Amazon may be put its own eBook store front and center in the software that runs on the company’s Kindle eReaders, but you can also use a Kindle device or Amazon’s Kindle apps to read text documents, eBooks, or other files from other sources.

The Kindle Personal Documents service lets you send TXT, HTML, DOC, PDF, HTML or image files to a Kindle device or app for free, as well as DRM-free eBooks in supported formats. They’ll then be converted to a Kindle-readable format. Up until recently though, one of the most popular eBook formats was not supported. But now you can finally send EPUB files to a Kindle.

Every time you set up a new Kindle eReader or app, Amazon will a Send to Kindle email address for that device or app. You can find that address in the Manage Your Devices page at Amazon.

Then, all you have to do to load an eBook, text document, web article, or other content is to send a message to your Send to Kindle email address, attaching the file you want to read on your Kindle.

As of April 30, 2022, these are the file formats you can email to your Send to Kindle address to add an item to your Kindle Personal Documents library:

  • MOBI (.AZW, .MOBI)
  • Microsoft Word (.DOC, .DOCX)
  • HTML (.HTML, .HTM)
  • RTF (.RTF)
  • Text (.TXT)
  • JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG)
  • GIF (.GIF)
  • PNG (.PNG)
  • BMP (.BMP)
  • PDF (.PDF)
  • EPUB (.EPUB)

Note that if you’re sending an EPUB, PDF, MOBI, or AZW file, it will have to be DRM-free. Some eBook sellers will offer some or all titles without DRM, which is software designed to restrict your ability to make copies of eBooks or other content.

There are also resources like Project Gutenberg where you can find public domain titles without DRM. If you’ve saved a web page or Word document that you’d like to read on a Kindle, it’s also probably DRM-free. And there are also tools you may be able to use to strip DRM from eBooks that you’ve purchased from stores other than Amazon, although whether this is legal may depend on where you live.

Anyway, for many years EPUB has been one of the most popular eBook formats, but it’s also been one that was unsupported by Amazon’s Kindle devices and apps. Now you can send an EPUB file straight to a Kindle just by emailing it, with no need to use software to convert your file from EPUB to a supported format first.

Later this year you may even be able to do it without sending an email. Amazon says it will add support for the EPUB format to its Send to Kindle apps in late 2022. These apps, which are available as Windows and Mac desktop apps, an Android app, and a Google Chrome web browser, let you quickly send a document or website to your Kindle with the click of a button.

Amazon’s Send to Kindle extension for Google Chrome

Another change coming in late 2022 though, is that Amazon is dropping support for MOBI and AZW file formats. These are some of the older formats that used to be the main file types supported by Amazon’s Kindle eBook platform, but Amazon now uses AZW3, KF8, and KFX file formats and the company says the older MOBI and AZW formats no longer support some of the “most up to-date Kindle features” and will no longer be supported for new documents sent to your Kindle.

Any MOBI and AZW files that have already been sent to your Kindle Personal Documents account will be unaffected though, so if you’ve got a backlog of content that you’ve been meaning to read, there’s no need to re-send it.

via Good E-Reader

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9 Comments

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  1. In fact emailing ePub format files to the magic Kindle address has been working for at least two years but a rename of the file extension, say to .txt was needed to avoid rejection.

  2. This is weird, no doubt. But note that the the source is Good eReader, which is a strange website. They often get facts wrong, misinterpret press releases, react histrionically or over dramatically, and sometimes seem to make up news.

    Still, if Amazon is ending support for .mobi and .azw files, it’s big news for the ereader world.

    1. I read the Amazon announcement. Reading between the lines, I think you will still be able to put .mobi and .azw files on your kindle. But you can’t use the Send to Kindle service for these file types.

      Kindle ereaders will still be able to access and open mobi and azw files.

  3. Wow… so they won’t support their own ebook formats anymore but they will support epub? That is confusing. All my 3rd party ebooks I’ve bought have always been .mobi format (when I have a choice) because that is the easiest for kindle. Now I will have to start getting epub I guess… and converting my old books. 🙁

      1. My family has hundreds of MOBI files on our kindles and in our Calibre libraries. We’ve never ONCE used “Kindle Personal Documents.” It’s going to be a massive change in our workflow if we have to start.

        Fortunately our devices are older and probably won’t receive this update.

  4. Imagine if we could trust our own government — we could agree common standards for hardware and software that could drastically improve our experience of using computers while simultaneously slashing costs. Why should corporate whims dictate what we can or cannot do with our computers or media? Restrict copyrights and the use of DRM now!

    1. This sorta sidesteps that conversation. Amazon isn’t restricting files based on drm, it’s restricting specific file types.

      It’s as if Microsoft were to say: In the 2022 version of Word, you won’t be able to open documents created in version 2013 of Word or earlier.

      1. Keep your gaze firmly fixed on the trees and ignore the forest. “Note that if you’re sending an EPUB, PDF, MOBI, or AZW file, it will have to be DRM-free” describes a limitation with which users must deal. Note that Brad goes on to explain what Digital Rights Management is, then devotes a paragraph to describing solutions for users. “Amazon … it’s restricting” I agree and I don’t like it in principle.