Re-Kindling Frustration

Amazon made changes this year to allow for sideloading epubs onto the Kindle platform, while moving away from the old azw and mobi formats. Great! Epub is an industry standard, mobi is old Amazon hat. Let’s go!

Ah, not so fast. Will you email the file to your Kindle? The filename will become the title and the author? Well, death of the author and all that, right? Ever book you email to your Kindle address is now written by Unknown. They are, I’m told, exceedingly prolific.

Let’s try the Send to Kindle app. Now I can add an author name, so it does have bare bones functionality. And as long as the books I’m uploading have the same author, I can batch process them. Whoops! Just not in epub format; that’s not supported yet in the app. OK, I can convert to mobi and move forward. Whoops! Mobi isn’t a supported format.

Research online culminates in multiple sources, or one source posting to many sites, telling me to change the file name from epub to txt and upload the files.

So much for bare bones functionality.

Here’s what did work, and I’m not happy with it. Move the epub files to my iPhone using iCloud. Click on each file, tap Share and select Kindle. Edit the title and author name, then click OK. The epub magically shows up in the Kindle App with a cover (once it is opened), and the correct filename and author. Total time for one file is 40 seconds.

Looking at my list of 200 books to upload, I cut my losses. There’s 20 titles I’d like access to now, so they get the bizarre phone treatment.

“You should use Calibre!” I heard from the crowd. Well, no, I shouldn’t. I shouldn’t because I don’t want to. I’d like the books in the cloud, available on my Kindle and my phone, and I don’t want to deal with yet another piece of software designed for 80 things when I only need it to do 1.

At some point in the future Amazon will update the Send to Kindle app, or fix the email to Kindle process, or stop supporting ebooks altogether. I’m not holding my breath for which comes first.


About the Author

Eli Jones is a BI Developer and speculative fiction writer living in the Columbia Gorge.