How to sideload eBooks on the Amazon Kindle App on your Android Device


Writing Nights formats great eBooks.  We take an author's creation, and package it in a way that best expresses the author's vision.

When I'm collaborating with an author, I think the best way for them to view their eBook is the way the majority of their audience will ultimately view it. That's on the Amazon Kindle app.  It's not hyperbole to say that Kindle Direct Publishing utterly dominates the eBook market.  Almost 3/4 of all eBooks sold in the US are sold via KPD.

So I send multiple versions of a .mobi file while we're working, with instructions on how to view the file on a device that has the Kindle app.  That way my client sees progress as we go along, and can call out design choices they're not fond off before we finalize.  

Lots of people think you can't read your own books--books you haven't bought on Kindle Direct Publishing--via the Kindle app.  That's not true.  The Kindle app doesn't exactly make it easy, but it's a necessary evil so we found a way.

Here's the easiest way to sideload your mobi file on your Android device:

  1. First things first:  You want to ensure you have actually downloaded and installed the Kindle app from the Google Play store.  You can find it at this Play Store link:  Kindle App 
  2. Open the Kindle App
  3. Login with your Amazon account
  4. Tap the [More] button
  5. Tap [Settings]
  6. Put a check in the box [Data Storage Access]
  7. Download the mobi file to the [Downloads] folder on your Android (or some other folder you'll remember)
  8. Use a file manager to move the mobi file from your "Downloads" folder to a folder called "kindle"
  9. Open the Kindle App
  10. View the book.

Easy work.

Sometimes even after you've followed the steps above, you need to "force close" the Kindle App before it will start showing the files on your device.  If you don't know what force close is, just restart your device.  Everything will work fine.  

Sometimes clients get stuck on step 8.  If that also happens to you:

When you have the file on your screen in the downloads folder then do a "long press" on it. Tap and hold your finger on the file for about a second. Your phone should vibrate, or give some visual clue that you've "long pressed".

Options should pop up. [Cut], [Copy], and [Share] are examples.

You want to select [Copy].

Then you go to the Kindle folder and long press again inside the kindle folder. An option to paste should come up.

If the file manager you're using doesn't work that way, download Solid Explorer from the Play Store. That's what I use on my Android.