Guest Post by Kim Doyal
I was surprised when I checked out the WordPress.org plugin directory and only found a handful of Kindle plugins. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I feel like I’m a little late to the game when it comes to jumping into Kindle (both reading with it on an iPad and getting into Kindle publishing) so I thought for SURE there would have been more options available in terms of plugins.
Keep in mind that if you search the plugin directory it will return 21 pages, but they’re not all kindle specific.
Before I get into the explanation and video for Kindle This I do want to mention that this is a FREE plugin in the WordPress plugin directory, so if you find it useful and start using it I always recommend making a contribution to the plugin developer so they can continue developing and supporting their plugin.
What does the ‘Kindle This’ plugin do?
It installs a widget in your sidebar that allows your readers to ‘send’ your blog posts to their Kindle to read later! Cool, huh?
The plugin will pull the contents of the current page you’re on (so make sure you go to the full blog post and not just an excerpt) including title and post date and then format them into a simple page that is then sent to the kindle service for conversion into a kindle file. The file will not look like the web page since the conversion process occurs at Amazon so there is no way to control how it looks, so images, embeds, links, etc. may not appear. The content will appear as a simple Kindle document.
The video is going to walk you through what you need to do to configure the widget. Once you’ve installed Kindle This, there’s not much to do in your WordPress dashboard other than name your widget!
Yep, that’s it.
Before you watch the video, here’s what the Kindle This widget looks like on your site (in your sidebar):
You’re going to have to enter your Kindle email id and your authorized kindle email address (don’t worry, I’m going to show you how to find both in the video). Your authorized Kindle email address is not stored, which is great because it prevents Kindle spam.
Finding your Kindle user-id / email id
Your Kindle user-id is linked to the device you want to send the blog post (or document) to. In the screenshots below you’ll notice I have an iPad and an iPod (long story on why I’m not using one for both) registered, so I have a Kindle email address for each one. The screenshot below shows you what your Kindle account settings page will look like (Manage Your Kindle).
The next screenshot will show you where to get your kindle id (user id /kindle email address) and what email addresses are approved. This is also where you will add new email addresses if desired.
I’m showing both email addresses in the screenshot because they’re linked specifically to my devices and the only way I can receive anything to these devices is if the sender / or sending email address is listed in my Approved Personal Document List.
Once you’ve viewed the video, scroll down below the video for a few additional screenshots. I’ve included the screenshot of the email I received (from my WordPress site stating that I sent the email to my kindle), a screenshot of the docs on my kindle and then the first page of the post in my kindle. Below the last screenshot I’ve posted some additional notes explaining a few elements.
Email Sent from WordPress
Screenshot of my docs on my Kindle
Screenshot of the post in my Kindle
- This is what appears in my title bar on my site (keywords and site name)
- This is the post title (and publication date and time)
- This is where my featured image should be appearing, but doesn’t (remember that Amazon does the conversion so we have no way to alter this)
- This is a link to something I reference in the post. I tested this and the link does work
- I called this out because you can see the font size is different, which it is in my post as well, so font sizing and formatting appears to convert fairly well.
As Kindle publishing continues to evolve I’m sure we’ll see more plugins and easy ways to integrate Kindle with WordPress. Until then, I’d recommend adding this plugin to your site so your readers can easily grab your content to read later or for easy reference.
Plus, I’d love to know what your think about the idea of adding this plugin to your blog, in the comments below…