Using Your Kindle Fire to Read .doc and .pdf Files

I just this morning found out, via Twitter, that you can email a .pdf or .doc of your manuscript to your Kindle with the subject line CONVERT and it will automatically make the book readable on your Kindle. You can change the font, highlight, anything you'd do with any other book on your Kindle. WHOA. This is a total game-changer for developmental editing or other read-throughs when I'm not near my desktop! How can I not have known this? I was so excited to try this out!

Unfortunately, it took me the better part of an hour to figure out how to work the system. There are several steps, and the instructions I found online were all geared toward older Kindles, not my new 6th-gen Kindle Fire. In the hopes of making this easier for other Fire users, here's how I did it:

First, you need to set everything up. Find your Kindle email address on your Amazon account page or in the settings on your Fire. It will look something like [name] Add this address to your contacts, to make emailing files easier.

Kindles will only accept attachments from approved senders, so now you need to make sure that your regular email is on the approved list. This setting is nested pretty deeply. To find it:

Amazon account ->

Content and Devices ->

Settings (the tab at the top) ->

Personal Document Settings ->

Approved Personal Document Email List ->

Add an email

Got all that? Luckily this setup only needs to happen once.

Now that you have an approved email and a Kindle email to send to, send your document! Just email it to your Kindle address with the subject line CONVERT and it will download and convert the document automatically.

You might not see the first document you send right away; at least I didn't. There's one more step before it will actually deliver to your Fire. Later documents all went through without this step, but if yours aren't making it, try this.

Go back into your Amazon account Content and Devices page. Switch to the Your Content tab. It's easiest at this point to filter by Docs, especially if you have thousands of books on your account like I do.

You'll see the document there. Now all you have to do is select it and choose "Deliver" from the action box.

Now, finally, your document has arrived on your Kindle Fire! But how do you open it? It's in the Docs app.

I like things tidy. Maybe most editors do. I like my inbox at zero, I like my desk free of papers. When I was setting my Fire up, I bundled all my unused apps into a Junk folder so I wouldn't have to see them on my home screen. I had no idea a Docs app even existed and I had to go looking for it. It looks like this:

If you don't see it on your home screen, look around and see if you hid it somewhere else, like I did.

Open Docs, and your file should be right there, ready to go. You can read it like any other book, change the font size, highlight, whatever. It's fantastic! Now I can bring books I'm working on to the beach or the doctor's office or the kid's soccer games. Using my Kindle Fire to read .doc and .pdf files will make my life so much easier. I'm glad I was able to figure out how to do it, and I hope my instructions help you, too!

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