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Amazon secret…converting a PDF for Kindle

December 20, 2010
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You can find great deals for Kindle books on Amazon. But sometimes the deals are better direct from the publisher. For instance, Ellora’s Cave novels are typically cheaper on the EC website. But when you buy from a publisher, what you get is usually a PDF file.

 You can read a PDF on Kindle…but not always comfortably. The first time I loaded a PDF onto my new Kindle, I knew immediately it was NOT going to work.

 The type size was way too small. Picture the fine print in a legal document and you get the idea. I couldn’t imagine reading an entire novel in print that tiny. The scalable fonts don’t work on a PDF document. Few of the Kindle functions do.

 I had to convert the PDF to the Kindle (.AZW) format. It’s easy to do, but HARD to find the directions on the Amazon site. Apparently, they’d rather you bought your books directly from them, rather than purchase ebooks from a publisher and convert them. Go figure!

 However, I was determined, so despite their best efforts to hide the information on the Amazon web site, I found it. (Ha!).

 There’s two ways to a convert a PDF file to a Kindle .AWZ file: one is free and the other costs a small fee (about 15 cents, depending on file size). The fee option, of course, is the easy way.

 Easy way for a fee:

1. Attach your PDF to an email

2. Type “convert” (and nothing else) in the subject line. (And that means don’t include the quotation marks).

3. Email it to:  “yourname@kindle.com.” (This is the Kindle name Amazon assigned you when you bought your Kindle).

 Amazon will convert your PDF to an .AZW file and send it via Whispernet to your Kindle. It takes longer than purchasing a Kindle book, sometimes as long as 15-20 minutes. Be patient. Don’t email it several times like I did the first time.

 The free way

1. Attach your PDF to an email

2. Type “convert” in the subject line

3. Email it to “your kindle name@free.Kindle.com.” (Note this email address is a little different)

4. Amazon will email you an .AZW file

5. Download the file to your computer

6. Attach your Kindle to your computer with the USB cord you received

7. Using the mouse, drag the .AZW file to your Kindle OR use the “move” command, to transfer the file to Kindle (the latter is what I do)

 Tip: If you buy a PDF book from a publisher, pay attention to the file name that you receive. I bought several books from Ellora’s Cave and when I received them, the file name was the UPC code. Not a problem if you have only one book, but when you have several books in your Kindle named with numbers, you don’t know what the titles are. Before I send UPC-named books to Amazon to be converted now, I change the file name to the book’s title. Be sure you keep the .pdf extension if you change the file name.

 Here’s the Amazon link with all the info:

Sending files to Amazon

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