I’m writing this post because my dear mother has said on multiple occasions that she will “just have to get a Kindle” when my next book comes out as electronic only. (The Weary Traveler won’t be in paperback, just a heads up!) It’s very sweet on her part, but objectively untrue, so I figured I’d share this little how to for anyone who might need it.
There are lots of ways to read books released on Amazon (or any eBook file, really) without one of their devices, and I am going to show you how to avoid giving Jeff Bezos any more more than you have to. (The money you have to give him being the 30% + delivery fees when you buy my books, of course.)
First off, there’s nothing wrong with getting a Kindle or other eReader because they really are fucking great, but they’re not a necessity. Most of us have a phone on us 24/7 already, and it can easily double as an eReader with minimal work: just pop into the app store and grab the Kindle app.
This is actually how I read every morning on my couch with my iced coffee in the quiet that is 5:30am, in dark mode, of course. It’s free, and you can use your existing Amazon account to login, or if you don’t have one, you can make a new account. Then boom, you got yourself a dang eReader with you for next to nothing, and it’s available any time you have your phone.
If you don’t have a phone, or you find the screen too small, or you just want to use your computer, Amazon’s got software you can download to turn your pc or mac into an e-reader too.
Again, they require Amazon accounts, but you need an account for your library regardless. And keep in mind, there are always amazing authors giving away their books on the Kindle store, so you don’t have to spend a dime to get access to thousands of terrific stories. (But eventually you’ll want to because you’ll be totally immersed and you’ll want to support your favorite self-published authors.)
Okay, all that stuff is pretty basic, but here’s the cool thing: While there are loads of awesome free and really inexpensive books available on the Kindle store which is accessible directly through the app (no matter what kind of device you use), you can also use the app to read absolutely anything provided you have the file.
Filetypes the Kindle App can read:
- Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX)
- HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
- RTF (.RTF)
- JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
- Kindle Format (.MOBI, .AZW)
- GIF (.GIF)
- PNG (.PNG)
- BMP (.BMP)
- PDF (.PDF)
If you have one of those files, you can either use this handy app for sending those files to your kindle (which I’ve never used so good luck), or you can email them directly from your email address (which I’ve done loads of times without a hitch). Make sure you’re sending the file from the email address associated with your Amazon account–whichever email address you used to create your login.
You can find the “To” address by going to “More” in the Kindle App and choosing “App Settings.”
Under “App Settings” you will find the “Send to Kindle Email Address” listed, and there will be an email address unique to you ending in @kindle.com
Use that unique address and send the file you’d like to read in the app as an attachment, no subject or body needed. The document will then show up in your Kindle library!
This is especially useful if you’re grabbing books from the Giveaways I’ve been posting. Kindle’s specific filetype is .MOBI so if you ever get one of those, you can send that right over to the app and start reading right away, but remember the app can read loads of other filetypes too, so you’re practically covered no matter what.
Okay, no excuses, Dear Reader, get out there and start living up to your name.