Baen has just sent an email to its customers noting a change to one method of Baen e-book downloads. At the moment, Baen has a form on its web site where you can fill in your Kindle’s Personal Document Service e-mail address and have the e-book emailed to your Kindle with the click of a button. However, that feature is soon going away.

Baen writes:

Starting on or about June 10, 2015, Baen Ebooks will no longer be able to provide automatic delivery of the .mobi format to a Kindle device via the "Email book to my Kindle" feature. We have just learned that to comply with Amazon’s Terms of Use, Baen Ebooks cannot use Amazon’s Personal Documents Service to deliver paid content.

The rest of the email includes a list of instructions for a fairly complicated workaround: Baen will e-mail the MOBI format e-book to you, then you can forward that email to your Kindle’s address.

Of course, for those who know how to plug cords in and drag files from one folder to another (or run a management program like Calibre), plugging your Kindle in is still the simplest method of adding external content to it.

For that matter, it’s not really clear just how many people even used the email-to-Kindle method in the first place. It seems that any method other than clicking the button on Amazon to buy the e-book is beyond most e-book buyers these days. Baen got so many requests to make its e-books available for Kindle (even though they already worked just fine on it!) that it finally had to cave and drastically change how its own e-book store worked so it could get the e-books onto Amazon.

I’ve seen the grumbling start about how Amazon doesn’t want any competition with its own e-book store, but frankly, I think the effects of this change will be minimal. Anybody who even realizes they can buy Baen e-books from somewhere other than Amazon will probably be tech-savvy enough to deal with sideloading e-books already.


  1. Hmm, while I won’t miss the option from Baen, that quote about TOS makes me wonder about Story Bundle. They also use the Send to Kindle option for bundled books. Are they out of compliance as well?

  2. Are they also selling directly on the kindle? I think that’s the problem with Baen. Amazon and Baen have a contract. If Story Bundle doesn’t have a contract, there’s not much Amazon can do to them.

  3. With many mail apps, it shouldn’t be that hard to have that email sent to you from Baen auto-forwarded to your Kindle personal email address. After all, how can Amazon complain? It’s coming from your personal email address.

    For those using the Mail program on Macs, Go to Preferences-Rules, and select Add Rule. Then from the pull-down menus, set Any conditions to be From contains Baen.

    Under Perform the following actions, select Forward Message and have it go to your Kindle email address. I’ve not tried that with attachments, so hopefully they forward too. You can even add a message in the email’s subject field with the Message… button.

    There are other uses for forwarding. I’ve got a service that monitors for low prices on particular used books. When one drops below a threshold, I get an email that then forwards a text message to my iPhone and iPad. It’s funny to see my Mac beep for the original message and then have my two iOS devices beep a second or two later. If I’m away from home, it’ll beep my iPhone.

    Check out what you can do. Mail scripts can be quite useful. It’s a good way to seen oft-repeated spam directly to the trash, so you never see it.

  4. Chris Meadows> Anybody who even realizes they can buy Baen e-books from somewhere other than Amazon will probably be tech-savvy enough to deal with sideloading e-books already.

    You don’t even need to sideload – all Kindles have a browser so just use it to click Baenebooks download in Mobi button. You need to sign on to but it will remember you.

    And the Baen/ Amazon contract just provides an easy interface to request T&C compliance. Amazon could block any email server if they found a simple request ineffective.

  5. The interesting thing is the vendor never agreed to the TOS, the Kindle owner did, right? When could the vendor do that.

    That said, Amazon does say you cannot set up e-mail addresses for other to deliver to your Kindle, I’ve seen it but can’t find it at the moment (it might use a term for automatic or “regular” delivery). Can’t remember if it’s TOS or where you define the acceptable addresses in the settings or somewhere else.

    Autoforwarding (as Michael) said would fix that for the vendor, but it’d still violate your agreement with Amazon.

  6. Recently over on Baen’s Bar, in the thread
    [Baen Ebooks] Changes to Email to Kindle Feature
    Jenny from Baen Support added a little new info.

    It isn’t an absolute cut off of emailed eBooks from Baen’s server to customers Kindles, it is a data cap severely limiting the number of eBooks that can be emailed, and Amazon have indicated that breaches of the threshold will result in the data cap being lowered.

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