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How to Get Free E-Books on Your Amazon Kindle News & Opinion



The Amazon Kindle is a great e-book reader but closely linked to the Amazon ecosystem. If you have a Fire tablet or a smartphone, you can download other e-reading apps to refresh your library. However, with the E Ink Kindles (including the new waterproof Kindle Paperwhite ), you're pretty much tied to getting your library content directly from Amazon.

Well, somehow. With some free software, you can use ebooks in EPUB, Mobi, and PDF formats and zap them to your Kindle lickety-split. This is how it works:

E-mail

The easiest way to e-mail books on your Kindle.

To get your Kindle's e-mail address, visit amazon.com/myk on your PC's Internet browser. Click the Devices tab at the top. In the list below, find the appropriate Kindle device and click on the three dots on the left. In the pop-up window, you will see an @ kindle.com email address. (The default address is fixed, but you can change it by clicking Edit.)

 Kindle's Email Address

Click the tab above Settings and scroll down to personal document settings. Click the down arrow on the right and scroll to "Approved personal documents email list". The email attached to your Amazon account should be listed here. If this is the email address you use to send e-books to your Kindle, you're done. To use a different email address, click "Add a new approved email address" and enter the address you want to use.

Keep in mind that your Kindle needs to be connected to a Wi-Fi or 3G network for this to work. Of course, it does not have to be your home network; For example, you can go to a café or public library.

Choose Your E-Book Format

Now you know how to send an e-book to your Kindle -books format, which determines how best to ship it.

Mobi Format

Good news: If your books are in Mobi format, they are already legible by the Kindle. Attach the file to an e-mail, send it to your Kindle's e-mail address (with any subject and no content in the e-mail), and it should appear on your Kindle shortly. You can also drag and drop the file onto the Kindle by connecting the device to your PC with a USB cable.

PDF Format

Amazon can automatically convert PDF files to Kindle format, but you have two formatting options. If you want your Kindle to display each page in the PDF as a graphic, simply email the PDF to the address of your Kindle with no subject line. This preserves formatting and graphics, but the font size may be too small to read. If you agree with this formatting, you can also drag and drop the file to your Kindle if you connect the device to your PC with a USB cable.

Your other option is to attach the PDF file to an e-mail and make the subject line "Convert" ̵

1; only to that word. Send it to your Kindle email address and your PDF file will be converted to a Mobi file where you can control the font size and formatting. The graphic still exists, but you lose the layout of the original PDF document.

EPUB

EPUB is a generic e-book format on the Web, but the Kindle can not read it natively. That's okay; You can convert .epub files to Mobi files so the Kindle can read them.

The key is a free software called Caliber. Caliber can reformat almost any type of e-book for just about any e-book reader, although cracking copy protection is prohibited for books purchased from Amazon or other stores.

Caliber is available for Windows and Macs. When you set up the software, you will be asked for the model of the e-book reader. A pop-up window suggests sending the books by e-mail. Enter the e-mail address of your Kindle and the authorized e-mail address you have set for sending documents to your Kindle.

After setting up Caliber, click Add Books and select all the free downloaded e-book files. They appear in the caliber library. Now click on an entry in your Caliber Library and select Convert Books from the top bar. In the top right corner, make sure you set the output format to Mobi. Click OK and wait until the order number in the lower right corner of the main screen returns from 1 to 0.

Now select the title again and click Save to Disk. Select the folder where you want to save it. It creates a subfolder with the name of the author. In Explorer or Finder, drill into this folder until you find the juicy mobi file that you can e-mail to your Kindle or place on a USB cable.

Where can I get free e-books?

There are many places where free e-books can be obtained. Caliber has a good meta search and you can click on Download Books to search by title or author. While it's not the friendliest to browse, it's best to know exactly what you're looking for.

  • If you belong to a US public library, try downloading OverDrive . It is available for Windows and Mac OS and can be integrated into public library catalogs. You can download Kindle books through Amazon. You can find your local library, and OverDrive contains instructions for sending to Kindle for each device type.
  • If you are interested in classics, the project Gutenberg is a good starting point. The project Gutenberg, which basically exists as long as the Internet, has almost 60,000 copyright free e-books.
  • Open Library has even more downloadable books. The classics are available as PDF files for download, which you can then email to your Kindle using the PDF method described above.
  • For historical and academic texts, see archive.org
  • ManyBooks.net mixes classic and self-published titles with over 50,000 titles in the library.
  • More classic and self-published works can be found at FeedBooks.
  • There are also Free-Ebooks.net, although most books are not published. It seems to be worth reading.
  • If you like science fiction, the publisher Baen also has a number of free e-books.

Some bookstores use copy protection that does not work on Kindles. Unfortunately, this is the case with Google Books, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.

Also, remember that text files, blog posts, Word documents, and more can also be sent to your Kindle. Simply send it to your Kindle's email address and enjoy.

Chandra Steele contributed to this story .


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