF on my computer. When I move it to the Nook, however, everything displays normally. I wonder if it's an issue with Adobe Reader, rather than the actual file? I dunno. Either way, it should display totally fine on your Nook so it's something you can ignore.

If you decide to try other conversion programs and do find one that works, please let me know!

Sorry about taking so long to respond. How annoying that my original response didn't post. :p

Anonymous said...

Hi, thank you for sharing this, but I just wondering if JPG file can read directly to nook. Is it possible that we don't have to convert to pdf?
Thanks for your reply.

Plum said...

The Nook currently does not have image viewing software. If you were to simply load the JPEGs, you would have to browse them awkwardly as wallpapers. It's likely, I think, that they'll update the Nook to have an image viewer very soon, at least. Kindle 3 has an image viewer, so it's pretty possible that Nook will get an image viewer in the next software update.

Anonymous said...

Hey there. Wonderful tutorial.

I got everything down and all, but all the files are just in a list on my nook. So that means I have to read one page, click out of it and click on another page. Is there a way to just have them all in order to where I can just hit the arrows on the side and breeze though the manga?

Thanks a lot!

Plum said...

Did you somehow make each page into a different PDF file? They all need to be in the same PDF file. What program did you use?

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I think I did. I did all that you did up there, but what I did was I copied all the files into the folder for the nook o:

Plum said...

You used the same JPEG to PDF converter as me then, eh? Hmm... Is it the JPEG files you're putting on the Nook? Those aren't the ones you copy over; you should be condensing all of the pages into one PDF file and copying just that file over to your Nook.

Anonymous said...

Okay. I'll see if I can get it right. Thanks so much though!!

Plum said...

Feel free to keep asking for help if you're still having trouble! Triple-check the settings on your PDF converter to make sure it's saving all the JPEGs to one PDF file. I would look at the program myself to see if there are different settings, but my computer is fried and I'm posting from my phone.

Anonymous said...

Oooooh i think that's what I did wrong. I don't think I made it all one PDF file.

Aww friend computer Dx.
But do you think you could tell me how to get it into one PDF File? D:

Anonymous said...

Wait wait. Nevermind Haha. I got it. (I think) Dx

Anonymous said...

OMG. You make me want to cry. Perfect, PERFECT manga goodness on my nook . Whatever it takes to make it look good for reading, I'll do it! Knowing I had to manually bring it down to 600x730 was great advice. I have been letting calibre convert everything into epub for me, but pages are not centered and was not working for me recently and that was creating second sets for me anyway. So thank you for doing the dirty work! Much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Hey there. Is there any way to split a whole batch of images instead of doing each one?

Plum said...

Looking at the settings for IrfanView, I think that it actually might be possible. I don't know when I'll get my computer fixed and have access to my manga again to test it myself, but try this:

Make a second copy of every image you want to split. Tell IrfanView to crop the first set to the left, and then the second set to the right. There are "Crop" settings directly above the "Resize" settings.

I hope it works! Thanks for the cool idea!

Anonymous said...

do you have to do this for a nook color the nook color suppotts jpg

Plum said...

I doubt it. I assume that NookColor would also resize the images for you, so you wouldn't have to do any of this, but I don't really know as I have never touched a NookColor.

Anonymous said...

Im 16 and i am TERRIBLE with computers and things and my mom for my birthday got me the nook. I had no idea what it was...^_^;
but do u have to have any special programs to download manga the way you do???
and also......do u know how to download music???
im super confuzed! i dont know how to change the file thingys...bcuz the music has to be MP3 or something???
if you could help me out, it would be wonderful!! (:
but if not its cool, thank you anway~!!!

kyle.loves.msi said...

To the girl above (and anyone else wondering),
Just plug I'm guessing you have a nook color?
If so, all you need to do is plug the NC into the computer with the provided cable and open up "My Computer".
There you should see "MyNOOKColor" as a device.
Double click it.
Then double click "My Files"
There is should have folders like Books, Documents, Magazines, etc.
You can easily copy and paste music, pdfs, and even jpegs into these folders.
Just make sure to EJECT your NC.
Afterwards you can access all of your files in your NC by touching "Library"> "myFiles"

ettelie said...

Thank you! JPG to PDF software works great. I used Calibre to make the PDFs before, but this is easier. I have nook color and this it's the best thing for reading manga ever :D I just wish they would fix the gallery so you wouldn't have to make PDFs. It's also great for reading manga online if you have good enough wifi.

Psycho said...

Cant find the Pixel resize. all i have is Inches CM and MM

Anonymous said...

i am considering the black and white nook not the new colored one can it zoom in so i can read my manga if the font is too small?

Plum said...

Nope! Though it's possible that will become a feature in a future software update, you currently can't zoom.

I still prefer the standard Nook over the color though because, for an e-book, I want e-ink. If I wanted to read my books/manga on an LCD, I'd just carry around my netbook or get a real tablet PC.

That might just be me though.

Aila said...

I've been having an odd problem recently with manga, and when I try it with color comics as well. I'll follow all your steps, but sometimes for some reason some pages in the pdf are saved as really tiny images I can't zoom much in on, and then I go to the next page and it's the proper big size it should be. I don't know if it's one of the programs causing this, or something to do with my nook color.

Aila said...

Looked more into the files I was using and it seems the conversion goes bad somepoint after I convert it all to pdf using the converter you suggested. I've tried going from match size margins to actually specifying whether it's in inches or whatnot with specify page size, but no matter what I do it wants to shrink random images, like the first two for example. If I have it set to match size margins, it'll just be tiny. If I specify the page size, it'll be tiny but create a huge border equal around the image equal to that of the actual page size the rest of the image creates. It's weirding me out, because sometimes it'll give me a perfect pdf for other files.

dekadai said...

I really love you for posting this! Now I can read manga whenever!

I have a question though, how do I make the text bigger? It's horrible trying to read tiny text!!

Anonymous said...

Is there a way to make it so you swipe threw the pages?

Nekozawa said...

yeah thats what I was trying to figure out. Its kinda annoying to go back and forth between pages. :/ I would love to be able to swipe the pages.

Plum said...

You mean swiping on the touch screen at the bottom (if using a first-gen Nook)? Swiping works fine for me.

Blake S said...

I get all the way down to the last step and then it messes up. Im converting the first vol of Kenshin (190 pages) every time i load in the files to convert the converter crashes and i get a damaged pdf file as a result any fix?

Plum said...

It's possible that, since posting this, better JPG-to-PDF conversion software has come out. I looked around a bit and this program looks really promising and was easy to use, though it's only a free trial. Let me know if that works for you, or if you find another program that works!

Anonymous said...

Just got a nook today actually trying to get manga on it myself but having a hard time figuring the nook out and getting the right program to convert my manga the thing i found converts them into epub form but a few pages have errors when it finishes so ill have to see about that somehow but i have some questions sems my nook wont read my sd card i put it in and my nook doesnt change the number of storage space for the sd card its not recognizing anything is there any suggestions?

duskweaver said...

In case anyone is reading who has or is interested in a Nook Color (great tutorial, btw, I was having trouble finding a reliable image to PDF converter that didn't suck :), Calibre now has default settings for the Nook Color and no longer converts everything to black and white unless you ask it to (great for western comics). Also, the EZ PDF app is WAAAY better than the stock pdf reader, and is only 1.99 US. It allows for cover images, bookmarking, and has awesome right to left animated page flips. Love, love, love, for all my comics.

Hope this helps somebody! :3

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Great post. Now I can catch up on some manga I've been falling behind on.

Dawna Denman said...

Thanks! This worked out great!

Anonymous said...

Yeah I am having trouble getting my manga onto my nook first off I have found a few programs to help me do it but it isn't enough to fully do what I want it to do I like to put entire series on my nook so stopping to cut those pesky double pages in half is not something I want to stop and do for lets say a hundred chapter series. Luckily Calibre seems to do it for me but..... There are more problems Calibre itself seems to freeze up at anything over 20 MB's not to mention it wont select multiple zip files as 1 book. I have another program but it seems to be for the kindle only I have a Nook first edition and I can't find the screen dimensions anywhere just how large it is in inches which obviously does not help me. Would prefer to do this all in mass rather than individually no one wants to sit there and have to look at every single image and cut them.

Anonymous said...

for those of you who are interested in more useful programs these may help you try searching for

Dom Dom Soft
Manga to EPUB 1.1
Mangle

these programs are good for manga to ereader

Unknown said...

If you need additional help (like how to cut the pages) and a full list of the programs you'll need. Then you should look up Sailor Scorpio Dubs. She take you step-by-step on how to split the pages and all that, even giving you the links to the programs you need.

http://ssdubs.webs.com

silversaraph said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH. Thanks to your tutorial, I can upload a volume in a couple of minutes. YAY!

Copy & Paste said...

So- I don't own a Nook Simple Touch yet, I want one and I am probably going to be getting one over the holidays.

I've been looking at every way possible to put manga onto a Nook Simple Touch- BUT every where I end up, you have to Root your Nook.

I don't want to Root it, because if I then have an actual issue with the device, the Nook is void of warranty because internal files were altered, so B&N will just tell me tough sh*t.

I ran into this, and I wanted to ask- I'm sure it's been asking before... but.. is this the 100% way of putting manga onto the Nook Simple Touch WITHOUT the need to root your PC?

I don't care about having to edit files upon files. I go to College for Visual Communications, this is what I do. If this is will work on an Unrooted Nook Simple Touch, I cannot wait to begin editing pages as of right now, I'd even go as far as to updating a URL to download my own finished products!

Please answer ASAP, and thank you for this tutorial, because even if I don't get an answer, I will edit manga anyway and just hope it works once I get my device.

Plum said...

I don't know anything about the Nook Simple Touch, but this method just creates a PDF of a manga, and I assume Nook Simple Touch reads PDFs just like every other Nook, so it shouldn't require you to root your device for the files to work. Once you convert the images into a PDF, it shouldn't be any different than if you downloaded a PDF of an ebook and transferred it to your Nook.

Sinful Karma said...

That's all I needed to know, my father has a Nook- but when it comes to "Hey, can I test something out". That's out of the question.
And yes, on the B&N page for NST, it says it's compatible with Epub, PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, and BMP.

This is the only tutorial I've found that doesn't involve "Root your Nook". So thanks so much for posting this, and with your answer, I know it'll work!

Now I'm just curious of the resolution you suggest would also be good, or should I go with the default resolution of the Nook Simple Touch and go 800x600?

Plum said...

Yeah, you should probably go with 800x600 if that's the NST's resolution. That's assuming there's no margins (like on the classic Nook, the clock and page number takes up a few pixels). I suggest taking one page, converting it to a few different sizes, converting it to a PDF, loading it on you NST, and seeing which one looks best. That's what I did when determining what resolution to use for the original Nook.

Sinful Karma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sinful Karma said...

Re-Edit of post I deleted: Yea, I'm making some test pages, and will see if I can get a yes from my father to test it out, but something tells me I will have to find the resolution if there's a on screen bar for the clock/battery info, etc. But so far your 600x730 is coming out great, even on the few I've had to resize and cut from 2 pages.

So thank you for this, now I'm really looking forwatd to a nook. ^ ^

Sinful Karma said...

I just wanted to let everyone know:

Yes, the way explained here is 100% for the Nook Simple Touch! 600x730 looks PERFECT. The only issue I had was I got a "Nook cannot read this format" because I unplugged the nook incorrectly. So make sure after placing PDF's, Eject the Nook instead of just unplugging the MicroUSB.

Once again, thanks so much for this excellent tutorial. I got some manga to size up!

Plum said...

Great! Thanks so much for letting me know! I've added a note to the post that this works for the Nook Simple Touch.

Kit said...

Thanks SO MUCH for this tutorial.

I actually ended up being able to batch translate JPEG to PDF via the Mac app Dragoman but it turned out I didn't need to convert to pdfs first. I was able to create manga ready for the Nook using native Mac apps! [I'm running Lion, fyi]

If you group select the in-order JPEGS of the manga, select "View in Preview" all will open up in a single Preview document. To resize, choose "Tools" and then "Adjust Image". I found that the first drop down screen offers a 600 x 800 resolution that actually seems to work just fine on the Nook Simple Touch. Once the image is adjusted, then go to "Print"--and on the Print screen choose 'Save as PDF'. Once saved as the PDF, you can easily upload it to your Nook!

Sinful Karma said...

The only reason why I would stay with 600x730, even though the Nook Simple Touch's screen is 600x800.

The manga I have done in 600x800 just looks too stretched and blurry, and I have issues reading words at times.

600x730 just looks like it keeps the default resolution of the page and the text doesn't end up as warped as when it's at 600x800... but that's just me.

But like Plum says in the tutorial, test it out and use what you enjoy!

Happy Vampire Media said...

I havent tried this yet, but it sounds about right. I'm gonna try it on my simple touch. Thanks a bunch for sharing this, really helps.

Blade

Anonymous said...

I have a Kindle Keyboard 3G, and this works PERFECTLY! Thank you for the info!

Sinful Karma said...

Me again after a while. I've been doing this for a while for the double pages to save time of jumping into Photoshop to split them.

If you have a pic editor, I believe you can do it in IrfranView, rotate the picture.

Put it on its left or right side.

When you run it through to resize, etc. And place it in a PDF it retains its look and resolution.

For many manga with double pages I've read on my Nook Simple Touch, they all look great, I just have to turn the Nook sideways for 3 seconds.

So for any of you that don't have Photoshop or care to load up a program every time you want to split a page, this is a quick way of getting it down a lot faster.

And when I split pages I'd get an unwanted pick of events that I don't want to know yet, so less spoiler for manga you haven't read yet.

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