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Yes, You Can Read ePubs on the Kindle Fire

kindle plus epubWhile Amazon Kindle Fire runs a forked Android system and is designed so that readers only install what is in its Amazon App Store, you can easily sideload nearly any Android App.  The neat thing is that Amazon treats these sideloaded apps just like an app you purchased from the Amazon App Store.  It shows up in the content carousel at the top and you can favorite the app as well.

Thus you simply need to install your favorite ePub reading app to be able to read ePubs. Mantano App is a great app because you can access OPDS catalogs you may have created based on instructions here or read your ePubs purchased nearly anywhere (except BN, you’ll need the Nook App for that) and the epubs you’ve downloaded from your library.

If you plan to use this how to guide, my advice is to load this post on your Kindle Fire and bookmark it until you have installed all your favorite apps.

Step 1.  Ready Your Kindle Fire

Your Kindle Fire is set up so that it will not allow you to install apps from an “unknown source”.   Tap on the “setting” icon in the menu bar at the top:

settings_kindle_fire

Go to Device and then “Allow Installation of Applications from Unknown Sources” to ON:

kindle fire device settings

Step 2.  File Explorer

You will need a file explorer for your device.  You can download File Expert and/or ES File Explorer in the Amazon App Store.

Step 3.  Collect and Install APKs

APKs are the Android application files.  Brian wrote up a great explanation of installing APKs here.

My preferred method is to download on my computer and load them into a dropbox folder.  However, you can email yourself apks or simply search via the web and download the files.  If you are on your Kindle Fire, here are some following links:

When the item is done downloading, it will either give you a screen like this wherein you will press install:

Or hit the name of your Kindle in your menu bar and find the APK you just downloaded.  Tap it and it should bring up an install screen like above.

Step 4. Get Books

Brian has reviewed the Mantano Reader app here. It will read DRM’ed ePubs including those you have purchased at Harlequin, Kobo, Sony or downloaded from your library.  It will also read those DRM’ed ARCs from NetGalley.

You can sideload books by emailing them to yourself, transferring them into the books or docs folder via a USB cord, or downloading them from your personal cloud.

Read more about handling ePubs here.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She 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

42 Comments

  1. christine
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 15:22:01

    I installed the Overdrive app no problem once I allowed third party apps and installed ES file explorer. I am really enjoying how easy it is to add apps that aren’t available from the Amazon store. I love the freedom of reading Kindle and epub books on the Fire.

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  2. Char
    Nov 20, 2011 @ 16:24:10

    If you install ES File Explorer you can use the LAN feature and the Fire will connect to your home network just like any other PC for file sharing. You can then get files directly from your computer or move files to your computer. There is also a 99 cent app at the Amazon App Store called WiFi File Explorer Pro, this allows you to access your Fire’s file system from any browser on your network. You can upload files to your Fire or download them and much more with this app.

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  3. Amy
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 12:13:47

    Hmm…this is tempting for me to actually think of getting one.

    ReplyReply

  4. Minx Malone
    Nov 21, 2011 @ 14:00:40

    Wow, this is tempting me to get one! I was worried about not being able to use outside applications

    ReplyReply

  5. Stumbling Over Chaos :: The land that linkity forgot
    Nov 25, 2011 @ 19:30:29

    [...] Dear Author compares the Kindle Fire and the Nook Tablet, then explains how to read epubs on the Kindle Fire. [...]

  6. 50% off Harlequin eBooks - Dear Author
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 09:05:00

    [...] If you have a Kindle Fire, you can read Adobe ePub books by sideloading a free reading app. [...]

  7. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 19:55:11

    @Char: I loaded both of the apps you suggested but I still cannot figure out how to get the four books I purchased from eharlequin onto my Kindlefire. Can you please tell me how?

    ReplyReply

  8. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 21:10:29

    Help! Does anyone know what the Adobe ID is in the Mentano reader? I can’t get any further to load epubs to my Kindle Fire.

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  9. Jane
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 21:17:22

    @Leesa You need to go to your Adobe software program on your computer and make sure you are in “library” view. Then select “authorize Computer”. The next screen should show you your Adobe ID.

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  10. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 21:27:29

    @Jane: Thanks Jane, I finally figured all that out. I still can’t find the books I purchased but I appreciate all your help.

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  11. Jane
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 21:36:08

    @Leesa: The books you purchased should be in your Documents/My Digital Editions folder.

    ReplyReply

  12. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 21:42:58

    @Jane: They are on my desktop. I tried to loading them to the Fire via my old Kindle USB cord and when I drop and drag them to the Kindle I get a message that they are there but they are no where to be found on my Kindle. I am pulling my hair out here!!

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  13. Jane
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 21:52:43

    @Leesa Are the files on your desktop the ACSM file? Because if so, those are not the ebook files. Those are merely the license that allows you to download your books. Those books should download into the My Digital Editions folder.

    Remember that the Kindle can’t read your epubs. You need to use Mantano App. Open your Mantano App. In the bottom there is an icon that says “Synchronize”. If you tap that, Mantano will search your device for books it can open. If you’ve loaded your ebooks onto the Kindle Fire, Mantano should find them.

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  14. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 21:55:43

    @Jane: Okay, I have them loaded to the Adobe Digital Editions Reader on my laptop. How now do I get them to my Fire? Thanks again for all your help!!!

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  15. Jane
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 21:57:31

    @Leesa You can transfer them over via the USB cord or email them to yourself. Which is going to be easiest for you?

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  16. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 21:58:57

    @Jane: I guess USB as I have it hooked up now from my laptop to my Fire. Where in Adobe Digital do you go to download?

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  17. Jane
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:04:36

    @Leesa Your EPUB books should be in your My Documents/Digital Editions folder on your computer.

    With your Fire plugged in, you should see a Mantano folder. Double click. Inside is a Book folder. Copy and paste your ePubs in that folder.

    ReplyReply

  18. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:10:00

    @Jane: Mantano is on my Fire. With my old Kindle USB attached to teh FIre and my laptop, my Kindle fire screen says “You can now transfer files from your computer to Kindle” Maybe I need a Fire cord/USB instead?

    ReplyReply

  19. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:13:15

    @Jane: I found the books in my My Documents/Digital editions folder on my laptop but can’t see how to get them to Kindle.

    ReplyReply

  20. Brian
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:15:51

    @Leesa: Did you “open” the Fire in My Computer (it should show up as a drive)? If so you should see the Mantano folder Jane mentioned.

    ReplyReply

  21. Jane
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:17:37

    @Leesa First, you are trying to copy ebooks from your laptop to your Fire.

    Step 1) Do you have your ebooks downloaded and are they in the Documents/Digital Editions folder? If yes, proceed to Step 2. If not, review previous comments until this step is accomplished.

    Step 2) Plug in in your Kindle Fire to your computer with your old USB cord. This is perfectly fine. Your Kindle should now show a USB plugin and the words “You can now transfer files from your computer to Kindle.”

    Step 3) Go to your folder on your COMPUTER that has your ebooks. Copy the ePubs you want to read.

    Step 4) Open up Finder or Explorer. Kindle should be one of the mounted harddrives. Double Click on that. Look for the MANTANO folder. Double click. It should open and there should be a BOOKS folder. Double click and paste your books into that folder. (You are still working on your COMPUTER, not the FIRE yet)

    Step 5) Disconnect your Kindle from the laptop by tapping the disconnect icon on the FIRE

    Step 6) Open the Mantano App.

    Step 7) Tap the Synchronize icon at the bottom of the screen.

    Step 8) Your ePubs should be listed. Tap the white box to the right to indicate the books you want to import into your Mantano App. Tap “Import”

    Step 9) Your books should now appear on the home screen of the MANTANO app.

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  22. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:24:18

    @Brian: I DID IT!!!!! They loaded to the Mantano reader but now it tells me I need to activate Adobe ID, which I did. It asks for that everytime I try to open a book and then gives me an error and won’t open it. I just don’t know what to do now.

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  23. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:27:15

    @Jane: I was able to do all of the above and now I see the books I purchased but I get a DRM error that says I need to register Adobe ID. I did this earlier but now it won’t recognize me.

    Thank you so much, again for all your help.

    ReplyReply

  24. Jane
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:27:36

    @Leesa My guess is that you have not authorized the App with the same Adobe ID. Does the Adobe ID that you have entered on the FIRE match the Adobe ID you use with Adobe Digital Editions on your computer? You can double check by going to the LIbrary menu and then Authorize computer.

    ReplyReply

  25. Brian
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:29:46

    You can check the Adobe ID Mantano is registered with (assuming you entered an ID into it) to by going to settings from within the app. Adobe DRM will be the first thing listed.

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  26. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:31:42

    @Jane: I used the same email address and password on both my fire mantano Adobe DRM registration as well as on Adobe for my laptop. I will try again to register.
    Thanks again so much for all of your help. You took time from your busy day to assist me and it so appreciated. I will figure this out one way or another!!

    ReplyReply

  27. Brian
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 22:35:06

    This might be easier for you…

    Adobe Digital Editions should recognize the Fire as a reader (it might not say Fire it might show some kind of model number). With ADE open in library view see if the Fire shows up below where it says recently read on the left side of the screen. If it does you can drag and drop the books from within ADE.

    Note: I don’t have a Fire, but that’s how it works with other Android devices so I’m guessing it’ll work that way for the Fire too.

    ReplyReply

  28. Leesa
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 23:03:02

    @Brian: Thanks Brian, I checked and I think I should not have registered my Adobe Digital Editions on my lap top. Now it won’t let me open the books on the laptop or the Fire. On the laptop, it tells me it is already licensed to another device but the other device, the Fire, won’t take my Adobe DRM registration. It continues to give me a DRM error. Don’t know what I did wrong, but I think I wasted 10.00 tonight at eharlequin.

    ReplyReply

  29. Brian
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 23:10:03

    Depending on how things were registered it might just be that you need to re-download the books from Harlequin to your laptop. Maybe something didn’t “take” on the first download.

    As long as the Adobe ID is the same in both ADE on your laptop and in the app on your Fire the books should work fine.

    ReplyReply

  30. Leesa
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 07:13:27

    @Jane: Jane, I followed these wonderful instructions to the letter (thank you) but found there was no books folder listed when I opened the Mantano app on my laptop. Somehow I was able to get the books into Mantano but they will not open. They have no covers and seem to be locked. The Mantano app will tell me to okay Adobe DRM. I have done this but when I attempt to open the books, it tells me again I need to okay Adobe DRM. It just goes in a cycle of that. I can see the books but the covers did not load, nor will they open. I am at a loss as to what to do now. I even went to Adobe Digital editions and unregistred and re-registered, hoping that would make the Adobe DRM request on the Fire stop asking me to okay DRM but it does not.

    ReplyReply

  31. Brian
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 08:11:52

    @Leesa: A few questions…

    Did you re-download the books like I mentioned?

    Does Mantano show as registered for Adobe DRM in its settings menu?

    Did you try transfering the books from within ADE on your computer?

    ReplyReply

  32. Leesa
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 08:22:55

    @Brian: Brian, yes I did re-download the books. Mantano does show as registered for Adobe DRM in its settings menu, however, when I click to open the book, it says the device is not registered for DRM when I know that it is. I have un-registered and re-registered the device several times. The books are sitting in ADE on my laptop but now when I click them, they say the license is already registered to another user so they will not open on my laptop. There is no other user but me so that has me confused as well.

    ReplyReply

  33. Jane
    Dec 05, 2011 @ 08:53:56

    @Leesa I guess I would remove Mantano and reinstall it. I wonder if the install got messed up. Press and hold the Mantano Icon on the FIRE and it should pop up with the choice of removing the app. I’ll email you the Mantano APK.

    ReplyReply

  34. Leesa
    Dec 06, 2011 @ 09:55:04

    Thanks again, Jane and Brian. I think I have an issue with ADE that I cannot resolve even after deleting it and adding it again. I am going to let someone more tech savvy than me look at my problem and see if they can fix it. Thanks to you both for trying to help me. I think I spent over 8 hours between Sunday and today trying to get this to work before I finally just gave up.
    Again, thanks for your assistance.

    Leesa

    ReplyReply

  35. fourniks
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 11:37:53

    I know this has been a while, but I am having the same problem that Leesa is having with trying to read a library epub DRM on my Kindle Fire.

    Mantono constantly asks for the Adobe ID, and even though i enter it, I never get any farther.

    I wonder if Amazon didn’t change something in their latest upgrade to block this ability? I have tried Calibre as well and that won’t work. Doesn’t look like there is any way to do this.

    ReplyReply

  36. Jane
    Feb 06, 2012 @ 12:54:27

  37. Tina
    Jan 07, 2013 @ 00:04:35

    I have Bluefire installed on my Kindle, but so what? I still don’t understand how I’m supposed to get the books that I bought from Kobo, loaded onto my new Mac into the Adobe Digital Editions app, authorized in both the computer AND on the Kindle, and have them show up ANYWHERE on the Kindle. I’ve tried about 7 different ways to Sunday to get books that I’ve already paid for to appear on my Kindle, all to no avail. And none of these comments has explained HOW to do it, only what to download. Well, I’ve downloaded it, all of it, so NOW what? Telling us to download Bluefire, or Mantano, or whatever still doesn’t explain how to get books from our Kobo library to show up on the bloody Kindle. Can anyone explain that?

    I read an article that said you could just side load Kobo onto the Kindle by futzing with the settings and allowing downloads, blah blah blah, but when I tried that, downloading it as if onto an Android phone, it first wanted me to sign into Google play. I created an account, tried to download, but it said essentially that I had never used that particular Android device to do anything, so it wasn’t going to allow it. Bottom line, didn’t work. Bluefire did nothing. It’s just an app on my Kindle, nothing more. Plugging into the Mac didn’t work…the Kindle doesn’t even show up as a device, though a folder called Kindle does appear, but since there doesn’t appear to be any way to copy the files from the Adobe Digital whatever program into the Kindle folder, that was yet another waste of time. Essentially, I’ve downloaded every damned program on the Internet, spent 4 hours trying everyone’s “sure fire” way of reading my Kobo purchases on my Kindle, and NOTHING HAS WORKED. Frankly, I’m about to throw the new Kindle, and the new Mac, out of the window…it’s going to be a lot less hassle to just buy the damned books again, unless someone can write a very simple set of instructions that allows for any possible complications and what to do if encountered and does NOT presume any sort of understanding of advanced computer bullshit. Amazon can kiss my ass.

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  38. Jane
    Jan 07, 2013 @ 07:53:23

    @Tina: The easiest way to get a book to open in Bluefire would be to set up an email account on your Kindle and then email yourself the book that you want to read in the bluefire.

    Go to Kindle email app, download the book within the email and then tap on it. It should ask you if you want to open the file and then select Bluefire.

    ReplyReply

  39. Charly The Pearl
    Mar 28, 2013 @ 14:10:20

    Works perfectly. Thanks so much Jane.

    ReplyReply

  40. David
    Apr 27, 2013 @ 21:31:43

    Excellent article. I noticed that the Freading app reads ePub books as well. The Freading app is recommended by my local library for loaned electronic books; I do believe it may be a standard recommendation for public library book lending.

    BTW- great advice about moving books into your cloud app and then downloading them. Worked fantastic using my box.com account. :-)

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  41. Jane
    Apr 28, 2013 @ 08:43:16

    @David – thanks for the Freading app recommendation.

    ReplyReply

  42. Juzz
    May 12, 2013 @ 01:23:10

    Is there a 2 page display feature on kindle fire hd for reading epubs?

    ReplyReply

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