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Kindle answers from the Kindle team at Amazon.com


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Initial post: Nov 20, 2007 5:49:48 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Apr 9, 2008 3:29:12 PM PDT
In an effort to make finding information about Kindle as easy as possible, the Kindle team has created this forum for you to post Kindle-related questions. Due to the volume of responses, we will not be able to reply to each individual one, but every effort will be made to address the most commonly asked questions and get you answers. Our goal is to satisfy your curiosity, make you an informed consumer, optimize your experience as a Kindle user, and learn how we can make that experience even better.

If you need a more immediate response, please email customer service at kindle-cs-support@amazon.com or use the "Contact Us" feature to speak directly to a Kindle representative located here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=sv_kinh_6/105-2374358-2146020?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200127470

We would like to start by pointing you to our Kindle Support page, where you can find frequently asked questions (FAQs) and guides on using Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

Q: When can we read PDFs, please?
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

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?
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.

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: Currently, Kindle is only available in the US. Whispernet wireless delivery is also only available in the US (see a coverage map here: http://www.showmycoverage.com/mycoverage.jsp?id=A921ZON). But Kindle can also be used without activating the wireless feature while you are traveling outside the US or wireless service area. 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. For more information about moving content to and from your Kindle, visit our help pages: http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200127510&#manager

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: http://www.amazon.com/kindlestore

Q: I know Kindle allows you to adjust [text] to an extent, but I 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

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

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

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

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

Suggestion from a customer (Thank you!):
A number of people have complained that it's impossible to close the flap of the Kindle's cover without pressing one of the navigation buttons. I've found an easy solution for this: I simply put my Kindle to sleep before closing the cover. To do this, simply press Alt+AA as though you were waking it from sleep. (I wonder how many other undocumented features we're going to discover!)

Q: Will the kiindle 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.

Q: Can I read kindle books on my laptop?
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.

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 http://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.

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

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.

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: ($.10 per attached document).
- Experimental Basic Web: This feature is currently FREE while under development.
- Experimental NowNow: This feature is currently FREE while under development.

Q: What's NowNow?
A: (from a customer review) You pose a question and hit submit. Within a few minutes, you 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.

Q: I'm not clear on what file formats the Kindle supports and where charges apply for conversion . .?
A: (from Computerworld)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).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2007 5:58:30 PM PST
Reviewer says:
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?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2007 6:10:28 PM PST
M. Merawi says:
You may want to address people's concerns about the high price as well. It's one of the main topics and you haven't yet explained why it is so incredibly expensive.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2007 6:17:07 PM PST
Cody Harding says:
What about the books I paid for already? I could scan them, but they would most likely be in PDF?

Also, what about a notepad for those need-to-note brainstorms or lists of new authors/books?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2007 6:28:00 PM PST
L. Cordray says:
I have a couple of questions:
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?

My second question is: Is the kindle able to properly import Word Documents that include multi level bulleted lists? I'm a law student and my outlines to study for classes tend to be 6-8 level bulleted lists.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2007 6:37:16 PM PST
R. Nielsen says:
What about books purchased on eReader? Is there any plan to make such books transferable to the Kindle?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2007 6:46:48 PM PST
Alan Pratt says:
I live in Canada. If I buy a Kindle can you sell me e-books that I can download via the internet or are there rights issues that prevent it?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2007 9:36:35 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2007 9:40:55 PM PST
L. Singhasri says:
Hi, I have a few suggestions for improvement:

First, I would like you to add a stylus capability. I currently mark up my texts and encourage my college students to do the same (especially for novels). I feel that a stylus/touch-screen capability would make me feel less handicapped when reading and would provide me with the instant gratification and control I need. It would also allow for more scholarly interaction with the text rather than pure pleasure reading.

Then, I would also appreciate a sync-up with my own pc keyboard, as I type much faster when using all of my fingers and I feel that this would help when I need to type longer notes.

Finally, I would love it if you could develop a color screen; as, I think I saw on the preview that the cover for Freakanomics was in black-and-white.

I can see this as a great beginning for reading technology. My husband, a PhD student, has been desiring a gadget like this for several months. I think that we can't wait until we can get more Modern Lit in Thai, Chinese, etc. on your availability list and somehow read our already-existing library on it. That would be great, since we will be planning to move around the world and don't want to carry hundreds of pounds of books around with us, but want them there nonetheless.

Thank you for developing this great product, and I foresee great improvements in its future as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 20, 2007 10:10:50 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 20, 2007 11:01:12 PM PST
Guy Teague says:
[since my product review hasn't shown up in nearly 6 hours, i'll post it here. i gave it 3 stars, mostly for the potential. what a schizophrenic device! brilliance right alongside rampant stupidity]

damming with faint praise. after reading tons of negative 'reviews' here and elsewhere i had determined to return mine unopened. but, like pandora, i couldn't resist opening the box and of course i decided to give it a trial for a couple of days since amazon is usually good about returns.

that said, i've only had this an hour so far [about 6 hours now] and i totally realize how unfair it is to evaluate based on such short usage but there is a huge amount of interest at the moment this soon after the announcement. and these are just some quick impressions. no pro/con since for nearly every pro item there's a con embedded.

* looks and feels good contrasting the opinions of those who claim it is ugly. i can't decide if the buttons feel cheap or not, the scroll wheel push button feels a little flimsy although the rolling motion is solid, but having the huge vertical buttons on the sides are a pain in the butt because you can't just grab it quickly, you have to think about where to place your fingers. i have to worry about the long-term wear on the physical buttons--especially for serial tweakers like me and web browsing use.

* display of text, if not as perfectly crisp and sharp as one would like, is still worlds beyond most pda-type displays. if only the screen would refresh as fast as a pda or ipod.

* ui is a mixed bag indeed. some operations are entirely intuitive but as soon as you think you have the scheme figured out something else will throw you for a loop. it's very hard to get used to following the hard-to-see silver cursor marker along the right side. i keep expecting the selection bar to appear highlighting the text.

* http works even if not a very enjoyable experience. i was able to login to my google gmail domain and read an email which included inline images, but this is not an activity you'd want to perform often. it's a better web experience than my tmobile blackberry, but not by much. i guess it's like the pig singing--you're so amazed at the notion you don't notice the song is off-key. i haven't found a way to edit url names of the bookmarks i save yet.

* some operations are modal. for example, to delete a bookmark you go into the 'delete bookmark' mode in the menu. but with just a label up in the top left of the screen its easy to forget you're in the delete mode. i deleted three bookmarks before i realized why i wasn't being taken to the site.

* as mentioned, text entry very sluggish. i've found the best technique is the one i used on the blackberries without the full keyboard: don't watch the screen when you type. you might make more errors, but at least it's not poke and wait for each character to appear.

* i was able to move text files and .prc files to the sd card and they were immediately recognized. images in the .prc files were displayed. i did have to restart (soft reset) the device to get it to write the system folders onto my 4gb sd card. i have some 8gb sdhc cards, but haven't yet tried them.

* mp3's placed in the music folder were played without problems. speaker(s?) has adequate volume for a quiet room.

* hate the page-turn flash already. hate it. can't decide if i hate the delay or the flash worse.

* the cover is only ok. very bad design flaw is that when you fold the top flap back the pad that goes over the display is down and could pick up crud which you would transfer right back to the display when you close the cover. the magnetic holder scheme inspires zero confidence.

* no way to edit the book titles. some .txt and .prc files have 'embedded' titles, not what you name them in the filesystem. its a pain to find a .doc/.prc editor to change these embedded names.

* sluggish nearly everywhere moving among items. web browser very sluggish.

* i haven't yet tried to email conversions. i wouldn't pay anything for this and feel it should be free. yes, i realize there is a free option and i'm going to try sending a zip file of at least a dozen or two file to convert to see how the free option works. [later note: i sent two batches of files to the free.kindle address and they were returned quite quickly, but i only got about a 40% success rate. there were notes in the email as to which files were rejected for conversion and handy reminders of which file types were supported. but i'm still confused. and more confusing is that i have dozen of pdf files which are not adobe files--they are palm doc files. evidently they won't convert but i suspect there might be a windows program that will convert them]

* usb port must be usb1.1. slow as molasses. if you have anything large (music) to transfer, take it out and put it in a usb2.0 reader. [i later confirmed this--using a card reader is like 10x faster]

* manual says that unit will trickle charge on usb, but doesn't say whether you can fully charge it via that method.

* the manual is very good and the support page amazon automatically sets up for you is one of the best examples of proactive customer support i've ever seen.

in spite of all the negatives and my own split decision i might actually keep this one due to the appeal of being able to carry and read a massive amount of material. luckily i had a 4gb sd card left over from a camera which ought to hold a lot of .txt files and even a few music albums. one of the really good design decisions was to mount the unit and the sd card onto the desktop as this makes it catholic as to computer platform.

[later note: being able to download sample chapters at will might convince me to keep this thing in spite of my love/hate opinion of it. i can read one chapter each of 90,000 items and not pay a penny, not even for bandwidth and even for $100-300 books (yes, i've seen some and that is stupidity multiplied by infinity. i haven't yet got a pdf file to transfer and i failed at sending an html file full of url's. the kindle read the file, but the url's didn't come across as live links you could click to go to the page. oh, and i asked that question about 2-3 hours ago using the support email the op mentioned and i've gotten no reply yet.

oh, and last thing, i promise. price should be $99 but add $99 more for unlimited wireless since you can technically go other places than amazon. by all rights you should subtract from that since you can't receive email except through the conversion filter (i don't think) but then again you can (barely) use a web-based email system. and the average book price should be $4.99, or at most $6.99, not $9.99. and where are the discounts for trilogies and collections? paperbacks are going for $7.95 nowadays and if you leave one in the doctor's office then it's not much of a write off. which reminds me (i know, i know), they should have let you input your contact info onto the screensaver for when you inevitably leave this thing sitting somewhere.

oh, and i'm editing this yet again to post that i've made my first purchase. for $0.49. yes, 49-cents! 3 volumes of poetry by ts eliot including the wasteland. i'm a huge fan. it showed the greek preface and has live links to the footnotes. fantastic! now if i could find 100 more true useful bargains like this i would gladly pay twice as much.]

/guy

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 1:29:39 AM PST
runciter says:
when you went from VHS to DVD, did you get a bunch of free DVDs? it's like that.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 5:34:32 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 21, 2007 5:40:33 AM PST
Robert Hart says:
Unless I've missed it, I've not seen any Amazon comment on strategy to port old and new material to the .azw format. Before I'd even consider seriously purchasing a Kindle, I'd need to know what material Amazon plans/targets for conversion. Although the 90K+ titles are a good start, it seems my favorite genre of material is woefully inadequete which further stymies any excuse I can think of to crazily spend $400 for a simple e-reader with paid connectivity.

Which brings up my second question many (most) of us seem to be asking Jeff. $400!!!???? Jeff, I offer you $199 and you pay shipping. Send me an email with that offer and I'll buy two.

Amazon needs to weigh in on the price point, or a great idea with a good implementation will be a great tax write off for FY 2008.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 6:04:03 AM PST
Question: How long does it take Kindle to display a screen recovering from the sleep mode? Is it instantaneous?

Question: Is there a video of the page "flash" when a new screen is loaded that Guy described (above) and was annoyed with?

Question: Can you choose a single MP3 file to play if you have several loaded on the SD card? In other words, can you override the random feature (limitation) and play just the file you select?

Thank you for any reply.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 6:10:43 AM PST
Pretty sure there was footage of the page being turned in one of the promo videos.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 6:21:18 AM PST
Thanks, Roy. I watched the main demo video again and you're correct. There is a brief clip of the "flash" going forward and back. It appears like a quick "negative" image is flashed. I have read the reviews of the Sony reader and I guess this normal for e-ink.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 6:21:21 AM PST
I am really looking forward to the reviews after the honeymoon is over...

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 6:23:44 AM PST
Amazon doesn't set the price, we do. If enough people buy this at $400, the price is $400. Once demand drops, the price will follow.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 6:38:22 AM PST
Two points:

First: I thought this thread was opened to ask questions and have the Amazon Kindle Team (First post) answer them. They have answered no questions so far.

Second: I'm sick and tired of reading posts by folks who think the price is too high. If it's too high, walk away. If you're posting just to complain about the price I suspect you'd love to have one of these Kindles and can't afford it. I would love to have a Ferrari but I can't afford it. I don't go around crying that Ferrari doesn't understand the market, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 6:42:22 AM PST
What is your policy for non-profit publications being epublished and subscribed to using Kindle?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 7:57:26 AM PST
DanFouts says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 8:06:18 AM PST
J. Young says:
I wish to gift one of these to my parents and to my wife's mother. How do you gift one without it becoming attached to your Amazon account?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 8:41:11 AM PST
snowleopard says:
J. Young,
You can gift a Kindle by de-registering from the account it was bought on and registering it on the account it's given to. Instructions are at:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200137090

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 8:57:19 AM PST
Jason Goh says:
Overseas customers without a US billing address, please read!

After all that research on whether the Kindle would work overseas, and decided that I could live without the push functionality and transfer books to my Kindle via USB, I decided to buy a Kindle.

I just purchased the Kindle through 1-Click. Then I thought "Hey why not? Let's stock up on some books." When I selected a couple of titles to buy, I got the error message "Due to geographic restrictions, we cannot process your order".

If I can't buy Kindle content through 1-Click, why allow my purchase of the Kindle the first place!? It's really annoying.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 9:52:18 AM PST
Talyssa says:
That sounds like an easy to fix bug, Jason. I'm sure if you report it they can get it fixed.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 12:23:47 PM PST
Question: are Amazon Shorts available to download on Kindle? If not, why? seems like they are the ideal product for this.

Reiterate question already posed by many: When can we expect to be able to buy Kindle and books for Kindle from outside of the USA?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2007 12:40:23 PM PST
Tom Georges says:
Question: Does Kindle support any auto-scrolling of text, like a teleprompter? I use this feature for ebooks on my Palm PDA all the time. Thank you!
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Discussion in:  Kindle forum
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Initial post:  Nov 20, 2007
Latest post:  Sep 23, 2014

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