The Kindle email feature is one of those handy extra wrinkles for Kindle device and library management that never seems to get enough love, or use. After all, it assists you to manage far more than just the books in your Kindle Library. You can use it to send documents, article, any kind of content that the Kindle can read, to your Library for access across all your devices. So here’s a refresher on how to use it.
First, finding the unique email for your device. On the “Settings” menu of your Kindle ereading app (accessible from the Library screen), you’ll find the specific email for your device under the heading “Personal Documents,” with the format “yourID_number@kindle.com.” And in case you need to reference with your device’s specific name, that’s under “Your Device” at the top of the same menu. You can also find all this information in the “Manage Your Content and Devices” section of your Amazon account web page, under “Your Devices.” There’s even an “Edit the Send-to-Kindle e-mail address” option now on the website, allowing you to further personalize your Kindle’s email address, if that appeals. Note that the “Deliver Items to Your Fire or Kindle” option on the website is not exactly the same as using the email – that’s just a variation on the standard Kindle Library management feature.
Now, what to email to that address? Kindles from the fourth generation onwards, which means pretty much all the devices still in use, can display AZW, AZW3, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, and PRC files natively, as well as HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP files via conversion. Amazon email actually manages the conversion process for you when the documents are sent to your device. Once set, these are accessible via the “Docs” menu item in your Library. This can be a far easier way to get unprotected ebooks on to your Kindle than sideloading, if you don’t want to bother with the extra steps of plugging in the USB cable and sideloading manually.
Amazon offers its own slew of “Send to Kindle” apps and browser plugins for Chrome, Firefox, PC and Apple desktops, and Android. “Reading your documents and web content on Kindle is now easier than ever. Use Send to Kindle applications to read on your Kindle devices and free reading apps on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android phone and tablet.” For articles or other content that you discovered while browsing and want to save to your Kindle for further reference, there’s also a free service called Klip.me, “a simple service for sending web content to mobile devices. Furthermore, it removes ads and other junk from the article, letting users view only most relevant material in clean text.”
Some services in fact use the Kindle email feature as a way to get books on your device, rather than through the usual Kindle Library. For instance, I have many review copies of titles from the NetGalley online review service and other sources, showing up in the “Docs” menu across all my devices. The Kindle does also include them in the main Library view, but it’s handy sometimes to know that they’re grouped there separately.
And for those who use Amazon’s lending service to lend books to other users, note that Amazon tells you to “be sure to send the Kindle book loan notification to your friend’s personal e-mail address and not their Send-to-Kindle e-mail address.”
There’s a few pointers on how to use the Kindle email service. Any more suggestions or hints? Feel free to post them in your comments.