Sending a .mobi file directly to a Kindle via e-mail

When I send out documents to my beta readers, I prefer to convert them to an e-reader format, because I want my readers to see the book as close to possible to the way it’s going to look when I publish it.

Now, what I have been doing is to e-mail the file as an attachment to my readers and letting them fool with connecting the USB and transferring the file to their Kindle.

However, I have found that there is an easier way (for the reader) and since I figure that my readers are doing me a favor I want to make it as easy as possible for them to read my work.

First off, when a Kindle is registered, it gets its own e-mail address.  That’s how Amazon sends you content, actually, via e-mail.  Generally your Kindle’s e-mail address is [the first part of the e-mail you used to register the device] So if you registered your Kindle with then your Kindle’s e-mail address will probably be  (I say probably because mine is a little different because I’ve had three different Kindles registered to my e-mail, so Amazon keeps adding numbers at the end.)

However, this e-mail address won’t receive e-mails from anyone other than Amazon unless you specifically tell it to.  The registered owner has to go into Manage Your Kindle and then to Personal Document Settings and manually enter an approved address.   (This same screen will also confirm your kindle e-mail address.)

So… if you want to send an e-book file directly to a Kindle, you first have to convert the document into either .mobi or a .pdf file.  (You already have Calibre, right?)

Then, you have to tell the recipient to manually add the e-mail address that you will be sending the file from Manage Your Kindle/Personal Document Settings.

Then send an e-mail with the file as an attachment to the recipient’s Kindle e-mail.  On older Kindles the book will show up on the main screen, on my Fire it showed up under the Docs tab.   (And unfortunately does not show up under the Books tab, however it does act like any other e-book in all other ways.)

And there you have it.  I know it sounds complicated when I go through it in excruciating detail, but it’s really pretty quick and easy–I sent my Beta of Cannibal Hearts to a non-tech savvy friend in about five minutes.

So, if you have someone that you would like to send a WIP who doesn’t want to mess with moving files and such, this is how you do it. (Oh, and the recipient can always remove your e-mail address from the approved list after receiving the file, in case she or he is worried about you spamming the device.)

About MishaBurnett

I am the author of "Catskinner's Book", a science fiction novel available on Amazon Kindle.
This entry was posted in On Promotion, On Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Sending a .mobi file directly to a Kindle via e-mail

  1. hno3burns says:

    I published on Kindle a while ago. What kind of book are you writing?

  2. alicem2013 says:

    Thank you, thank you so much! I was at my wits ends trying to figure out how to put 2 books on my kindle (1 a prize and 1 sent for review) so I could read without using Desktop. You helped me so much!

    Thanks again!
    Alice M (Aj)

  3. Cool info! Sharing on Facebook antho group so we can load mobi’s on to kindles.

  4. ABE says:

    You just saved me some time, and what’s better, figuring out (the brain doesn’t work so well with new stuff). I’ve bookmarked – and will learn to use this asap.

    I’m sure it will work with an ipad and a Nook, too, once I figure out the email addresses to be used. Having to locate and use an actual physical cable? So 20th century.

    I bought Scrivener ($46) to manage my writing. It produces .mobi and .epub files easily (one of the main reasons I bought it – though I haven’t tried them out thoroughly yet). Scrivener is one of my favorite purchases of all times.

  5. Tracy says:

    Do you know if there is a way to add author notes to an ebook (mobi, azw3,etc.) so that every reader can download the ebook with the notes and with just one click on the word or phrase that has the note would be visible?

  6. Hey, this would have been exactly what I was looking for. Only thing is – when I installed Calibre I couldn’t understand how to make that work. But I found a way to convert to pdf online, and now I can save it into the pdf feature I installed on my iPad. Now all I have to do is grasp your instructions (you may have seen that I’m a Technoklutz). Thos is a very steep learning curve for me. I may slip over the edge, lol!

    • MishaBurnett says:

      I ran across another blog that describes the process with screenshots–that may help.

    • Andrew Wyrd says:

      hi there,
      it’s a reply to your next question actually, but it doesn’t have “reply” link underneath, so i used this one.
      i think you can try a program called “mobipocket creator” from site. kindle is effectively mobipocket bought by amazon and refactored.
      mobipocket creator imports word documents and makes kindle files, plus much more.
      there might be glitches with word versions, as mobipocket project has been dropped after purchasing.
      and you might rename the file you get after converting: creator saves it into a file with .prc extension, just rename it into .mobi, and you can put it on your kindle.

      as for some other options of putting e-books on kindle, it can be done via web links. like you upload your file to a server, and give people a link. they fire up their kindles, browse to the url you give them, and can download right to their devices. something similar to downloading e-books from sites (like for example). you don’t have to create web pages for the books, just plain upload to you server (for example where you host you blog), and give your targeted audience direct link to the file. if they browse to that link in kindle, they will get the book.

      how this would be useful.

  7. Neat article. But on researching this further, I ran into this on Amazon, which concerned me:

    There is a document processing fee for the Kindle Personal Documents Service when you do not use Wi-Fi or USB. Fees for the Kindle Personal Document Service via Whispernet are based on the size of the file submitted, your country, and where you’re accessing Whispernet. If possible, we will attempt to deliver via Wi-Fi rather than Whispernet, and no document processing fee will be charged.

    So what’s your experience with this?

  8. Reblogged this on CKBooks Publishing and commented:
    I didn’t know you could do this, did you? I wonder if it works for other e-readers as well?

  9. Pingback: My Top 13 Posts Of 2013 | mishaburnett

  10. Tiffany says:

    Thank you! I was trying to figure it out as well..glad I came upon your info…

  11. Susie says:

    Thank you so much!

  12. Thomas says:

    Hello there! If interested, I can recommend another free conversion tool – – a free resource to get mobi format for Kindle. Cheers!

  13. Kirill says:

    You also can use a tool which allows you to upload book to kindle directly from internet

  14. Pingback: Sending out copies of your novel to book reviewers |

  15. JAKA says:

    Thank you — very helpful. Just put a link on my blog.

  16. Thank you so much for this post, this is the best explanation I’ve found by far! I owe you one ^^

  17. -Just L. says:

    Stupid question 6744 – Does it do like other documents and convert the file to PDF? I don’t want it to show up as that. I’ve sent other things with Send-to-Kindle and it has made a pdf. Thanks.

    • MishaBurnett says:

      Send To Kindle is a different function–that goes through Amazon. I’ve never used it, but it would make sense that it converts to PDF because that’s kind of the go-to format for mobile apps.

      E-mailing directly to the Kindle works just like e-mailing a file to a computer. In fact, it’s the same way that Amazon gets e-books into your library.

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