Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How to send ebooks straight from Gutenberg to Kindle

Intro

Every librarian loves/hates Project Gutenberg. It's an incredible resource which has offers way more pros than cons. However, some warranted feedback on the site has to do with its cumbersome nature. Books have to be found, downloaded, and then sideloaded. It's much quicker and easier to just click on a magic Amazon button and have it magically whisper-synched to your device. I've found a way to do just that!

What you will need

  • DROPBOX - You can get it here.
  • IFTTT - The big workhorse
  • GMAIL - You might be able to use another email provider on IFTTT's list (Yahoo?) but this is the one I used.
  • KINDLE EMAIL - You can find it in your Amazon settings, it's going to be username@kindle.com. Also, make sure your Gmail is authorized to send attachments to your Kindle.

The basic concept

We are going to use Dropbox and IFTTT to automate the process of loading the .mobi file into your Kindle via email. The Gutenberg website has Dropbox functionality baked into it. Kindles allow you to email files from an authorized account. IFTTT will bring these two processes together.

NOTE: you will need to set up the following before going through these steps. Call them your pre-requisites, if you will.
  • Make sure your Gmail is an authorized sender to your Kindle.
  • Make sure your Dropbox and Gmail channels are activated in IFTTT.

Step by Step

  1. Log into IFTTT and make a new recipe.
  2. Start with Dropbox. Fire this recipe off with IF a new file is uploaded. Note that the folder is/will be: Apps/gutenberg.
  3. THEN we will trigger GMAIL to send an email with the attachment. The attachment will be sent to your Kindle email address. The recipe is now created. and should look like this:
  4. What the IFTTT Recipe should look like
  5. Go to Gutenberg and find an ebook that you would like to read. You will have the option to save the .mobi (Kindle) to Dropbox / Drive / OneDrive. Choose Dropbox.
  6. You will be taken to Dropbox, where Gutenberg will install as an app. This will create the Apps/gutenberg directory. Your ebook will be saved there.
  7. IFTTT should take over and automatically email the file from Dropbox to your Kindle using your own email address.
  8. Your Kindle should automatically download the file, making it instantly available for reading.
BONUS: Grab the Dropbox email (no-reply@dropboxcom) and add it to your Kindle approved senders list. Then, you can resend the ebook file to your Kindle by clicking on share. You could just do this and forget about IFTTT, but it won't be automated.

DOUBLE BONUS: I have made this recipe public so you can just go the lazy route and just take it from my IFTTT profile.

Conclusion

And that's it! You can freely browse the treasure trove of literature that is Project Gutenberg and know that any title on there can be auto-delivered to your Kindle. I would love to read your comments below. Suggestions for improvement or other recipes are appreciated.

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