by Carla Douglas
Do you use Amazon’s Send-to-Kindle feature to transfer personal documents to your Kindle or Kindle app? Yes, you can send your own documents – drafts, stories, reports, the options are endless, really – to your Kindle to read at your leisure. It beats reading from a laptop or having to print and manage a sheaf of papers.
When I first learned a couple of years ago that I could send my own Word documents to my Kindle I thought this was great – but then I sat down to figure out how to do it. It was a laborious process, and not especially user friendly or intuitive. It required a few steps, but eventually I installed a Windows plugin that allowed me to right-click on a Word file and send it directly to my Kindle.
I used this feature for a while, mostly to do manuscript evaluations. When I updated my version of Word, I forgot about it – until now.
Amazon has made getting the Send-to-Kindle option much easier, and there are now two ways to navigate it. Before you begin, be certain your Kindle is registered at Amazon, in your name.
1. Amazon assigns your Kindle, and all your registered devices, with a Kindle email address. You simply email your documents to this address, and voilà, they’re ready to read at your convenience.
Go to Amazon, sign in, and navigate to Manage Your Kindle.
Under Your Kindle Account select Personal Document Settings.
Under Send-to-Kindle E-Mail Settings you’ll see all your devices listed, each with its own Kindle email address:
The next step is dead easy. Simply email your document as an attachment to the Kindle address associated with the device you want to read it on. You can send a document to all your devices if you want.
2. Download and install the Send-to-Kindle plugin for your PC or Mac.
Go to the Amazon Send-to-Kindle page. This link is for PC, but there’s a Mac option on the same page.
Click the Download Now button, then click Install. Then click Finish, and you’re done.
This procedure is so much easier than when I first installed this feature a few years ago. Before the installation is finished, you’ll be asked for your Amazon account email and password. Just enter the regular email address and password you use to log into Amazon, and then select Register.
Finally, when you do go to use the Send-to-Kindle feature, be sure to right-click on a closed document. Here’s as screenshot of what you’ll see:
Select Send to Kindle, and your document will soon appear on your device. You’ll also have options about which devices (I always select all of them) you’d like your document to be sent to.
Why might you want to send your personal documents to your Kindle? Here are a few ways to use this feature. You’ll think of more, I’m sure.
- To read a manuscript for evaluation. Maybe you’re used to writing in the margins, but with the Kindle you can highlight key sections and make notes. Notes are saved and compiled, ready to retrieve later when you do a write-up.
- If you’re in a writers’ group, people will frequently be emailing you drafts and iterations of their current work. The Kindle is a good place to collect these. Again, you can highlight them and make notes for retrieval later.
- Someone has asked you to be a beta reader for their novel or other lengthy work. Or, you have asked others to beta read for you. You have the option to send your manuscript to their Kindle.
- You’ve finished your own manuscript and want to do a read-through. Sending it to a new “environment” will help you to see your work with fresh eyes.
- To check how your cover and other images will look before you finalize and publish them.
You can send the following file types:
Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX)
HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
Kindle Format (.MOBI, .AZW)
I have used Send to Kindle to transfer both MS Word documents and PDFs to all of my devices. The PDFs read just fine, given the fixed format. But the Word docs transfer beautifully — they’re reflowable and without any obvious formatting glitches.
Finally, you can highlight and make notes on these documents, just as you would on a Kindle book, and using this feature makes for a satisfying reading experience. A number of readers have asked about how to retrieve these highlights and notes – is the process the same as reading a Kindle book you’ve purchased or in Kindle Preview? The answer is no – at least not yet. Watch for a post soon about how to highlight and where to find your notes. Amazon is working all the time to improve the user experience.
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