Smashwords isn’t just a great ebook retailer for indie authors. It’s also a great retailer for indie readers, who can download ebooks in any format (Kindle, NOOK, Kobo, iPad, Sony Reader, even PDF)…as many times as they’d like!
One of Smashwords’s neatest features is its ability to generate coupons which you can use to reward your loyal fans with discounted prices…or even completely free copies of ebooks.
However, some readers might be reluctant to use these Smashwords coupons to download a Kindle version of an ebook because they think that it requires a lot of technical savvy. Also, they’re used to buying books directly in the Kindle store and having them automatically appear onto their Kindles.
That’s why, whenever an you do a book giveaway using Smashwords coupons, I recommend that you provide instructions on how to transfer MOBI files (Amazon’s current ebook format) from Smashwords onto their Kindles. That way, you can a) show readers how easy it is and b) make the Smashwords site more familiar to them, which increases the odds they’ll use your coupon.
You can use:
- these instructions provided by Smashwords
- this YouTube video
- or this page right here, which handily comes with screenshots
So without further ado, here they are:
How to Add Smashwords Books to Your Kindle–with Screenshots
Step #1: Buy the book from Smashwords
Go to Smashwords’s book page for the novel you want to add to your Kindle. Click “add to cart,” and you’ll be taken to the Smashwords shopping cart.
Enter your Smashwords coupon code in the provided box (it’s highlighted in yellow in the picture below). Note: you must have a Smashwords account to use your coupon. It’s super easy to set one up; all you need to provide is your name and email address.
Step #2: Download the Kindle version (MOBI file) of the book
After you’ve purchased your book with your Smashwords coupon code, return to its Smashwords book page. Scroll down till you reach a list of various ebook formats. You’ll see one listed as a Kindle (MOBI) file. Click the download link next to it.
Step #3: Save this Kindle MOBI file to your computer
You’ll be taken to the Smashwords download page. If the novel’s author has revised their manuscript, you might see list of various revisions. Just choose the most recent one (it’s the one at the very top). A popup window will appear on your screen, asking you what you want to do with your Kindle MOBI file.
You want to save it so it will appear in a “Downloads” popup window. In Firefox, it should look something like this:
It will now appear in your a Downloads window:
In Internet Explorer, you still want to save your Kindle MOBI file so it appears in your Downloads folder…but the process looks a little different (sorry the screenshots are a little small!):
Once you click on “open folder” a window of your Downloads will appear. It will look something like this:
Now, whether you use Firefox or IE, from the downloads folder, you want to click on the blue book icon of the ebook you want to add to your Kindle, and drag it onto your desktop (or into a folder you designate). Basically, you want to store it where you can find it easily.
Here’s a screenshot of me dragging the Kindle blue book icon from my Firefox downloads folder onto my desktop:
Step #4: Hook your Kindle to your PC via the USB cable
Next, hook your Kindle to your computer via the USB cord it came with. (Obviously, if the adapter is attached, you want to remove it before proceeding!)
When you plug the USB cable into your computer’s USB port, a window should pop up. Click on “open folder to view files”:
From the window which next appears, select the Documents folder:
Here’s what the Documents folder should look like inside:
Step #5: Transfer the Kindle MOBI file to your Kindle
In this folder you should see tons of blue book icons–all the books currently stored on your Kindle!
Now, locate the place you saved your Kindle MOBI file (I saved mine to my desktop), and drag the blue book icon FROM your desktop INTO the Documents folder of your Kindle.
Step #6: Safely eject your Kindle
Finally, you should safely eject your Kindle from your computer. Look for the icon with a checkmark in a green circle at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen.
Click on that, and then select “Eject Amazon Kindle.” A message should appear telling you it’s safe to disconnect your Kindle from your computer.
Voila! You’re done! When you turn on your Kindle, you should see the Smashwords books you transferred onto it on your HOME screen.
If you have a Kindle Fire…
If you follow the steps above, your Smashwords ebooks will show up in your Documents folder. (Thanks to Mark Souza for the head’s up.)
He also provides tips on how to wirelessly add Smashwords books to your Kindle Fire.
If you have a NOOK or Kobo Reader…
The procedure is pretty much the same. I’d provide you with screenshots, but I don’t have those eReaders…
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Both are romantic comedy novels where romance and psychology collide! More details below:
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