e-readers-600How to Download eBooks

This article is intended to help those who need help figuring out how to get their ebooks and ebook samples from me into their readers, but it can also be helpful to authors. It’s important to know what your reader experience is!

How do I download ebook samples to my Kindle or Kindle Fire?
How do I download books to the Sony Reader?
How do I download books to the Barnes & Noble Nook?
How do I download books to my Kobo Reader?
How can I read a Sample ebook on my desktop or laptop?


How do I download ebook samples to my Kindle or Kindle Fire?

There are two options for loading your ebook sample to your Kindle or Kindle Fire:

Option 1.
USB Connection.  Plug your Kindle into the USB slot (small rectangular slot) of your computer using the cable that came with your Kindle (the Kindle Fire doesn’t come standard with the USB cable, so you’ll need to obtain the cable separately, or, use the email option described in #2 below). When you attach your Kindle to your computer via the USB cable, it makes your Kindle appear as a hard drive on your computer.

1. Download the “Kindle” .MOBI format.
2. Next, navigate to where you see the Kindle show up as a hard drive on your computer.
3. Next, just drop the book’s file (it should end in file name of .mobi) to the Kindle’s “documents” folder.
4. Then disconnect the Kindle from your computer and the book will be ready to read.

If you already downloaded the .MOBI file to your computer, here’s a helpful YouTube video that shows how to drag the file from your desktop to the Kindle’s documents folder:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UPOgXDYj3M (video not produced by me or Smashwords)

Option 2.
Email the Ebook to Your Kindle Email Address:  For both first generation Kindles and the newest Kindle Fire, you can email your Smashwords .mobi files to your Kindle email address.
Amazon’s support page provides complete details.

To email files to first generation Kindles (Kindles other than the Kindle Fire), click here:

For Kindle Fire only,  Click here for how to set up your free Kindle email address, and how to load ebooks or email ebooks to your Kindle Fire using either the email or USB cable method.

How do I download books to the Sony Reader?

Sony is no longer an ebook retailer, yet many readers continue to use the Sony Reader to read ebooks. The Sony Reader supports the EPUB format.

Here’s the step-by-step:  

  1. Plug your Sony Reader into your computer using the USB cable that came with your Reader.  You’ll know the Sony Reader is connected when you see the Reader Library software pop up on your screen.
  2.  Go to your web browser, and click the “Thank You” page  where you can click for the sample book you want to download.
  3. Click to download the EPUB version.
  4. Your browser should pop up a window asking if you want to open the file with the Reader software, or if you want to save the file.
  5. Select the save option, which will allow you to download it.
  6. Next, navigate your system directory (PC users:  Click My Computer), where you’ll see your Sony Reader appear as a hard drive labeled as READER: E (or some other letter), then click READER, then click the directory for Database, then click the directory for Books.  This is where you’ll save the file.  After you save the file there, wait about 30 seconds and then you can unplug the Reader from the USB cable and your book is ready to read.

How do I download books to the Barnes & Noble Nook?

For the Nook, just attach the Nook to your personal computer via the USB cable (makes it appear as a hard drive), and then download your books directly to your Nook’s “My Documents” folder.

B&N calls the process “sideloading.” Here’s a video on the process:

How do I download books to my Kobo Reader?

  1. Connect your Kobo Reader to your computer using the USB cable and then drag and drop epub files to add them to your library.
  2. After you connect your Kobo Reader to your computer using the USB cable, tap Connect on your Kobo Reader screen.
  3. When Windows prompts you for an action, select  ‘Open folder to view files.’ A window should open, showing the contents of your device.
  4. In another window, go to the location of your ebooks on your computer and drag and drop then into the Kobo library window.

These instructions are excerpted from Kobo’s online documentation.

How can I read a Sample ebook on my desktop or laptop?

For a higher-quality reading experience download an e-reading application, also called an “e-reading app”, software designed for reading ebooks.  Several available ebook formats are easily read on a personal computer or tablet.

How to read the most common formats:

EPUB – Download and install the free Adobe Digital Editions (for PCs and Laptops).  In addition to being a great e-reading app for desktop computers, Adobe Digital Editions is useful for authors who want to inspect their epub files.  For Apple iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch/Mac, download the free Apple iBooks app from the iTunes app store, or consider other great free apps such as Bluefire or FB Reader (all available in the Apple App store).  For Android devices, download Aldiko, a free e-reading app. In my experience, the Kobo reader is difficult to load download book files to test so I use Adobe Digital Editions on my Mac.

MOBI (Kindle) – Use Kindle for PC (reads .mobi), Kindle for Mac (reads .mobi) or the popular FBReader (reads .epub, .txt, .mobi and multiple other formats).

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