A couple of months back, I was sans e-reader. Yes, as strange as it may sound, I was a self-published author in e-book format only…who didn’t have an e-book device. For the past few years, I had been reading books on my iPhone. Damned convenient, no doubt (talk about read-anywhere), but hell on the eyes. And at my ripe old age, and the thousands my wife invested in LASIK for me way back when, I couldn’t take the chance of ruining them. So a little while ago, I picked up a Nook (see my new Nook vs old vs Kindle post here). And I absolutely love it. The problem? I own Kindle books.
When I first got into the world of being an author, and finding so many other fellow authors with books I wanted to read, and having no specific e-reader, I purchased several of their novels in Kindle format, and used the iPhone Kindle app to read them. I also purchased some traditional authors’ works at much higher prices (a Stephen King, two David Webers, a Stephen Baxter, and a Peter F. Hamilton, off the top of my head). No problem, right? Problem – I haven’t read them all, but I look forward to them…and I own a Nook. Yes, I could read them on my iPhone; yes I could purchase them again (although the traditional authors’ stuff combined would run me as much as buying another Nook I think). I decided to convert the Kindle to Nook format (like ripping a CD you own to put in your iPod…that’s how I look at it, for those of you who may say I should be buying the novels again).
Took me a while, but I got it. I use Calibre a lot to convert files to other formats, so that was a no-brainer. However, not having a Kindle, I have no “file” to convert. It’s in my iPhone, and with Apple’s closed infrastructure, there’s no way to get to that file. A light bulb went off. The Kindle app for my Mac. It stores the file somewhere, right? Bingo…found them.
I loaded the Kindle app on my MacBook Air, synced with my Amazon account, and my Kindle books appeared; the same ones I have on my iPhone. I drilled down into my system folders (~/Library/Application Support/Kindle/My Kindle Content for you Mac-heads; Windows? Sorry, you’re on your own…but they’re in there somewhere, search for *.azw), and lo and behold, there were the files. All with goofy names and multiple formats, so it was some trial and error to find the ones I wanted. Once I did, I opened the .azw files in Calibre, and *poof* converted them to ePub. From there, a quick drag and drop into my Nook (sideloading), and all my legally purchased and owned content is now in my Nook, ready and waiting for me to read.
I realize many of you already knew this, but I never sat down and thought about it…glad I did. Now I can read those novels on a great device.
By the way, none of my books have DRM on them. I’m more than happy to have someone buy it once and convert for their other devices. Shameless Plug: Wanna give a little best-selling science fiction-adventure a try? Gabriel’s Redemption (book 1) and Gabriel’s Return (book 2) are available for said Kindle for less than a decent Starbucks coffee, and Gabriel’s Revenge (final of trilogy) came out just before Christmas.
Anyone have similar success stories…or some frustrations to share?