How To Get Smashwords Books Onto Your Kindle

by Greg on February 10, 2011

Kindle 3Since we’ve been having a lot of free books recently from Smashwords and a lot of people have been asking how to get the books from Smashwords onto their Kindles, I thought I would do a post about how to accomplish this.

Here’s the quick version:
Download the book from Smashwords onto your computer, connect your Kindle to your computer, then move the book from your computer to your Kindle.

Here’s the detailed version:

  1. First of all, if you don’t already have an account at Smashwords, sign up for an account here (it only takes a few seconds): Smashwords
  2. If you’re getting a book that needs a coupon code you will click on the “add to cart” button on the book’s page. When you are at the “Shopping Cart” page, enter the code and then click “Update” and the price will change to $0.00. Click “Checkout” then click on the title of the book and you will go to the book’s page.
  3. Then, go to the bottom of the page to the download area and you will click on the download link next to Kindle (.mobi).
  4. You will then need to determine where on your computer you would like to save the file. This is completely up to you. Many people like to save the files to their Desktop to make it easy to find but you can save it in a separate folder that you set up just for Kindle books (this is what I do) or you can save it anywhere you want – just remember where you saved it. When you go to save the book to your computer, a screen will appear with the name of the book next to “File Name” and the file type next to a box called “Save as Type”. Don’t change either one of these. Click the “Save” button.
  5. Connect your Kindle to your computer with the USB cable that came with your Kindle. After doing this, your Kindle will show up as one of the drives on your computer.
  6. Go to the place on your computer where you saved your new book and right click on the title and select “Copy”.
  7. Go to the drive where your Kindle is located (mine is drive J but yours may be different. It will say “Kindle” so that you know which one it is) and double click on the “documents” folder.
  8. Once you’re in the documents folder, right click and choose “Paste”.
  9. You now have a copy of your new free Smashwords book on your Kindle.
  10. Very important. Don’t forget to click the “Safely Remove Hardware” button at the bottom right corner of your computer screen (that’s where mine is, yours may be different) and then disconnect your Kindle in the screen that comes up before unplugging the USB cord.

There you have it. I know it seems like a lot of steps but it’s actually pretty quick to do especially after you’ve done it a couple of times. It takes a little longer than getting a free book from Amazon but the little bit of extra effort is worth maybe discovering a new favorite author.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jacqueline Hopkins December 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I am wondering now how to get all the books I purchased from Smashwords on to the Kindle Fire. There does not appear to be an app for that and I am wondering if Mark Croker is going to make or find one. We tried several different ways and ended up with a pdf that you can’t change the size of the font on, it is small and hard on the eyes. Also, there is not a usb cord that goes/comes with the Kindle Fire, is there? That would help, but I am thinking it is needing a special app to read books from Smashwords on there. Anyone have any suggestions?

2 Angela October 3, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I am having the same problem. Do you double click on the documents folder? I can’t seem to get it to paste or copy to the documents (kindle) folder. Please help!

3 Judy October 2, 2011 at 12:56 am

This is driving me insane. I have downloaded the book and have since gotten a kindle. All the instructions say click on the download to kindle, however it does not exist as an option. I get epub or pdf as a choice (among others that don’t apply) there is no mobi option. Seriously, am I the only webidiot that has had this problem?

4 Laura Davis March 19, 2011 at 11:20 am

Thank, Marcia — how simple — what an idiot I am. It works like a charm. Thanks again.

5 Marcia Schlegel March 8, 2011 at 11:26 pm

When you copied the downloaded file from the folder on your computer, did you open the documents folder for your Kindle and then paste it there? I pasted it in the wrong folder once by mistake and had the same thing happen that you did. But I just cut it and pasted it into the documents folder and then it showed up on Kindle. Hope this helps. It is really simple to do once you get the hang of it!

6 Laura Davis March 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I have purchased and downloaded two books from Smashwords and they appear to be on my Kindle (when I attach it to my computer)l but they are not listed on my kindle and I get a message that says “this file does not have a program ssociated with it for performance of this action. Create an association in the Set Assn control panel. I do not know where that control panel is. Do I need a .mobi reader? I’ve tried to download it but it won’t download.

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