I just wanted to read PDFs on my Kindle. How hard could that be? I guess if you’re reading this you’re in the same boat. If life was easy one could just connect their Kindle, via USB, to their computer, grab the PDF on that computer and drag and drop it into the ‘Documents’ folder of my Kindle. Unfortunately, Kindle does not naturally read PDFs. How could this be?
The good news is Amazon.com gave its customers a path to follow if they want to read PDFs for free. The bad news is they provided a solution that is long and round about. While this technique is not illegal it does smell of trickery and it kind of reminds me of the salami slicing technique used in the movie Office Space.
Here’s how to get PDF’s on your Kindle in a way that is readable and free.
Log into your Amazon.com account
Manage your Kindle Account
Your Amazon.com Kindle email
Caution: If you do use this email, you may be charged 15 cents to send a PDF to your Kindle.
Amazon.com wants you to send and email to joe@Kindle.com and attach your PDF. They will kindly convert your PDF into a Kindle friendly format and add it to your Kindle all for the small price of 15 cents. They think the price is so small that you won’t care. You do this 100 times, that’s $15. If 100 million people start doing this Mr. Bezos might be able to join Steve Jobs’ country club.
Tip: Here’s a better way that’s free
Before I tell you the right free email to use, let me point out a change you need to make to your Kindle managment panel on Amazon.com. Make sure you change the default value to $0.00 (just like in the image below). By default Kindle sets it to a value of a few dollars. Hey Consumer groups out there, what do you think of this?
If you don’t want to incur this charge you need to use the @free.kindle.com address. I found their instructions for this free email confusing so let me make it as crystal clear as I can for those out there that are as slow on the draw as I am.
Amazon.com wants us to add our username before the @free.kindle.com.
But what is our username?
Well, after google-izing for a few minutes, I found the answer. Big Ups to the following links:
Feel free to read these links or keep reading below for my people friendly solution.
What is your Amazon Kindle email?
In our example above it was joe@Kindle.com. In this example, our username is ‘joe‘. So you add this username before @free.kindle.com which will give you the email address of firstname.lastname@example.org. Use this email to send the PDF you want Amazon to convert to a Kindle friendly format . (obviously, substitute your username for ours).
Wait approximately 5 minutes and you’ll get an email that has a link to the converted PDF file. Click it and download it to your computer.
After the delivery is made, you can transfer the PDF file to your Kindle through the USB connection from your computer. That’s it. Whew! All that for a PDF.
note: Kindle DX officially supports PDF files so you can transfer them directly to the device via the USB connection, no need to configure and send emails to Amazon.