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Browsing the questions in the official Kindle forum and its interesting to find the same questions pop up again and again.
Here are some kindle questions and answers that’ll help you if you’re thinking of buying the kindle or trying to make the most of your Kindle –
Q: What is the contact information for Kindle Customer Service?
Find the email address and contact methods at the Customer Service Page. This is recommended as you can get Amazon to call you back and they know who you are.
Customer Service phone numbers –
Inside the United States: 1-866-321-8851, Outside the United States: 1-206-266-0927.
Q: Should I get Kindle or … Nook? Sony Pocket? Sony Touch?
Here are 3 posts that will help you decide –
- If your heart is set on either Kindle or Nook – both are safe bets. Read my Kindle Vs Nook Review for more.
- The Sony Readers are a bit behind as they lack wireless – check my Kindle Vs Sony Reader Touch Review and Kindle Vs Sony Reader Pocket Edition review.
Q: Should the Kindle be switched off or is sleep mode fine?
It’s eInk technology. It only uses power when changing the screen.
- There is no (or almost no) difference between sleep mode and switching off. Kindle customer service recommends sleep mode.
- Having it in sleep mode for days will not overheat your Kindle.
Choose Sleep Mode ;) .
Q: Are there Kindle Gift Cards? How do I buy a kindle book using a Kindle gift Card?
Q: Can I gift Kindle Books?
At the moment there is no way to gift a kindle ebook. You can buy them a gift card that they could then use to buy books.
Q: Is there any way to set a budget and limit my spending on Kindle Books?
Yes. By using a kindle gift card i.e.
- If your budget is $50, buy a $50 gift card.
- Apply it to your account and use that to limit your purchases.
- Then remove your credit card information (optional).
Q: What is the return period for the Kindle? What about Kindle ebooks?
- 30 days for the Kindle. Free Returns.
- 7 days for Kindle books.
To return ebooks –
- Immediately after purchase – you get a ‘cancel purchase’ button on the order confirmation page (only on the Kindle).
- Alternately – Go to the Customer Service Page and then email Kindle Customer Service (or call them) and include the title you want to cancel. Must be within 7 days of purchase.
Q: Can I share my kindle books? Can I sell my kindle books?
We all know paper books don’t have that restriction – However, the only way to get publishers to agree to give up rights and at $10 prices was removing the used ebooks market.
Q: Why are prices higher outside the US? Why are prices lower outside the US?
Different countries/regions have different book rights. Sometimes it means higher prices, sometimes lower.
Also, outside of the US, every book has a $2 download charge built-in. This $2 charge exists even if you buy and download a book on your PC.
It just exists. Not going to justify it and not going to label it evil or unfair as wireless bandwidth isn’t exactly free.
Q: Why are books so expensive?
$10 is not expensive. Printing and distribution accounts for 10-20% of a book’s price. Things like the author making enough money to be able to eat and have a house to live in necessitate a $10 price.
Q: How big exactly are the font Sizes?
Here’s the magic sizing of the Kindle –
There are 6 font sizes, which correspond approximately to the following Microsoft Word standard font sizes:
1 = 7pt
2 = 9pt
3 = 11 pt
4 = 14 pt
5 = 17 pt
6 = 20 pt
Please see the kindle review video page, videos 4, 5 and 8, to better understand font sizes.
Q: Is Kindle suited for low vision people? blind people?
Please read this – Kindle FAQ for Low Vision Readers
Q: Does Kindle support PDF?
PDF support included –
- PDFs work on the Kindle. PDFs that have Chinese text or other languages also work.
- Formulas, images, tables all look good.
- Bookmarks work.
- Landscape mode lets you see PDFs in a larger size and crops whitespace.
- Search works.
PDF features that are not included –
- Adding notes and highlights.
- Changing font sizes or zooming into PDFs.
You can get the latter functionality by converting PDFs to Kindle format – read the convert PDF for Kindle post.
Q: Why isn’t PDF support better?
They just added Kindle PDF support – Could we please see the half full glass?
Q: What are the Kindle Shortcuts?
Aha – it just so happens that the Kindle 2 Hack and Tips post has 25 of the best tips for you.
Q: Where do I find free kindle books?
Three places –
Q: Where do I find cheap kindle books and kindle book deals?
These are hard to find.
Searching around at Amazon is best. The official kindle forum has lots of indie authors hawking their wares for $1 to $2, and any deals on Published Books get mentioned there too.
By the way, most of the questions and some of the answers on this page are from that very forum.
Q: Should I buy my 10-year-old a Kindle?
There are a few concerns –
- The Kindle is very susceptible to breaking as it has a glass screen. Replacements cost $180 to $200.
- Dropping the Kindle can harm other parts of it.
- 1-click buying means your kid could end up buying $100 of books by mistake or by intent.
- There aren’t really any parental controls and some of the books available can be racy – including topics you might get really upset about.
Since the Kindle is so great for reading, it makes sense to still consider it. Here are a few things worth doing if you buy a kindle for your kid –
- Turn off wireless and keep it off.
- De-register your Kindle so no purchases can be made. You’ll have to register it again to buy books on it later.
- Get a sturdy case. One with padding – some of the M-Edge cases are good.
- You can even get a messenger bag with a shoulder strap.
- Monitor book titles and make sure the wrong books aren’t reaching your kid’s kindle.
It really helps if your child is responsible and careful with toys and gadgets.
Q: Are textbooks available on the Kindle?
Yes. In limited quantities.
Please make a list of books you’ll need and check before buying a Kindle. There are more textbooks being added regularly so it’d be enough to check the next 2 semesters.
Q: Are medical books available on the Kindle?
Yes. Again it’s in limited qualities.
Please check for titles you’d want.
Q: Why buy a Kindle if I can use Kindle for iPhone or Kindle for PC?
The polite answer would be – a much better screen for reading, a much more focused reading experience.
The apolitic answer would be – If you read less than a book a month then the Kindle is not for you.
Q: Does Kindle work on PC? on Mac?
Yes for PC. Kindle for Mac is slated to arrive in a few months.
Q: Does Kindle work with Mac?
As in, can you transfer files and plug in your kindle and charge it and so forth? Answer is yes.
Q: Why is my favorite book not on the Kindle?
Really don’t know.
Q: Can I read library ebooks on the Kindle?
No. Please check what ebooks your local library has available and how many of those you’d want before getting upset.
Q: Does Kindle have a lock feature or a password setting or a privacy feature?
No. Be careful who you give it to.
Q: Can you put your own screensavers?
You could with a kindle hack. Soon enough that hack will be updated to work with the latest version of the Kindle firmware.
Q: What features are dependent on the wireless?
These are the features that depend on wireless –
- Free Internet.
- Free Wikipedia.
- Browsing the Kindle Store.
- Downloading Books.
- Wireless Delivery of subscriptions – blogs, newspapers, magazines.
- Certain books that need wireless Internet such as the Sudoku book.
Q: What exactly does the Text To Speech Read To Me feature do? Is the voice bearable?
The Text To Speech feature takes –
- Any new book for which the Publisher has not disabled it.
- Any public domain book.
- Any converted PDF.
- Any of your own documents in Kindle format.
And reads out the text to you in either a male or a female voice, at one of three reading speeds.
The Kindle has stereo speakers so you don’t even need headphones.
Depending on how picky you are –
- You might love it.
- You might be OK with it.
- You might hate it and find it torments you to the very depths of your soul.
It’s a robotic voice reading out words – it’s not going to sound like NPR.
Check the kindle review video page and listen to video #3.
Q: Can I get my Kindle expensed?
- Whatever line of work you’re in, there are books in the Kindle Store and audiobooks at Audible.com related to it. That’s what the Kindle is for – work related reading.
- You can add your own documents.
- It focuses on reading so it’s not like you’ll be wasting any work time ;) .
- It now supports PDFs making it easier to get academic grants.
If you need supporting evidence leave a comment.
You should be able to get it expensed or written off for tax purposes.
Q: Can I save articles for reading later on the Kindle?
I have heard that something called InstaPaper is great for this.
Q: Why doesn’t the Kindle have page numbers? What are locations?
The ability to change font sizes makes things complicated.
Amazon decided to use something strange called locations and a strange progress bar and a percentage complete indicator. Locations = your place in the book based on some unknown combination of paragraph number and number of words.
Q: Why are there different versions of books and different prices for the same book?
Territorial rights and negotiating contracts with different publishers for the same book.
Q: Where can I try out a Kindle?
Go to the ‘See a Kindle in Your City’ forum and ask someone to show you their Kindle. You’ll be surprised how happy people are to show you their Kindles.
Q: Does Kindle support unicode? Does Kindle support chinese and other languages in PDF?
No. You can get a Kindle Hack to add unicode font support. Google it.
Thanks to the new PDF support you can take any PDF in any language (think so, Chinese works) and read it on your Kindle.
Q: Is there a clock on the Kindle? A Calendar?
Clock on Kindle 1 -> Alt + T on any page.
Clock on Kindle 2 -> Press the Menu key on any page to see the time.
Clock and Date on the Kindle 2 -> On the Home Page, type in ‘ @t ‘ and press the 5-way.
Q: What is a Kindle firmware update? How does it work?
Occasionally Amazon will decide to add cool features (PDF support) and boring features (some minor change). They do this by sending an update wirelessly and ‘updating’ your Kindle’s software.
Q: When is the Kindle App going to be available internationally?
No Idea. If you can’t wait just register as a US customer in the App Store and download it. Your books may or may not work based on what home country you have chosen.
Q: How do I find self-published authors?
Very cool of you to support indie authors. Here’s a list of some of the best Kindle Store Independent Authors. The official kindle forum is a good resource too.
Q: How can I tell whether I have Kindle International or Kindle US?
Good question. Kindle Global is pretty much the same as Kindle US, except it uses AT&T’s network. here’s how to find out –
For Kindle Global, typing 311 on the Settings page (or perhaps 611) brings up wireless information, including a list of wireless providers you can choose between.
Typing 611 in Settings Page of Kindle US -> 3 pages of information on your Modem, EVDO connection, and more.
Typing 311 or 611 in Settings Page of Kindle Global -> 5 pages of information, including the ability to change your wireless carrier (not verified by me, from official kindle forum).
Q: How can I tell what version of the Kindle firmware I have?
On the Home Page, press Menu and then choose Settings.
On the Settings page, look at the bottom right to find your Kindle firmware version.
On this page you can also –
- Register and de-register your Kindle from your account.
- Re-christen your Kindle.
- Set Device Email.
Perhaps most importantly, you can add Personal Information so people can find you if you lose your Kindle and they find it.
Q: Are there any parental controls?
Q: What is the screen contrast on the Kindle like?
Please see the Kindle Review Videos – video #3 or #4 has screen contrast compared with physical books.
Q: Can I sell a Kindle with books on it?
Yes, although it’s probably illegal.
If the new owner registers the Kindle to their account, they lose all the books.
If they stay registered to your account they will buy books on your tab so be careful to de-register your Kindle.
As long as they keep wireless turned off they should be able to access your books (not 100% sure).
It’s illegal – do keep that in mind.
Q: How do me and my family share an account and books across multiple Kindles?
You can register up to 6 Kindles to one account. Then all the Kindles can share a book, and even read it at the same time.
This is the Kindle ‘Family and Very Close Friends’ sharing plan that no one talks about because Nook lets you lend an ebook once.
Q: How do I print a Kindle document? How do I capture the screen?
You can’t really. You can highlight a snippet and then connect your Kindle to the PC and then print out the relevant section of the MyClippings.txt file. It’s rather inelegant.
You can capture the Kindle’s screen using Alt+Shift+G. Press and hold down the first two and then press G. Shift is the Up Arrow key.
Q: What countries does Kindle ship to?
Q: What is the best kindle cover? What is the best Kindle light?
M-Edge for the cover. MightyBright for the reading light.
Q: Can I convert a Kindle US into a Kindle Global?
No. It’s sort of like trying to convert copper into gold. It might be doable – however it’s not going to be worth all the effort.
Q: Can I change the Kindle dictionary? Can I use foreign dictionaries?
Yes. Check the Kindle 2 Tips post for details. Last time we checked only Merriam Webster was supported.
* Press the Menu button on the Home Page.
* Select ‘Settings’ and the on the settings page press Menu button again.
* Select ‘Change Primary Dictionary’.
* Move 5-way to select the dictionary you want as your primary dictionary, when it’s underlined press 5-way to select it.
Q: Why doesn’t Kindle have folders or some sort of organization? When will it be added? Are there any workarounds?
Kindle Folders are being worked on and will arrive in 2010. Here’s a rough kindle folders workaround.
Wow – that’s a really long list of kindle questions and answers – hope it was less painful for you to read it than it was for me to write it – just kidding ;) .