How to test your ebook on a Kindle

Amazon Kindle

The best way to test a Kindle ebook is by viewing it on the actual device. Transferring a local file to your device is known as sideloading.

Copying a file to your Kindle

  • Download or copy the ebook file to your computer.
  • Connect the Kindle to your computer with the supplied USB cable.
  • The Kindle will then appear on your computer as an external USB drive.
  • Copy your ebook file to the documents directory on the Kindle.
  • Eject / unmount the Kindle from your computer.

Kindle file transfer

Your ebook file will now appear in the list of books on the Kindle home screen. You can get more information on transferring, downloading and sending files to a Kindle at the Amazon site.

Kindle Fire

If you're using a Kindle Fire device with a Mac you won't be able to drag and drop files onto it. Instead you'll need the Android File Transfer utility.

Connect your Kindle Fire to your Mac using the USB cable, then launch the Android File Transfer application (it may open automatically). Drag your ebook file to the Books folder:

Android File Transfer

Transferring files via email

It's possible to send files directly to your Kindle device via its corresponding Send-to-Kindle email address. Go to the Amazon website, then to the Manage your Kindle option within your account and choose Manage your Devices. Here you'll find a list of all your Kindle devices and their corresponding email addresses. You'll have to verify each sender address the first time it's used, but it's a useful way to get files onto your Kindle if you're having trouble connecting it to a computer.

Transferring files via Dropbox

You can use a file sharing service such as Dropbox to transfer ebook files to Kindle Fire devices.

Kindle Previewer

You can still test your ebook even if you don't have a Kindle. The Kindle Previewer application for Mac and Windows provides a simulation of the hardware device, and can be downloaded from the Kindle Publishing Programs page on the Amazon site.

Please note the Kindle Previewer isn't a perfect simulation of all the Kindle devices. Some features are inconsistent or non-functional. It's best to check ebooks on a real Kindle device.

Once the Kindle Previewer is installed you can use it to view ebooks:

Kindle Previewer

Kindle Apps

Kindle ebooks can also be read using dedicated apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, Mac and Windows PC. I test these as part of the production process, and encourage you to do the same, but please note that these apps are not simulations of the Kindle device. Instead they provide alternative ways to read Kindle ebooks, and there may be differences in presentation. For example, the same ebook will look different when viewed on the Kindle and the app for iPad because they have different display size ratios.

Kindle App for iOS

When testing an ebook with the Kindle app for iOS you must use a specially created .azk file. If you transfer a normal .mobi file to your iPad it will not display correctly in the Kindle app. Styling information will be ignored, so you won't see the correct fonts, type size, image placement etc.