I own many EPUB books (Spanish, English). Some have the name of the author wrong, such as "Esquivel, Laura" instead of "Laura Esquivel". And have the name of series in book title, where it does not belong.

I can change this in Calibre so things are right. But when I open the book and look at the metadata it is still wrong in the book. After I convert these from epub to epub, and author name are OK in metadata. But this is slow, and sometime change the layout of the book.

Is there a better way (I read here about editing the EPUB books myself, but this seems too cumbersome for the many books I have)?

3 Answers 3


As you are on Linux, the way to do this is to change to the directory at the base of your library and do:

find . -name "*.epub" -exec /bin/bash -c 'ebook-polish --opf="$(dirname "$0")/metadata.opf" "$0" ' {} \;

This way you polish them all in one go.


You can "polish" your ebooks with calibre since version 1.0. But you have to add the capability to the calibre interface:

To use this tool, go to Preferences->Toolbar and add the Polish books tool to the main toolbar. Then simply select the books you want to be polished and click the Polish books button. Polishing, unlike conversion, does not change the internal structure/markup of your book, it performs only the minimal set of actions needed to achieve its goals. Note that book polishing only works in ebooks in the EPUB and AZW3 formats.

Once you have added the button to the toolbar, you select EPUB books and then the "Polish books" button: enter image description here

If you only select "update metadata..." you should get what you want in the EPUB files.

If you are running on Linux with Gnome, the polishing of many (50+) books can overflow your notification application. This is because polishing is done faster than the time a notification is displayed.

To resolve that problem you can use the find based solution by Simon, but that always updates all epub files. The method described in this answer only updates those .epub files for which the metadata has been updated by Calibre.

  • 3
    I am not sure if I am the only one, but I did read "polish" the first time as "converting to the Polish language" and was confused because calibre's author does not have a Polish sounding name at all...
    – Anthon
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 11:39
  • I can only do 25 at once using Linux. Maybe my machine is too slow? I did some of my books, but added new books and lost place where I was. How do you know what you did and not?
    – Regina T.
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 13:39
  • 1
    @ReginaT. I posted a new Q/A about the Linux specific problems of polishing here
    – Anthon
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 15:34

This helped a lot! I also discovered that if you add the "Embed metadata" icon to you toolbar, it's a simpler way to achieve this goal.

The only differences are that it will ONLY embed the metadata, and non of the additional options that the Polishing function has available. It will also show the progress as a percentage tab on your screen, and not as a "Job" in the bottom right-hand corner.

You can add this to your toolbar the same way as you would add the Polishing icon - Preferences > Toolbar

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