Thursday, September 01, 2011

Kindle Skills - Send Documents Straight To Your Kindle

You can use your Kindle to read personal documents. Some documents though, like .doc, .rtf, or .htm etc need to be converted first. Amazon has an online document conversion service (at a very reasonable cost) that will take care of converting, AND even if you have multiple Kindle devices, will send that document to just the one you want.
I'm sure you can think of plenty yourself, but here are some examples of documents you might want to keep on your Kindle:
  • Your most important Contact list (you can send updates regularly, with the main one frequently updated on your computer)
  • Your current list of medications, along with doctor phone numbers and addresses. This came in handy for me the last time I had to have a physical... I can't remember a thing when I am all naked on a doctor's exam table! Can't imagine why!
  • A list of books you want to read
  • The list of books you already have on your Kindle, organized by collections (this is a goodie if you have a lot of books on your little machine). You can keep it updated on your main computer, then periodically send the latest version of the file to your Kindle, so you always have a fresh list.

It works via email. Every Kindle device you have has an email address on associated with it. You can see these email addresses in the Manage Your Kindle area on Sending an email to that address with a document attached will cause the document to be converted to a Kindle-friendly file and then wirelessly sent to that particular Kindle device. Amazon charges 15 cents (US) per megabyte of the converted document's size. To give you an idea, a 500 page book with no illustrations might only be 1/3 to 1/2 of a megabyte... That's why (theoretically) you can get hundreds, certainly more than you will live long enough to read, books on your Kindle. They really don't take a lot of space at all.
If you don't mind putting the files into the documents folder of your Kindle yourself, Amazon will convert the books for free. Send the email with the same document attached, but to the email on Same email address in front of the @, just add at the end. Rather than sending the converted document to your Kindle via whispernet, Amazon will email it back to you. Then you can transfer the converted Kindle friendly file to your Kindle manually.
Special note: Amazon won't accept document conversion emails from just any old email address. You need to make sure the email address you use (or want to use) is listed in the Kindle Approved e-mail List in the Manage Your Kindle area. This is as much to protect you from unapproved charges, as Amazon from spam. Emails from all other senders are ignored.