Kindle PDF tips
July 19, 2008 | 9:01 am
By Joe Wikert
When my Kindle arrived awhile back, I remember thinking about converting all the PDFs I print/read throughout the day and loading them on the device instead.
But when I tried to use Amazon’s free service to convert a PDF, I was greeted by a short reply saying PDFs aren’t supported.
In fact, if you search for "PDF" in Amazon’s Kindle User’s Guide (version 1.1), you’ll find the only occurrence of the phrase is when the guide tells you about itself.
You can’t read a PDF on the Kindle, you can’t convert a PDF for a Kindle, but Amazon tells you how to use the Kindle via a PDF file. Ironic, no?
Eureka! PDF conversion succeeds in test
Perhaps, however, something has recently changed. I remember reading a blog post a couple of days ago about how to use Amazon’s service to convert PDFs for the Kindle. I immediately thought, "No, this person obviously never tried it…it doesn’t work!" I got curious, though, and e-mailed a small PDF to my Kindle address.
Sure enough, a couple of minutes later, there it was on my device! No error message. No rejection. Very cool. Now that I see it actually works
I’ve been sending myself all sorts of simple PDFs for conversion (I don’t know about more complex PDFs). This is way better than printing them out or trying to read them on my computer. If you’ve got a bunch of PDFs to convert, just zip them together and send them as one file; Amazon’s service will split them up and deliver them individually to your Kindle.
Zip your way to savings
By the way, I also recall reading about two different ways to convert files for the Kindle. One method would cost 10 cents per conversion and would all take place wirelessly. I talked with Amazon’s customer support and they said they decided to not charge for this service after all, at least not for now.
So all you need to do is e-mail your files to firstname.lastname@example.org (where "yourname" matches the account ID for your Kindle service registration) and you can start enjoying free wireless conversion services too! Let’s just hope Amazon doesn’t rethink that 10 cents per conversion fee.
Moderator’s note: Another way to deal with PDFs for the Kindle is to use the Mobipocket Desktop program. The Kindle can read non-DRMed Mobi. Joe has mentioned trying the Mobi Ceator program, but even Desktop will work in most cases for simple conversions, including from nonencrypted PDF books. Usually works great with Wowio‘s free PDFed books. – D.R.