You can instantly and easily load non-Amazon books into your Kindle. Honest.
There’s a misconception that you can only use your Kindle or Kindle app (Kindle for PC, or Kindle for Mac, and so on) for reading Kindle stuff — like, books you’ve bought from Amazon. And that Amazon doesn’t want you to load anything into your Kindle that you haven’t purchased from Amazon Land. What’s known as “side-loading”.
No, that’s completely wrong. You see, Amazon wants you to use your Kindle for reading everything. To make it as indispensable as your Smartphone or tablet. If you need to read something important, maybe examine large documents or study papers for an exam, Amazon wants you to use your Kindle. And why not?
You can do this with a single click — okay, maybe two clicks — after you’ve installed some simple software designed and provided by Amazon itself (it’ll take about five minutes, and it’s really easy). It’s part of Amazon’s Kindle Personal Document Service.
For those impatient folks saying, “All right, just get on with it!” here we go.
It’s called “Send to Kindle” and, like I said, it’s developed by Amazon. Just go to Amazon’s Send to Kindle page here, and choose the platform you want. I recommend “From Your Desktop”, because it’s the simplest. Download the software and install it — it’s about 12Mb and very quick — and once you done that, all you need do is right-click in Windows Explorer (Control-click in Mac Finder) on any document and you’re given the option to “Send to Kindle”. Click on that and the Send to Kindle window pops up asking which Kindle device you want to send it to — I’ve got three or four. Choose one or all of them … and you’re done. Voila! It’s that simple. Within minutes, assuming your Kindle or Kindle app is connected to the internet, your document or book is loaded into your Kindle, ready to read. Couldn’t be easier.
Okay, the first time you use it, Send to Kindle will ask for your Amazon username/email and password, and it might have one of those damned “Captcha” things too, but after you’ve done it once that shouldn’t happen again … unless maybe some personal security settings on your device will demand it.
What’s The Catch?
As far as I can see there’s no catch. Again, my thinking is that Amazon offers this software and service because it wants you to use your Kindle for reading everything — and really, that’s not a bad idea, since the Kindle really is a cool device for reading. Okay, so you’re not going to swap over every email and Christmas card, but for any kind of extended reading project it’s a great idea. Also, Amazon isn’t silly. I’m guessing that Amazon hopes that once you get into the habit of reading on your Kindle or Kindle app, you’ll naturally progress to buying Kindle books too (if you’re not already).
One slightly confusing thing — “Send to Kindle” will also be an option in your Print Options, a bit like “Print to File” and all those other weird printing features nobody uses. But right-clicking (Windows) or Control-clicking (Mac) from your Explorer is the way to go.
Yes, of course I’m including a disclaimer here (and no, I don’t work for or get paid by Amazon). I’ve tried Send to Kindle on my Windows 10 PC laptop and a Macbook Air, and it installed immediately and worked fine. I haven’t bothered with the other installation/platform options offered by Amazon, and maybe they aren’t so accommodating, however I’d be surprised. Bear in mind too that on your computer or laptop you might have some particularly aggressive anti-virus software that will make life difficult.
In other words, who knows what might chuck a virtual spanner in the spokes for you? All I’m saying is — my experience with Send to Kindle has been really good, and that allows authors like me to sell our books direct to readers. Spread the word!
One Last Tip.
Anything your load or send to your Kindle in this method is considered a “document”, even if it’s a .mobi file ebook or something similar. When or if you decide to clean up, delete or rearrange content in your Kindle account through the “Your Content and Devices” menu, make sure you set the web page to display “Documents” (or “Docs”), not “Books”. They’ll all be there.