Kindle eReaders and apps make it super easy to buy eBooks from Amazon and read them, but what if you want to read your own eBooks, documents, or articles on your Kindle? Amazon’s Send-to-Kindle feature has you covered.
Whether you’re using a Kindle Paperwhite (which we highly recommend), a regular Kindle, or the Kindle app for Android or iOS, the Send-to-Kindle feature is extremely useful for pushing content to these devices and apps. Unfortunately, the Windows 8 app, while otherwise a solid eReading experience, doesn’t support the Send-to-Kindle function; the same goes for the Kindle BlackBerry app, the Windows Phone app, and the Kindle Cloud Reader.
But, there are several ways you can send content if you want to read on a Kindle device or Android/iOS app — from your email, desktop, browser, or Android. Take a look at each and decide which is the quickest and easiest method for you.
Send By Email
First, you’ll need a little setup. Go to Manage Your Content & Devices on Amazon, click on Settings on the far right, and scroll down to find your Send-to-Kindle email settings.
Here, you’ll find a list of your devices that you can send content to (only physical Kindle devices, the Android app, or the iOS app), each with its own email address that you can edit freely.
However, you can only send content to these email addresses from an approved email, otherwise you could be spammed with all sorts of content from anyone. So scroll down a bit further until you find the “Approved Personal Document E-mail List” section. Add only the emails that you want to send content from.
You may also come across “Personal Document Archiving”, which is essentially a way of keeping a backup of all the things you send to your Kindle.
Amazon combined personal documents with Cloud Drive, giving you 10GB of free storage space on Cloud Drive, but only 5GB of those are reserved for personal documents. As far as documents and eBooks go, that should last you a long, long time. I’m constantly uploading documents and eBooks to my Kindle, and I’ve only used 0.0264GB (less than 1%) of my 5GB of storage.
To locate these files, visit your Cloud Drive and you’ll see that there’s a new folder called My Send-to-Kindle Docs.
Now that you understand the whole process, it’s time to send an email. First, make sure that your file is compatible. Here’s a complete list of file types that can be sent:
Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX)
HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
Kindle Format (.MOBI, .AZW)
Note that the universal eBook format, epub, is missing from this list, so don’t try sending your epubs. You’re better off just converting them using Calibre.
Amazon’s support page will tell you that typing “convert” in the subject headline will convert the document, but in actuality, most of the file types automatically convert — you need to specify only with PDF file formats. For all other file types, like the Word Document shown below, you don’t need anything in the subject or body.
My Word document was converted into an AZW3 (Amazon’s newest format) even though kept the subject line blank. However, the unconverted version will be saved to your Cloud Drive. Below is how it appeared in Microsoft Word.
And how it appeared on my Kindle Paperwhite:
This document converted perfectly, but it was also very simple. A more complex document could easily lose formatting during the conversion process.
Keep in mind that some eBooks are protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM), which will prevent them from being converted and read on your Kindle, but you can break the DRM on them if you really want.
If you download the application for PC or Mac, you can easily take your local files and shoot them off to your Kindle without having to deal with the hassle of setting up the email process. Once installed, you get three options for sending files: the right-click menu, the print dialog, or a drag-and-drop option.
Your right click menu in Windows Explorer should now show a Send to Kindle button, and when you go to print, one of the options should be Send to Kindle.
Compared to the email process, the desktop apps are a breeze to use for any documents stored locally on your computer. But what if you want to send Web pages, articles, or blog posts to your Kindle? That’s where the browser extensions come in.
After downloading the extension, the initial setup is quick. Just choose which device you want the button to send content to, choose if you want to use WiFi or Whispernet, and decide if you want them backed up to Cloud Drive as mentioned earlier.
Whispernet, not to be confused with Whispersync, is Amazon’s service for delivering Personal Documents over 3G to 3G-enabled Kindles. This costs money, but delivering Personal Documents over WiFi is always free. Whispersync, on the other hand, is Amazon’s free service for syncing your eBooks with the cloud. For more information, check out this section of Amazon’s support page.
So how does the process work? Let’s try. Below is a MakeUseOf article that I sent to my Kindle Paperwhite.
And below is the converted and delivered product:
It’s not perfect, the image isn’t centered properly, but for the most part it does everything right. For reading extra lengthy articles, this could be an incredible feature.
Send By Android
Sorry, iOS users, but Android is better at sharing. While you can receive Send-to-Kindle documents on Android or iOS, you can only send them from Android.
This is because most Android apps have an option to share the content you’re looking at from any window, like the Gallery, Chrome, or File Manager. You’ll need to have the Kindle Android app installed to get started.
By tapping the Share button within any app, you’ll be given a list of options. Select Send to Kindle, choose which device to send it to and if you want to archive it.
Hopefully this little tip helps you on your noble quest to read all the books and articles in the world. It’s a lofty goal, my friend, but you’ll get there.