FAQ Amazon Kindle

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Note: Entries appended with "Kindle Team" are official answers from Amazon. See category:Kindle for more topics. We also have Kindle Master Index in which important threads on the Kindle Forum are listed.


[edit] Kindle Hardware

[edit] Purchasing the Kindle

[edit] Q: Do you think that $189 is reasonable?

A: We believe that $189 is a great value when you consider all the advanced technology inside Kindle, from the eInk screen to 3G (EVDO wireless on Kindle 1 and 2, UMTS on Kindle 3), and the fact that there is no long term wireless contract. -Kindle Team

The Wifi only Kindle is USD139.

[edit] Q: What is the Kindle's return policy?

A: You can return Kindle for a full refund within 30 days. Click here to get more info on our return policy: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200144510 -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: When is the Kindle going to be available elsewhere in the world? If I buy one in the US, can I use it when traveling abroad?

A: The Kindle is now available internationally, and can be used abroad, wherever it was purchased. The Whispernet internet service is available in more than 100 countries in Europe and the Americas (including the Caribbean), but coverage is spotty in Africa, and some parts of the Middle East.

[edit] Q: What do I need to know about purchasing Kindle as a gift for someone else?

A: You can designate a gift purchase when you are going through the checkout process on Amazon. Designating your Kindle purchase as a gift ensures that the device is not automatically registered to your Amazon.com account, which means that purchases from the Kindle Store made by the gift recipient will not be charged to you, and prices for the Kindle purchase will not appear on the packing slip. When the gift recipient opens Kindle and turns it on for the first time, he or she will need to register Kindle to an active Amazon.com account. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: How do you gift one without it becoming attached to your Amazon account?

A: If you choose the gift option available in Amazon's checkout process, the Kindle will not be attached to your Amazon account. The recipient will be able to register the Kindle to his/her Amazon account directly from the device or from the Manage Your Kindle page found here: http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: What happens if your Kindle is lost or stolen or if it breaks? Can you report it and have the email address cancelled and have it disconnected from the whispernet and your Amazon account? If you buy a replacement Kindle, can you have all your documents, clippings and customizations restored through any sort of back-up of your data?

A: Yes to all of your questions. You simply go the "Mange Your Kindle" area and de-register your kindle. This disconnects your kindle from your account and does not allow anyone to access your account. All of your content is saved in your Amazon library (including bookmarks and annotations) and can be put on your new replacement Kindle. I don't believe that your "clippings" are saved though, so if you haven't backed up clippings on to your computer you will lose those.

A: You can also call Kindle customer support to report a Kindle lost/stolen: 1-866-321-8851 or using the Contact Us option in the right-hand column of our Kindle Support pages at: http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport -Kindle Team

[edit] eInk Technology

[edit] Q: Why does the page flash when going to next page of Kindle?

A: Kindle uses high-resolution display technology called electronic paper. It works using ink just like books and newspapers, but it displays the ink particles electronically. The page flash you see when you turn the page is part of the ink placement process. -Kindle Team

A: The way the eInk works is by using electricty to move actual black and white ink. In order not to leave ghosting on the screen from incomplete movement, it completely flashes to ensure a complete uniform look. Ghosting is a completely normal part of the way eInk works, with the issue becoming lesser with newer generations of the technology.

[edit] Whispernet

[edit] Q: What are wireless features and corresponding charges? So, are there any other charges beyond what I pay for books, newspapers, magazines and blogs?

A: Here's a breakdown:

  • Shopping and downloading from the Kindle Store: FREE
  • Wireless delivery via e-mail of personal documents to Kindle: ($.15 per mb of attached document) for Whispernet download. There is no charge for e-mail conversion if documents are downloaded via Wi-Fi.
  • Experimental Basic Web: This feature is currently FREE while under development.
  • Experimental NowNow: This feature is currently FREE while under development.

[edit] Accessories

[edit] Q: How do I read in the dark after my partner has gone to bed?

A: eInk does not use a backlight, which allows us to give Kindle the appearance and readability of printed paper, even in bright sunlight. Customers who want to read at night can use any form of bedside lamp or purchase the Kindle's reading light accessory here: http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Bright-XtraFlex2-Light-Black/dp/B000TXZIDM -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: What are Kindle's storage expansion capabilities?

A: Kindle has an available SD memory card slot that supports up to 4GB SD memory cards (SD memory card not included) -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: What's the USB cable for? I'm wondering if you can't just hook it up to your computer and drag files...?

A: If you are traveling outside of a wireless area, you can use the USB cord to copy files from your computer to read on Kindle. All content you purchase from the Kindle Store is saved to Your Media Library on Amazon.com. This allows you to download your books, newspapers and magazines to your computer and transfer items via Kindle's USB connection. You can also use the USB connection with your computer to transfer personal files. Your Kindle can natively read the following file types: documents in text (.txt), and Amazon Kindle (.azw), and unprotected Mobipocket books (.prc, .mobi), Audible Audio books (.aa), MP3 Music files (.mp3).

Lastly, you can e-mail attachments to be converted and then e-mailed back to your computer, which you can then transfer to your Kindle. The following file formats can be converted via e-mail and viewed on your Kindle: unprotected Microsoft Word (.DOC), Structured HTML (.HTML, .HTM), JPEG (.JPEG, .JPG), GIF (.GIF), PNG (.PNG), BMP (.BMP). Conversion of PDF files (.PDF) is experimental. For more information on using Kindle with your computer, please visit our help pages: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200137060 -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: How do I keep the Kindle from flipping pages when I close and secure the cover?

A: Put the Kindle to sleep before closing the cover. To do this, simply press Alt+AA as though you were waking it from sleep.

[edit] Functionality

[edit] Interface

[edit] Q: I know Kindle allows you to adjust [text] to an extent, but from the illustrations I can't determine how it would really appear. Any information on this?

A: Kindle offers six different font sizes which correspond approximately to the following Microsoft Word standard font sizes:

  • 1 = 7pt
  • 2 = 9pt
  • 3 = 11 pt
  • 4 = 14 pt
  • 5 = 17 pt
  • 6 = 20 pt

-Kindle Team

[edit] Q: Will our Kindle's OS/Firmware be upgradeable post-purchase? If so, will this be done thru the EVDO network, a connected computer, or will the unit need to be shipped back to Amazon?

A: Software updates will be auto-delivered over the air (through the same Whispernet EVDO network you use to purchase and receive content). -Kindle Team

A2: Some older Kindles may now have firmware that is too old to register with Amazon's servers. In this case, it is necessary to download the firmware update manually and copy it to your Kindle and reboot. See, for example, this thread on MobileRead.

[edit] Q: Tell me more about the Built-in Dictionary - I'm not sure what "seamlessly" means. Do I bookmark what I am reading, leave the book, go to the dictionary to search for a word - or does it work differently? Thanks!

A: (from a customer - thank you!) The built in dictionary works one of two ways: Firstly, while you are reading any material you can highlight a whole line and choose lookup from the menu. This presents a page/pages with summary entries for every word on that line that exists in the dictionary. Selecting any of the summaries expands it to a full dictionary entry. Pressing the back button (not the previous page button) then takes you back to where you were in the reading material before you digressed.

Secondly, there is a search button on the keyboard. This lets you type in anything you like, and searches all local texts, the built in dictionary, and optionally wikipedia on the web. Again, when you're done you can hit back to travel back to your original reading material. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: "I understand a Kindle can't use conventional book numbering because of the changeable font sizes. If I want to cite a passage on one of the ebooks on a Kindle, how do I give a page number? It seems to me the kindle should at least provide (somewhere) a number corresponding to the page number in the paper book of which the kindle has a digitized copy."

A: Kindle shows your numeric location in what you are reading, so you can easily find a particular passage or reference it to your friends. Locations are the digital answer to page numbers. Since you can change the text size on Kindle, the page numbers would change too, but with locations, you can be confident that you return to the same place every time regardless of the text size you prefer. -Kindle Team

The feature you ask about (telling you the paper book page equivalent) does not seem to exist on the Kindle, but since there are different editions of paper books, such a feature could still could cause confusion.

The lack of page numbers is currently one of the major limitations of the kindle to those in the academia world who cannot give page number references in their citations nor follow references given in others' works.

[edit] Q: "The "sample" book downloaded to new Kindle's has the word "Sample" in the left column. Is there a way to use this column with other books you have downloaded - let's say to indicate that you have READ them or NOW Reading?"

[edit] Whispernet

[edit] Q: What's NowNow?

A: (from a customer review) You pose a question and hit submit. Within a few minutes, you would get several responses - for free sent to your Kindle. This was extremely helpful when I was away from a computer and just needed a quick answer. This was actually easier than googling because I got three very good answers for every question that I asked. The service has recently been discontinued due to "low consumer enthusiasm"

[edit] Software

[edit] E-Book Formats

[edit] Q: When can we read PDFs, please?

A: Native PDF support comes with firmware 2.3

A: PDF document conversion is experimental. The experimental category represents the features we are working on to enhance the Kindle experience even further. Due to PDF's fixed layout format, some complex PDF files might not format correctly on your Kindle. Each Kindle has a unique e-mail address, allowing you and your contacts to send PDF attachments for conversion into a Kindle compatible format. For more information on personal document conversion, visit our help pages: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200140600 -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: I'm not clear on what file formats the Kindle supports and where charges apply for conversion . .?

A: The Kindle can read only four text-document file formats: .AZW (Kindle-specific), .TXT, .MOBI and .PRC. In addition, every Kindle gets its own e-mail address for receiving Amazon-converted Word, HTML, TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and BMP files for 10 cents per document. You send the original to your Kindle's address and your device receives the converted document (only e-mail addresses you authorize can send to your Kindle). -Computerworld

The Computerworld answer is both misleading and incorrect. First there is no charge for file conversions. There is(was?) a charge of 10 cents if you get the conversion delivered directly to the Kindle however sending conversions to your free email address is indeed free.

The Kindle can read text in .AZW, .TPZ (.AZW1) Kindle specific formats. .MOBI and .PRC are exactly the same format with different extensions. .TXT files can also be read. (HTML files can be read if you rename the extension to .TXT.

[edit] Q: Why did Amazon choose to apply DRM software to Kindle content?

A: It's still very early days for electronic books and our publisher partners want to take a measured approach at this early juncture. Authors and publishers are free to submit their content without DRM using the Amazon Digital Text Platform. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: What character sets and text encodings does the Kindle support? For example, would it display properly a unicode text file in ancient Greek?

A: Kindle has preloaded fonts for only English. The Topaz (.TPZ) format has support for embedded fonts (Fonts that are inside the file itself) and can support other character sets. There is no way, at this time, for a user to generate their own files in Topaz format.

[edit] Q: How many international or non-English books are supported by the Kindle service? What languages are supported? Can readers buy and download books in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, etc.?

A: Currently, there are a limited number of non-English titles available in the Kindle store, but we are working on expanding our selection daily. To see if an item that interests you is available, please search for the title in the Kindle Store at www.amazon.com/kindlestore. Kindle uses display technology similar to that of a Web browser and supports the standard ASCII character set, which is based on the English alphabet. Also, if you have digital content that you did not purchase from Amazon.com but would like to view on Kindle, you should be able to view it if the file is free of digital rights management software, uses standard ASCII characters, and is in one of the supported file formats. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: It is not clear to me if illustrations in books come through on Kindle - or is Kindle limited to text? Thanks for clarifying that for me.

A: Many images such as illustrations, pictures and tables look great on Kindle. Some of our periodicals will not include more complex images (like weather maps and stock quotes). You can also e-mail your Kindle .jpg files which we will convert to a Kindle compatible format and auto-deliver to your device. -Kindle Team

Kindles are not limited to displaying text but the final image quality is greatly dependent on how detailed the original illustrations are and how they were converted to electronic format.

[edit] Q: Is it possible to read Kindle books on your PC or any other device? (PDA, or Phone)

A: Kindle books, newspapers, magazines and blogs are formatted to be optimized for reading on the Kindle. You will not be able to read these Kindle (.azw) files on your PC, PDA or phone. -Kindle Team - This answer is outdated. Amazon offers free Kindle reading apps for many platforms, including PC, Mac, iPhone, Android and others.

[edit] Q: Am I the only person who's ever purchased an "Amazon Upgrade" book? Nobody seems to know if it will work in the Kindle. Please...does it work?

A: At this time, Amazon Upgrade books are not formatted to be readable on Kindle. -Kindle Team

[edit] Purchasing E-Books, Magazines, and Blog Feeds

[edit] Q: Where can I search for and find books for my Kindle on Amazon?

A: We built a Kindle Store both on the Kindle device and on the website at www.amazon.com/kindlestore. For those Kindle buyers waiting for your shipment, you can get started building your library by purchasing content from the Kindle Store on the website (much like you'd find and buy a physical book on Amazon). Your Kindle content will be ready to read right out of the box. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: Can I buy a Kindle book, and, instead of delivering to my Kindle reader, push to my friend's Kindle reader as a gift?

A: Yes, but only on amazon.com. As of Nov 21, 2010 anyone can buy a Kindle book as a gift just by clicking the "Give as Gift" button when you check out. Enter the recipients' email addresses, and just like virtual gift cards, your pals will be notified of their gifts, and can download their books right away. Amazon.co.uk does not yet offer this facility.

[edit] Q: How can I read books that I legally own on my different kindles? Can I? Should I be able to?

A: At this time, you cannot share or give your Kindle books to Kindles that are not associated with your Amazon.com account. If you are the owner of multiple Kindles, or have multiple Kindles registered to your account (i.e wife, husband), your books can be re-downloaded to each of these Kindles, up to a limit of 6 Kindles. Subscriptions to periodicals can only be downloaded to one registered Kindle. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: with 91,000+ volumes to choose from how come only 1 book by John Grisham? Are some top authors not giving rights for kindle to market them?

A: We are constantly working with both publishers and authors to improve our selection of titles available in the Kindle store, and it is possible that we can use your feedback to help expand the available selection. I encourage you to check the Amazon Kindle store again at a later date to see if the item is available: www.amazon.com/kindlestore -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: What if you already have a subscription to paper magazines such as Time or Newsweek? If I wanted to read it on the Kindle, would I also have to pay additional to read it on Kindle?

A: Kindle Editions of periodicals are formatted and optimized to read on Kindle. At this time, Kindle Edition subscriptions are sold separately from the publications' related online and/or physical versions. You can view and order the Kindle Edition of the New York Times directly from the Kindle Store or from our online store here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/ref=kinw_ddp/B000GFK7L6 -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: Can I purchase Kindle content using a non-US credit card?

A: Yes.

[edit] Q: Do the current restrictions keep me from buying new material while I am over seas?

A: So long as you are purchasing with a credit card that is issued by a U.S. bank and have a U.S. billing address, you can purchase content while traveling. You can make purchases to read on you Kindle from anywhere you have either 1) Whispernet service (http://www.showmycoverage.com/mycoverage.jsp?id=A921ZON), or, 2) Access to www.amazon.com/kindlestore (and a USB cable to download from your computer if you are out of wireless range). -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: I have ordered a Kindle as a Christmas gift for my wife and ordered several books for it. I understand that I can deregister the Kindle so it will be linked to her Amazon account. My question is whether the books that are on the Kindle that I have ordered will remain on the Kindle once I deregister it. I am not particularly concerned that by deregistering she will not be able to redownload the books, but I sure want them on her Kindle on Christmas Day.

A: Yes, here's what you do . . . Go to Manage Your Kindle: www.kindle.com/manageyourkindle to view the content you have ordered and also, if you'd like, to create a new name for your wife's new Kindle. All of the content listed here will download to the Kindle's Home menu as soon as she opens it up and turns it on (provided she's in wireless range). Then, you can deregister directly from the device or from Manage Your Kindle so that your wife can register again to her Amazon.com account. Just make sure the Kindle gets turned on while it's still registered to the account used to make the content purchases. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: How can you gift kindle books??? I know that you can't order a kindle book and push it to the person, and I just found out that gift cards/certificates (which is what I was banking on) can't be used for kindle books either! There has got to be a way!! Thank you!

A: Gift cards can be used to make Kindle book purchases

[edit] Q: I understand that my purchased content is stored on the server. If I purchase 2 Kindles, can I have my content synced to both? What is the limit of number of Kindles I can sync content to at any one time? I assume if I purchase a new Kindle v2.0 down the road, I would be able to sync content purchased while using v1.0?

A: You are able to download and view each Kindle Book purchase from up to six different Kindles registered to the Amazon.com account from which the original purchase was made (you can initiate a wireless download to each Kindle using Content Manager directly from the device or from Your Media Library on Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/gp/library). Each subscription you purchase (newspaper, blog and magazine) is tied to the Kindle that you designate upon purchase. However, you can change delivery to another that is Kindle registered to your account from Manage Your Kindle Subscriptions on Amazon.com: www.amazon.com/manageyourkindlesubscriptions -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: I read somewhere that if the family puts all of their Kindles in one Amazon account, they can share their e-books. Up to six Kindles can be entered on one Amazon Account and anything downloaded onto one of the Kindles can be added to any of the other "Authorized" Kindles. Now I can't find where I read that. Does anyone know if it is true?

A: Yes. The detail: The licenses associated with books and other non-subscription content purchased from the Kindle Store allow you to download and view each item from up to six different Kindles registered to the Amazon.com account from which the original purchase was made. Subscription items (such as newspapers, magazines and blogs) can only be downloaded to one Kindle (but you can choose to change delivery of your subscription between Kindles registered to your account). -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: I'm curious to know how quickly the library will be expanding; if it is on a daily, weekly, monthly basis, etc. Thank you.

[edit] Q: How do we request magazines, newspapers, and books that we would like for the Kindle that are not available? I personally read the Metro newspaper daily, Life & Style, etc.

A: We are working with publishers to expand our selection daily. Check out the "New & Notable" sections of the store. Email: kindle-feedback@amazon.com to request specific titles. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: I read that the Kindle usually keeps the last 7 issues of a periodical to which I am subscribed. Can I move older issues to an SD memory card to save them longer? Please explain in further detail how long issues of periodicals will be available.

A: Yes, exactly. Amazon.com does not save older periodicals in Your Media Library, but you can save as many as you want/have. While you cannot access issues past the 7 most recent that you removed from your internal memory, you can save these issues to be transferred again to Kindle's internal memory by selecting "Move to an SD Card" using Content Manager (more info here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200127510&#manager) -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: If I own a Kindle device, can I put the books on my wish list?

A: At this time, you cannot put Kindle content on your wish list. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: Can I read kindle books on my laptop?

A: Originally, you could not. But Amazon has released Kindle software for various operating systems and devices, including Kindle for iPhone and Kindle for Windows 7, Vista, and XP. Kindle for Mac is (as of this writing) in public beta testing. When you install the software on your laptop, it will be treated as another Kindle device, and you can download and read your previously purchased items, as well as make new purchases.

[edit] Q: How many times are you allowed to download a particular book to your kindle? For instance if I run out of room (in the off chance this happens), I delete a book to make room for another book, and later on decide I want to read that book again, how many times can I go back to the website and get that book back onto the Kindle?

A: All of your Kindle books are automatically stored on Amazon.com in Your Media Library. So, you can remove books from Kindle's internal memory (for example, to free up space and/or organize your Home screen) and re-download them again - as many times as you want. You can do all this directly from your Kindle using Content Manager. For more information on moving and removing content, visit our help pages: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200127510&#manager -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: Can I buy and read books from stores other than Amazon, or am I tied to Amazon?

A: You can read or buy books in any format supported by the Kindle device so long as they do not have DRM. For example: non-DRM MOBI books can be purchased from any dealer and downloaded via your USB connection. DRM books can only be purchased from Amazon.

[edit] Q: I have a fair collection of books from Amazon. Is there a simple way to send the paper ones back and get them for Kindle instead? Or an additional discount if I have a printed copy from Amazon? A discount for the printed version if I have the Kindle already?

A: No, No, No. Paper books and eBooks are not connected in any way for purchasing purposes.

[edit] Audio Files

[edit] Q: Will the Kindle be able to play audio books or is this in the works for future?

A: With Kindle, you are able to download and enjoy thousands of audiobooks from Audible.com. Due to their file size, audiobooks are downloaded to your PC over your existing Internet connection and then transferred to Kindle using the included USB 2.0 cable. Listen via Kindle's speaker or plug in your headphones for private listening. -Kindle Team

[edit] Q: Will my podcasts play in random order on the Kindle?

A: If you drop your podcasts in Kindle's Audible folder on your PC (.aa), you will be able to control you listening experience by pausing, playing, saving your place, etc. -Kindle Team

[edit] Selling Your E-Books and Feeds For the Kindle

[edit] Q: What is your policy for publications being epublished and subscribed to using Kindle?

A: We created a self-service publishing tool called the Digital Text Platform that lets you upload and format your books for sale in the Kindle Store and is available at: http://dtp.amazon.com/ -Kindle Team

[edit] WiFi connection issues

[edit] Q: Why when I am trying to connect to WiFi network Kindle (eInk models) does not accept my password?

A: Most likely your WiFi network has no access to amazons services (could be due to routers or firewalls policy restriction). When kindle is connecting to WiFi it trying to connect to amazon servers via internet. If connection was not successful, kindle misinform the user about incorrect password. This issue can be verified by connecting to WiFi while local network has internet access. After connection established disabling i-net access at WiFi LAN causing kindle disconnection from WiFi within 5-15 minutes with prompt to enter the password. Such Wi-Fi deficiency is not disclosed by Amazon.com and today tech support confirmed that this is the deliberately designed feature.

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