Easy ways to load ebooks you haven’t purchased through Amazon.

January 29, 2015 | By | Reply More

Amazon makes it very easy to buy ebooks from their own store and get them onto your Kindle. But what about if you’ve got a .mobi-formatted ebook from somewhere else? Somewhere, like say, the Author’s Apprentice website? How do you get that onto your Kindle?

(If you haven’t got a Kindle – perhaps you own an iPad, Android Phone, iPhone or Samsung Tablet etc. – read this guide first – ‘Free Kindles for All‘).

Here’s the easy-to-follow guide . . . there are two different ways to get a non-Amazon-bought ebook onto your Kindle, currently … (1) Email it to your Kindle, or (2) Copy it across by cable.

(1) Email it to your Kindle

Visit this URL on the Amazon Web Site: http://www.amazon.co.uk/manageyourkindle. This particular address is for UK-based readers. Use .com instead of co.uk if you’re in the USA, .ca for Canada etc. You should see a screen like this . . .

Easy ways to load ebooks you haven't purchased through Amazon.

You’ll automatically land in the ‘Your Content’ tab of the page. Select the second tab, ‘Your Devices (highlighted above), to be taken to the screen shown below…


As you can see, I’ve clicked on my Kindle Paperwhite (if you own several Amazon devices, they should all show up here), and beneath it, the page shows my Kindle Paperwhite’s unique email address. For security, I’ve blacked out my address, but it’ll read something like Steve465A@Kindle.com or BobSmith4546@Kindle.com

You can e-mail your .mobi formatted ebook to your Kindle.com email address as an attachment, and it will then appear for download on your Kindle just as if you purchased the book directly from the Amazon store.

But, there’s one very important caveat. You have to e-mail the e-book from the main email address associated with your Amazon account (the same one you use to log into the Amazon store). This, when you think about it, is a rather healthy security measure to stop spammers emailing your Kindle with ebooks asking you to send money to 3rd world dictators, and all the rest of the spammy nonsense they bombard you with.

You can add extra email addresses to your Kindle account which you regard as safe to send you .mobi format ebooks. To do this, click that third tab on the right which reads ‘Settings’ and scroll towards the bottom of the page. You should find something that looks like the screen grab below . . . a section that reads ‘Approved Personal Document E-mail List.’



If you want, you can add extra email addresses here – then use these newly authorised email accounts to also send yourself new .mobi ebooks as attachments.

One thing I should point out, if you own the more expensive Kindles with WhisperNet (their built-in so-called “Free” networking), you’ll pay the usual download charges for each mb in file size emailed to yourself.  Being a real cheapskate (all authors are), I use my free home WiFi network to connect and download the ebooks I email to my Kindle. No charge!

(2) Copy it across by cable.

First make sure the .mobi ebook is on your computer (usually downloaded from the web). Now physically connect your Kindle device to your PC or Apple Mac using a USB cable.

In Windows Explorer / File Explorer, your Kindle will now appear as an additional drive, or maybe as a Kindle device.

Copy the .mobi ebook file from your computer and into the Kindle’s folder called ‘Books’ (Kindle Fire devices) or ‘Documents’ (Kindle Paperwhite and older ebook readers) on your device’s internal storage.

After the .mobi ebook file has been fully copied, unplug your Kindle and the ebook should now appear on your Kindle device’s list of books.

If the book doesn’t show up in your Kindle’s list, try rebooting using the Kindle’s on/off power button (a necessary work-around on some models, it seems).

Which way do I use?

I use both the above methods, but I tend to prefer the e-mailing method, because this gets the ebook into the Kindle library system for distribution to multiple devices, if you’re lucky enough to have a collection of them hanging around at home. The old cable method is always guaranteed to be free, though.

Category: Writer's Dojo

About the Author ()

I have been working as a full-time author publishing fantasy and science fiction novels for HarperCollins for the last seven years.

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