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Wednesday News: Backing up Kindle books; Kobo promises a return to...

How to Back Up Your Kindle Books.

I’ve seen a lot of panicked posts and comments by readers pertaining to their Kindle account. Here’s the skinny folks. Because of DRM (Digital Rights Management) some people say that when you purchase a book you don’t own it.

But you can download each of your book purchases and make a backup.

First, download the PC/MAC App.

Second, go through and double click on all the titles within that program. Amazon will download those to your harddrive. This might take a while.

Once you are done, you’ve got a copy of all those books on your harddrive. These books are keyed to your kindle account – username and password. If you ever change that, those books aren’t going to be readable.

If you are moving Kindle books, I highly recommend changing where the books are downloaded. By default, Kindle books are stored in a Library preferences folder which is hidden from view. Move your Kindle folder to your Documents folder for easier access.

To do this, open your Kindle for Mac program. Go to Kindle on the menu bar and selectPreferences. In the second section there is an option to change the content folder. Like I said, I moved the Kindle folder to My Documents.

You can use a free service like Dropbox to keep another backup of your books.

If you are computer savvy, I’ve got two posts that will help you automate the download and then transfer of these books to a free ebook catalog program called Calibre. Calibre is an incredible tool and I highly recommend downloading it if you are a big ebook reader.

This works essentially the same way for backing up Kobo and BN books.  The most important thing is knowing a) what kind of DRM the programs use and b) where these books are located on your harddrive.

Finally, if you are in a country that allows you to remove the DRM (Canada maybe? or Australia?) there are plugins that you can install with a click of a button for Calibre.

Amazon continues to place titles with triggering words like mother, daughter, virgin, etc. into draft mode where the titles must be republished (and go through a review). This is going to take some time. Kobo Cafe

Due to recent publicity surrounding eBook publishing through automated feeds provided by our eBook partner, Kobo, Whitcoulls has suspended the sale of eBooks through our website.  This suspension will remain in place until we can guarantee that any inappropriate material, that has been available through self published eBooks, has been removed from the Kobo eBook catalogue. If you have any questions regarding eBook purchases or sales, please contact our Customer Service team. “ Whitcoulls


Real pumpkin is actually a superfood, one of those natural fruits or vegetables that is considered to be good for your health. So I guess eat two servings of pumpkin pie so long as it is made with a real pumpkin? MarketWatch

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. Helen
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 07:07:59

    Yum…pumpkin lasagna (no pumpkin spices here)! I wait with baited breath for fall to make this every year because otherwise I’d eat it every week!

  2. Lynnd
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 07:13:26

    Canada’s new copyright legislation (passes last year) is probably more draconian than the US laws with respect to DRM, so it is definitely a violation to strip DRM up here :(.

  3. jmc
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 07:14:13

    Pumpkin ravioli – yum! And usually only around in the fall. There’s an Afghani restaurant in my neighborhood that offers a pumpkin appetizer year round: baby pumpkin with yogurt and brown sugar. Ridiculously good.

    Yet I don’t like pumpkin pie (for texture reasons).

  4. Ros
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 07:35:21

    I asked an email loop of UK copyright experts about DRM stripping here a few years back. Some said definitely illegal. Others thought there might be a case for doing it for personal use. Until or unless it gets tested in the courts, it’s hard to be sure.

  5. dmh
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 07:46:14

    What would you say was the best way to backing up Kindle books if you didn’t have a laptop?

  6. JessP
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 07:50:48

    Dear Jane –

    Thank you so much for the Kindle instructions, above. This is what I will be doing Thursday night, then. This has been on my mind for awhile, and that you’ve so clearly posted how to do it means I actually WILL do it, as opposed to just continuing to pointlessly think about it. I do appreciate the effort you put into your informative posts, and I love Dear Author in general. Thanks, again.

  7. Claire
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 08:34:05

    I was wondering if the Kobo issues would filter down to New Zealand (home) and I’m not really surprised. Also not a shock that ebooks don’t account for huge sales. The cost of ebooks there is atrocious.

    I never realised people thought there was real pumpkin in it? I guess I never ran into it until I was in my twenties, and by that point I already had plenty of preconceptions about American food.

    I’m trying to figure out what to do with this at the moment: That right there is 10kg+ (22lb, the kitchen scales don’t go any higher) of pumpkin. I’m thinking soup, pie and chocolate cake.

  8. Amanda
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 08:52:16

    Thank you for posting the how to on backing up Kindle books. I will be doing this.

    I am not surprised about the lack of pumpkin in pumpkin spice flavored products. I don’t actually like pumpkin and was surprised that I enjoyed some of the different pumpkin flavored products out there, now I know why.

  9. Isobel Carr
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 09:05:45

    For those who love pumpkin, this is a favorite recipe of mine:

    Pumpkin Pork Chili (really, more like stew IMO)

  10. helen
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 09:11:58

    That sounds delicious! I am going to try it this weekend. Pretty much anytime you mix a tomato base or sauce with pumpkin you get a glorious taste sensation. I make pumpkin puree out of roasted pumpkins every fall and then freeze it (it freezes very well). I use it all fall in so many recipes it isn’t funny. Another benefit of making your own puree is that you get to roast the seeds! I love sweet (brown sugar or maple syrup with cinnamon) and I make hot for the rest of the family (cayenne pepper, a bit of salt and garlic).

  11. Darlynne
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 10:34:41

    I am not a lover of pumpkin, not after ordering pumpkin soup at a restaurant and being unable to swallow more than one spoonful. Ugh. Maybe it needed some spice, which btw, has always just been the spice(s) one adds to pumpkin, not pumpkin itself, at least at our house.

  12. Lindsay
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 10:48:39

    One of the clauses in the Canadian DRM bill is that it can be removed for interoperability, or for people with a disability — but it also hasn’t gone to court at all. So a case might be argued that to be able to use epub on a Kindle it’s OK to strip and convert? Or for folks like my parents who can’t even read large-print books comfortably, but love their Kindle? There are plenty of Canadian authors who publish on Kobo as it has a larger reach in Canada, and I like to be able to read their books without having to buy a second device. Hypothetically speaking.

  13. Darlynne
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 11:03:33

    Jane, your comment about Kobo getting back to normal made me wonder: Why did they stop allowing discount coupons for some publishers again? Aren’t the bad old days of Big 6 behind us, or can publishers still dictate what can/cannot be discounted?

  14. Moriah Jovan
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 11:04:45

    Pumpkin (or yams) (or squash) (or zucchini) is just the carrier for the spice/sugar combination. It doesn’t add anything. You just can’t shovel spoonsful of spices and sugar into your mouth.

  15. Alison
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 12:24:07

    A couple of additions re backing up your Kindle.

    1. If you don’t have a laptop/PC/tablet – sorry I haven’t got a clue.
    2. A kindle is just a thumb drive with a big cover and a reading thingumy (i’m not very technical). What this means for PC users is if you look in windows explorer when your kindle is plugged into your computer you should see it listed under “computer”. Mine is my I drive. If oyu open the folder you will see a folder called documents which contains all your books. Just copy this folder to a appropriately titled folder on your PC/laptop (I usually call it Kindle back up [date] so that i can see how long it is since I last backed up to my hard drive).
    3. You don’t need to use Belvedere with Calibre – you can do the same thing through Calibre alone, it may be a new function but it works exactly the same way. Create a folder and then tell Calibre to load books from that folder. It automatically deletes them once they have been uploaded. Sorry I don’t have Calibre on this computer to find the settings.

  16. Lynnd
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 13:36:51

    @Lindsay: Here is a link to an aritcle by Michael Geist (Cdn copyright law expert) which summarizes the changes made to Canadian copyright law last year. The information regarding unlocking digitially locked materials is near the bottom of the article.

  17. ShellBell
    Oct 16, 2013 @ 14:04:23

    I’d buy more eBooks from Whitcoulls if their catalogue was the same as Kobo’s simply because they have a shopping cart and you are able to buy more than one book at a time. Kobo’s inability to have a shopping cart is extremely annoying when I want to purchase multiple books. Unfortunately for Whitcoulls, Kobo does not provide its full catalogue and on several occasions I have purchased eBooks from Whitcoulls only to have to request a refund as the eBook isn’t actually available even though it is listed.

  18. Courtney Milan
    Oct 17, 2013 @ 08:55:06

    I am 100% against pumpkin pie. But my favorite pumpkin recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan’s “Around my French Table,” and it’s called “Pumpkin With Everything Good In It.”

    The recipe is listed on the Amazon page for the book, so if you want to see it, it’s here:

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