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Kindle Collections Expands to Desktop Software

So two weeks ago, I was complaining about things I felt the Kindle software could do but isn’t doing. No. 2 was synchronized collections. Today I opened up Kindle 4 Mac and it updated to version 1.7 and with version 1.7 was a new look to the home screen.  More importantly, there was a new feature which allows you to create collections on your desktop.

Kindle 1.7 Macbook Pro Collections

Creating collections on the Kindle device is unweildy whereas pointing and dragging with your mouse is fairly easy.  But, I found 1.7 to be fairly buggy. It crashed more than once.

Create Collection

Step 1: Create a new collection or import collections from your existing device.

Step 2:  Drag and drop the collections.  I noticed that this worked easier with my downloaded items.  With the books that are “archived”, the listing of books would refresh each time.

Get Collection on Device

Step 1:   Go to your Kindle device.

Step 2:  Hit “Home” and then “Menu” and then “View Archived Collections”

Step 3: Select “Add Other Device Collections”

Step 4:  Choose the device collection that you just created.


But, Jane, you say, I have collections that are empty but on my computer, they exist.  This is because you don’t have the books downloaded to your device.  This is what Amazon says:

Note: Importing a collection from another device does not import the books or other items to your Kindle if they aren’t downloaded already. However, books already on your Kindle that are associated with a collection will automatically appear under that collection name on your Home screen.

PC user elandes says the Kindle 4 Pc is updated and allows for collection creation as well.  There is no collection option in the Cloud Reader or the Apple Apps.  However, the instructions on the Amazon site intimate that collections will be available across devices Upon rereading this, it explicitly references devices and to Amazon that is the Kindle dedicated reader so I’m unsure whether this will be a feature for the mobile apps.  One would think if Amazon is going to store the collections and allow you to manipulate them on your desktop, Amazon would allow you to do this via mobile devices.

Managing Content in Your Collections

After you create one or more collections, you’re ready to associate books, audiobooks, and personal documents on your Kindle using those collections. Please note that subscriptions such as newspapers, magazines, and blogs cannot currently be added to collections on the Kindle. Here are a few handy collection features:

  • Collections are stored on Amazon: When you create a collection on a device, we’ll save your collection so it appears in Archived Items on other devices registered to your account. This allows you to transfer collections across registered Kindles.
  • Kindle content is associated with a collection until removed: If you add a book or other content to a collection on your Kindle and then delete the book from your device, it remains associated with that collection in Archive Items. If you download the item again, it will automatically appear in the appropriate collection on your Home screen.
  • Books and other content can appear in more than one collection: You can associate a single book or other item from your library with multiple collections if you wish.
  • Collections don’t change device or Archive Items content: If you delete Kindle content from a collection or delete an entire collection from your Kindle, it does not change the actual items saved on your Kindle or in your Archive Items on Amazon. When you delete a collection from your Kindle, any downloaded items from that collection will appear the Home screen instead of in the collection.

Only 1 and 3 to go Amazon.  In reference to No. 1, Kindle 4 Mac has a copy feature:

her eyes when, instead of moving closer to him, he drifted further and further away. Sounds of revelry disturbed the silence of the night and Efe walked faster, heart pounding and sweat dripping from her nose.

Whitman, Myne (2011-03-18). A Love Rekindled (Kindle Locations 47-49). Createspace. Kindle Edition

From a Harlequin book it references pages:

“Keep your fists up,” Ash advised. “No, up—what part of up makes you think you should let them hang by your belt?”

Milan, Courtney (2011-01-25). Unveiled (Hqn) (p. 374). HQN Books. Kindle Edition.

Another feature includes a “MORE” section which allows you to see “Shelfari Extras” and “Report a Content Error”

Report Content Error

Note: There is no real synch feature here but I think I found a workaround.  When I reimported the collections from my device they showed up with an @ sign after the collection name. I deleted the ones without the “@” and then proceeded to work with those collections.  I was able to go back and forth from the device and the desktop and work with the same collections although each time, I had to import the updated collection.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. meoskop
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 08:45:25

    How did you get K4Mac to recognize your Kindle? I have no options for ‘import from device’ even when my Kindle is pluggdd in via USB

  2. Jennifer
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 10:34:47

    Okay, because my brain is fried from studying, let me make sure I’m understanding this correctly. I can now create collections on my PC and then “import” them onto my Kindle?? It’s about time!

  3. Jane
    Sep 12, 2011 @ 10:37:15

    @meoskop: Your device probably doesn’t have collections on it. The import from device option appears only when the device (the Kindle reader) has collections. It doesn’t need to be plugged in via USB for that.

    @Jennifer: Yes.

  4. Monday Midday News: Unhappy Author Goes Viral - Dear Author
    Sep 13, 2011 @ 13:55:29

    […] I’m excited about the new Kindle for Desktop updates that brings copy and paste to Macs and the ability to create collections on your desktop. I wrote about it yesterday. […]

  5. Julie VJ
    Sep 14, 2011 @ 18:38:29

    How did you get the updated version? I opened my Kindle 4 Mac and still have the old version (1.4) and don’t see a way to get the new update although I have indicated it should automatically make software updates without my approval. Is there some random update process from Amazon? My Kindle with my collections has been synched to Mother Amazon so I should be ready to go…

  6. Jane
    Sep 14, 2011 @ 18:40:36

    @Julie VJ: Here is the direct link.

  7. Julie VJ
    Sep 14, 2011 @ 21:04:22

    @Jane: Thanks, Jane. Got the update.

  8. Oliver`
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 00:10:35


    Thanks for the info. I spent about an hour on my Kindle and getting bored setting up collections for my approx 1300 books. I got bored after 40 because it is so fiddly and time consuming.

    Anyway, I downloaded both the Kindle app and also Calibre to try and get collections sorted on my desktop instead. The Kindle App sucks big time. It crashes ALL the time. The calibre app doesn’t seem to support collections though it does allow you to edit metadata and more importantly it never seems to crash. Is there a way to use Calibre to manage collections on your Desktop for a Kindle keyboard device, perhaps with metadata? I think mine is v3. Alternatively, do you have any suggestions for avoiding the crashes that the Kindle App is so awful for?

    Thanks for anyone’s help in advance.


  9. Oliver`
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 00:11:18

    PS I am running on Windows 7.

  10. Jane
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 06:52:42

    @Oliver`: There is a Kindle plugin for Calibre that helps you use collection feature. Link

    For the Kindle App, I’ve found that I have to be patient. Wait until its all done loading the books and then start organizing. It’s slow but a lot easier than the device itself.

  11. Oliver`
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 11:59:21

    Hi everyone,

    I have just found this on the web…

    It’s great and doesn’t crash. It has a few features I want so I contacted the developer about them hbut otherwise it really helps out with collection management.



  12. Using Kindle Collections Plugin for Calibre - Dear Author
    Nov 02, 2011 @ 20:10:01

    […] your laptop or desktop using the computer app and then importing those collections onto the device.  Read more here. There are limitations to […]

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