Amazon Kindle How-To Series – Convert Free E-Books to Kindle Books

While the Kindle wireless reading device lets you carry literally hundreds of e-books, newspapers, and magazines anywhere you go, your Kindle is actually pretty picky about the types of documents it will let you read. Free e-books, articles, white papers, and other documents you might wish to read on your Kindle are everywhere on the Internet. The problem is that they are not in a format that is “Kindle-friendly.”

The Kindle “naively” supports the following document formats –

Kindle documents (.azw)

Text documents (.txt)

Mobi Reader documents (.mobi or .prc)

But, if you have a document you wish to read on your Kindle that is in another format – for example = a free e-book that is an Adobe Reader (.pdf) file or a Microsoft Word (.doc) file then you have to convert it to the proper format for use on your Kindle. Fortunately this is not something that is hard to do.

Amazon has a service for which they charge a nominal amount allowing you to convert documents such as .pdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader) files to Kindle files. To do this you must first have an active Kindle e-mail address. You can make sure you are set-up with a Kindle e-mail address by visiting the “Manage Your Kindle” section of the Amazon web site. Typically, your Kindle e-mail address will be “[email protected]”.

1. Make sure the document you want to convert is in one of the following formats

Microsoft Word (.doc)

HTML (.html)

Adobe Acrobat Reader (.pdf)

2. Check to be sure the file is not “protected.” This can occur with e-books you have purchased with DRM (digital rights management) restrictions. You also might have documents that include passwords or other means to restrict access. You will not be able to convert these files.

3. Create an e-mail to your Kindle e-mail address and attach the file you wish to read on your Kindle.

4. Send the e-mail – Amazon will convert the document and send it to your Kindle via the wireless connection.

5. The cost for this service is $.10 (ten cents) per document.

If you want to convert your document at no charge, or are in an area where you cannot access the Kindle’s wireless service you can do so with a slight change in the steps above.

Rather than send the e-mail with the attached document to your Kindle e-mail address send it to “[email protected]”. Amazon will convert the document and send it back to the originating e-mail address. When you get the e-mail back from Amazon you can transfer the document to your Kindle using the USB cable connected to your computer.

It’s as simple as that!

A few important things to remember. First, as stated above, if the files you wish to convert have any sort of DRM (digital rights management) restrictions then the file won’t be converted. Also – this is an “experimental” service for Amazon. Documents with complex formatting, or certain .pdf files, may not convert as expected. While this may not prevent you from reading the document, it will make it a bit more difficult to navigate through and around your e-book.

Congratulations! Now you know how you can quickly convert e-books in Microsoft Word, HTML, and Adobe Acrobat Reader format to “Kindle-friendly” e-books. This process can help you add a lot of great content to your Kindle wireless reading device.