Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TUESDAY TIP How to Send a #Kindle Book Directly to a #Reader (Gifting a Kindle #eBook) #pubtip #indie #selfpub #iamwriting r u #reading ?

Frequently, Indie Authors are asked to "gift" a copy of a Kindle book to a reader who has offered to read/review the book. There are a variety of ways to do this, connecting USB cables and the like, but Amazon set up a very easy method--which they promptly disabled for Kindle App users and then basically "hid" for Kindle device owners so that they could "sell" you the free method instead. If you, like me, prefer to do the free things for free just click through the jump break for easy to follow steps on how to send a Kindle book to a Kindle device - totally free of charge. For now ;-) I'm sure Amazon will figure out how to charge for this, too.

First you have to make sure your reader/reviewer has their account and Kindle setup to receive your book. Then you send them the book. Here are some easy-to-follow instructions you can share with your reader/reviewer. I would prefer you direct them to this page (rather than copy/pasting these instructions and presenting them as if you wrote them, yourself) but it's not a mystery how to do this. It's just a courtesy to share my page rather than scraping my content. Thanks!

Steps for your reader/reviewer:
1) Go to http://www.amazon.com/myk and log into your account.

2) If you are not redirected automatically, on the pulldown menu under "Hello, ReaderName" choose "Manage Your Kindle"

3) From the menu on the left side of the screen under "Your Kindle Account" choose "Personal Document Settings"

4) In the bottom section (called "Approved Personal Document E-mail List") click the link "Add a new approved e-mail address"

5) Add the email address of the sender (author) from whom you'd like to receive gifted books (e.g., webbiegrrlwriter@gmail.com if you'd like to get a gifted copy of Dicky's Story to review)

6) Tell the author they are added and can send their book to your Kindle's Send-To-Kindle address (e.g. ReaderNameHere@Kindle.com)

7) To find your Send-To-Kindle Email address (which is, not the same as the email address you use to log into the Amazon.com site), you can either check the Personal Documents Settings screen (see screen shot below for arrow pointing to where you'll see your address identified on the screen) OR check on your Kindle Device, itself:

(a) Turn on the device :)
(b) Press "menu"
(c) Select "Settings"
(d) From the second page (probably) you'll see "Send-to-Kindle Email" with the following text paragraph:

You can send documents to your Kindle by using the email address below. To change your settings, go to: http://www.amazon.com/myk

The address should be boldfaced right under the paragraph with the link.

(click to enlarge)

For instance, my Send-to-Kindle (for my Kindle 1.0 device, not for my apps, etc.) is "sarahryoffa@kindle.com" so if "webbiegrrlwriter@gmail.com" sends a file to "sarahryoffa@kindle.com" it will show up on my Kindle 1.0 device without my having to do anything else. Probably. Sometimes, you still have to force a download of "archived items" to see the new file. Once, I even had to turn the device off, wait 10 seconds and restart it to force it to synchronize itself.

Oddly enough, hitting "synchronize" doesn't actually do anything to force a download of items sent to your Send-to-Kindle address.

8) Last step is to confirm with author that you have received the file. Send them an email (to the address you put on your approved senders list, e.g., webbiegrrlwriter@gmail.com for my book) and let them know it's arrived.

After you've confirmed receipt, you can remove the author's address from your Approved Senders List--or not. You don't "have to" remove them; there's no limit or restriction on the number of names you can approve. If you intend to read other books by this author, leaving them on the list means next time, you can skip all this setup and simply remind them of your readerAddress@kindle.com address.

Caution: If you leave the author on your Approved Senders List, however, they will have access to send files to your Kindle device. Only do this for authors you trust not to abuse this access.

Steps for Authors Sending Books:
This is a lot easier for you than it was for your reader.

1) I shall assume you already have a Kindle-formatted file that is your book stored locally on your computer (or a removeable drive). If you don't, and want instructions on how to get one, please leave me a comment...I might be persuaded to do a Tuesday Tip on it. Yeah, okay, I probably will anyway, even without the comments.
 2) Create an email message addressed to the "readerAddress@kindle.com" and attach the Kindle file copy of your book.

3) You do not need a subject line. You do not need to put anything into the body of the message. There will be no message displayed on the reader's Kindle, just the receipt of the book indicated by its appearance (as if by magic) on their Home Screen. Click "Send" and it will be off to your reader/reviewer. It might take as much as an hour for Amazon's servers to receive and send the book through; however, I've also seen books I've sent take mere minutes to arrive.

Pretty easy, huh? Be sure to email your reader/reviewer (at their regular email, not their Kindle.com address) and ask them to confirm that the book arrived on their Home Screen. Be polite, patient and remember to thank them in advance for taking the time to read and review your book.

Once they have the book, they can delete you from their Approved Senders List--but they don't have to! There's no limit to the number of addresses they can allow to send them files. Just be wary of abusing the access, and never send anything without express prior permission, as such behavior is definitely spamming your readers. Your Author Name Brand cannot withstand that kind of negative publicity. No one's could.

What's Next....
Next week's Monday Marketing will cover Immutable Law of Branding 20 (for Indie Authors): Law of Change. Hope to see you then!

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