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Last Updated on October 26, 2021 by Tom Buford
Did you know you can send files directly to Kindle? If you are an indie author you probably submit your books to Amazon KDP. You pay someone to format them or you do it yourself. You test your converted book files on the Kindle previewer and in other apps to see approximately how your book will look and behave when your readers buy it.
There is a way to see for sure how your book will look before you submit it to KDP. You can see exactly how your .mobi file will look and catch formatting mistakes before your readers see them. Just send your compiled book file to your own Kindle. It’s quite simple.
How to view your book on Kindle before you submit it to Amazon.
There are three primary ways to send upload your new eBook to your Kindle.
- Email the .mobi file to your reader.
- Use the Open with… feature in Windows or MacOS.
- Install the Send To Kindle app.
Email the book to your Kindle device or mobile app.
Every Kindle device and mobile app has its own email address. Amazon calls that address a Send-To-Kindle Email Address. That address will always have kindle.com after the @—email@example.com. For example, the one on my iPhone is tom_(5 numbers)@kindle.com.
Every device will have its own address. Note: You can edit this address to something you can remember more easily if you wish.
Find the Send To Kindle email address on your device or mobile app:
- Look for the “MORE” icon in the lower right corner of your device or mobile app. Tap that icon, then top “Settings.” You will find your device’s email address there.
- You can also find your device or mobile app’s email address by logging into your Amazon account and going to “Manage Your Content and Devices.”
- There is a small menu at the top left of the page that includes Content, Devices, Preferences, and Privacy Settings. Choose “Devices.”
- You will see Kindle devices in the first row and their apps in the second row.
- If yours is a Kindle reader device, select its icon. If yours is an app on a phone or tablet, select the Kindle icon from the second row. You’ll see a list of apps. Locate the one you need the email address for. You’ll see its email address listed. Note: If you wish to personalize the device’s email address, this is one place you can do that. You cannot change @kindle.com, but you can what comes before it.
Before your device will accept the emailed file, you’ll need to add the address that you will be sending the file from. This may seem like an inconvenience, but it is actually an important security measure. Your device won’t accept files from email addresses other than the ones you submit as an authorized sender. Amazon calls that email an “Approved Personal Document Email.”
How to submit an authorized sender’s email address for your specific Kindle.
- Log into Amazon. Click “Hello, Your Name” (Account and Lists) just to the right of the Amazon search bar. Look for a group of links titled “Digital Content and Devices.”
- Select the first link in that list, “Manage Content and Devices.” (Note: There will be a drop down list of links when you first log in and mouse over your name. In my experience you won’t be able to find “Manage Content and Devices” there.)
- The first line in the white part of the page has a menu that includes Content, Devices, Preferences, and Privacy Settings. Choose “Preferences.”
- Click on “Personal Documents Settings.” You’ll have to scroll down the page several lines to find it.
- Click on “Approved Personal Document E-mail List.” It will be approximately the third sub-heading.
- Click the blue link, “Add a new approved email address.”
- Add your own email address there so the system will accept your file when you send it to your device(s). If you’ve already added an address, but need to change it, this is also where you would do that.
Once you have the approved sender email address set up, you’re ready to send your .mobi file to your Kindle device or app.
- Just open a blank email.
- Enter the approved sender address in the “From” box.
- Enter the device email address in the “To” box.
- Attach the .mobi file to the email.
- Send it. You may enter a subject, but it is not necessary. It is not necessary to enter a message, either.
Each sending method applies to its own set of file types. At the time this article was written, the following document types can be emailed to your device or mobile app:
- .MOBI (Kindle)
- .AZW (Kindle)
Sending your .mobi file to Kindle on a Mac or PC.
For some reason, the Mac and PC versions of the Kindle app do not have their own email addresses. You can, however, still view your file on those apps.
There are two primary ways to send your book file to PCs and Macs.
Use the Open With… feature.
Right-click the file you wish to send to your Kindle app.
Select Open with…
Select Kindle (Kindle.app on Mac)
Install the Send to Kindle app.
As of the date this article was written Send to Kindle accepts the following file types:
- .AZW (Kindle)
- .MOBI (Kindle)
Once you’ve installed Send to Kindle on your Mac or PC, you can use the app to send files directly to Kindle. They’ll be available for viewing on all of your devices.
To send a file via Send to Kindle:
- Right click on your chosen file.
- A list of apps will be available. Choose Send to Kindle (SendtoKindle.app on Macs).
- A box will open with a list of your Kindle devices and apps. Select the ones where you want to send the file.
- You may also left click and drag your file from onto the Send to Kindle icon in your Dock (mac) or Task Bar (PC).
- Drag the file onto the icon.
- When Send to Kindle opens, select the devices and/or apps you want to receive the file.
Problems logging into Send to Kindle
Your Amazon account probably has 2 factor authentication for security. (If not, you should.) That can present a problem when you attempt to log into the Send to Kindle app. This apparently happens on PCs and Macs. It happened to me on a Mac.
If you can’t log into the Send to Kindle app on Mac or PC.
When you open Send to Kindle the first thing you’ll see is a log in box. It asks for the email address on your Amazon account and your password.
You will very quickly receive a text message with a numerical security code to enter, authenticating your right to access that account.
The problem is that the Send to Kindle app does not use 2 factor authentication. Therefore there is no place to enter the code. If you can’t enter the code, you can’t use the app.
The solution is to enter your login information again and this time, quickly add the security code directly to the end of your password. I found that you cannot have a space between the password and the security code. If your chosen password is “password” and Amazon sends you a code 101010, you would type password101010 into the password box. That’s what I did and it worked right away.
If you make a mistake and the app does not accept your log in, try again. You’ll have to enter a new authentication code since such codes are for one time use.
Once the app accepts your login info, you are ready to use Send to Kindle.
Send to Kindle is also available for Android here. Once the app is installed, you can send files from your Android device via the share button in certain apps.
As of the date this article was written, Send to Kindle for Android allows you to send the following file types to your Kindle:
- .MOBI (Kindle)
- .AZW (Kindle)
Indie authors who preview their Kindle files prior to submitting them to KDP can often avoid submitting files with formatting errors. Using one or more of the methods I’ve described here, you’ll be able to pre-test your files easily.