How to Load Books onto Your EReader

PublishingIf you have an ereader, you might want to load books onto it without going through the store you originally bought it from. Smashwords and other stores sell ebooks, but don’t automatically send them to your ereader.

I even provide ebooks on my website here that aren’t automatically sent to your ereader. So how can you transfer those files so you can read them?

Which File Type?

There are three common file types for ebooks: Mobi, EPub and PDF.

Mobi is only used for Amazon Kindles. If you have a Kindle, this is the ebook file type you want. If you have a Kindle, Amazon also have a special program that makes transferring to it easier. Check here for more details: (Thanks to Daniel for pointing that out in the comments!)

EPub is used for every other kind of reader, including Kobo, iPads and Non-Amazon apps.

PDF is only really for if you’d like to read on your computer or if you prefer a pre-formatted file. Since PDFs are like an image, it can be difficult to scale text up or down to suit how you want to read. Usually EPubs will work better for reading than PDFs.

Download And Install Calibre

The first thing you want to do is download Calibre (

Calibre is a free tool for ebook conversion and transfers. It’s available for Windows, OS X and Linux and works very well. I used it myself often.

Download the File You Want

Next, download the ebook file you want. If it’s from my website, usually you should right-click and press “Save As” to save the file to your computer.

Open the File in Calibre

Once the file is downloaded, open it in Calibre.

Plug Your EReader into Your Computer

Now use the USB cable provided with your ereader to plug it into your computer. It may take a moment to install drivers for the ereader, if you haven’t ever plugged it in before. Calibre should recognise that you have a new device connected.

Transfer the Ebook

Finally, go into Calibre, where it should be showing the ebook you’ve opened. Right-click on the ebook and choose “Send to Device”, then press “Send to Main Memory” to transfer the ebook.

Happy Reading

Once you disconnect your ereader, your new ebook should show up on your device. It may take a minute to refresh the device, so give it a little while to find the ebook. Have fun reading your new book!

4 thoughts on “How to Load Books onto Your EReader

  1. Hi Simon,

    There is an easier way (there often is).

    Go to and download the appropriate version (I use PC for example).

    Install and run and you can transfer a variety of formats direct to your Kindle and into your Kindle library if, like me, you use multiple devices to read your stuff. It does need to know your Amazon details so that it can use the correct account. My wife has a copy under her username so she doesn’t get all my books.

    All you you then need to do is run the software, Drag and Drop the files onto the Send to Kindle desktop and there you have it.

    I know it works, I’ve just done it again.

    • Thanks, Daniel. That’s a good point, SendToKindle also works. The only reason I didn’t mention it is because some readers are using a Nook reader, Kobo reader, iPad, etc. and SendToKindle wouldn’t work for them. Calibre works for everything, so it just makes the instructions more streamlined 🙂

      Thanks for pointing that out, though. I’ll update the instructions.

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