Getting a .mobi Book Onto Your Kindle
When you send out review copies of your book, you want it to be as easy as possible to get it to your reviewers. You want your early reviewers to get the exact same experience as your future paying customers when they read your book. In order to do this, they need to put the .mobi version of your book onto their kindle. Sending a PDF or Word version of your book is not a good enough experience and most reviewers will be annoyed if you try this.
You can share this post with your reviewers and anyone else you send a .mobi copy of your book to, so they can enjoy the full kindle experience.
You start by sending a message to your customers that says:
I am sending out my new book “Serve No Master” for review. It is in Kindle format (also known as a “.mobi” file), and you can read it on your computer, but you might want to upload it to your Kindle device. There are two ways of doing this:-
• via email (recommended option), or
• using a USB cable.
Option 1 – Email the “.mobi” file to your Kindle
When you order a Kindle book from Amazon and it magically appears on your device, Amazon is using a very prosaic method to get it there – via email. There is a unique email address allocated to each Kindle you own (if you own more than one). Here is how you discover that email address.
Access the Amazon store
Access your preferred Amazon store. At the top right of the webpage you will see the following (names have been removed to protect the innocent).
Click on “Your Account” and a drop-down list will appear. Select the first option, which is “Your Account” (again) and click on it.
A new page will appear with a long list of options and the following heading.
Scroll down until you see the “Digital Content” menu (shown below), where you should select “Manage your content and devices”.
Amazon will require you to sign in, for security purposes.
When you have signed in, Amazon defaults to your library list, which is displayed under the “My Content” heading.
Select “Your Devices”.
The full list of Kindle devices will appear. Below there are only 2, namely a kindle device and the Kindle Cloud Reader. You could own several devices in your family, or own more than one device, in which case they will also be listed here.
If you look below the catalogue of devices you will see a list of each of your devices and the email address that is used to send files to that Kindle.
This is the address to which you will email the “.mobi” book. You can now check the Settings Menu to get the email address (or addresses)from which Amazon will accept an email. This will be the email under which you opened the account. You can add alternate emails to this list, if required.
You will find the address(es) under “Personal Document Settings).
Sending the email
Make sure your Kindle is online and that the “.mobi” file is in an appropriate spot, such as your desktop. You may have received if from Dropbox or as an email attachment, and you will need to move it somewhere where you can retrieve it to attach to your outgoing email.
Create a mail from the approved email account to the Amazon Kindle email account, attach the “.mobi” file and send it. You do not need a subject header or any other content, Amazon will open the mail and upload the file to your Kindle. Please note that it takes some time to complete this action and synchronize across all your devices.
Option 2 – Copy the file directly to your Kindle
This option uses a USB cable to physically transfer the “.mobi” file. The instructions will differ slightly depending on the type of device (e.g. traditional or Paperwhite vs Kindle Fire). Please note that this option will not load it to your Kindle Library, but only to the Kindle you connected, which is why it is not the preferred option.
Switch your Kindle on.
Using the USB cable supplied with the Kindle (or your own USB cable if you have a Kindle Fire), connect the Kindle to your laptop.
You should see the Kindle under “My Computer” if you are using Windows, or on your desktop if you use a Mac.
Open the Kindle drive and look for a folder called “Documents”. If you have a Kindle Fire, the folder will be called “Books”.
Copy the “.mobi” file into this folder.
Close Explorer, so that you can disconnect your cable safely, or use the “Eject” command on your Mac. Allow a short time for the update to occur. You should then see my book title in the Kindle’s list of books.
Option 3 – Using Calibre
If copying folders around seems a little daunting, there is a great software solution that doesn’t cost a penny.
To grab a copy of Calibre, head over to https://calibre-ebook.com and click “download calibre.”
Choose your operating system (I’m on MAC)
Now you want to click download calibre and then install the software on your system.
Once Calibre is installed on your platform, start the software.
You can see all of the different books that you have loaded in this wonderful interface. Calibre is great for converting between formats (if you need to go from .mobi to .epub). I use this software to convert ebooks all the time.
When you connect your kindle a new option called “Send to Device” will appear. Calibre works with all ebook readers, not just kindle. That’s why it says “device” here.
Click on “send to device” and choose “send to main memory.” If you have a non-kindle device that uses memory cards, you can choose storage card A or B.
And now your .mobi ebook is on your kindle device and ready to use.
I personally use the Calibre method the most. It’s a nice visual interface and once it’s installed, adding future books takes just ten seconds.