Welcome to Dear Jane, a weekly column based upon reader mailbag questions on anything relating to e-books. No question is too simple or too mundane. We are all learning together. Send your questions Jane@DearAuthor.com with "Dear Jane" in the subject matter.

Dear Jane,

was a Nook fan/user until a few days ago when I ran into some really poor Tech Support from B&N. Never had that problem before, but it’s been a month since I’ve used them and it’s degraded a lot to the point of hair pulling. (Customer service seems okay still). Never got my question resolved and had to use another source.

I have the new Kindle 3 pre-ordered. I was sold on the global coverage, and some of the new experimental features it’s sporting. Some drawbacks are that it doesn’t utilize page numbers so I can’t cite material. Another drawback is no library e-books since Amazon doesn’t support EPUB yet. I’m hoping that will change. (Assuming everything is DRM free.)

The Amazon rep said that I had to email all files to be converted by them for use on the Kindle. That’s a pain. Can I get around this using Calibre to convert it myself then sideload? The rep couldn’t tell if the files get converted to AZW or not. I’d like to know what they are converting them to.

Has anyone successfully converted a EPUB (no DRM) to AZW? Or do you have to convert it to Mobi then to EPUB? Too many steps there.

Does anyone else besides Amazon sell Kindle format so I’m not stuck with Amazon as my only buying option?

Finally, should I wait and see what other ereaders become available before getting the K3?

Thanks Jane.

- BH

Dear BH:

1. You can sideload books onto the Kindle in the Mobi format. I do this all the time. Sideloading is accomplished by attaching the Kindle to your computer with the included USB cord. The Kindle mounts as a drive on your desktop (Mac) or look under "My Computer" for the PC.

Then dropping and dragging the file onto the Kindle and placing in the documents folder.

OR if you are using Calibre, you can use the "email to Kindle" option or the "send to device" option.

email to Kindle

2. You can email Mobi books to the Kindle and Kindle will convert it to the AZW format.

3. Calibre does a great job of converting EPUB to Mobi.

4. No one else sells Kindle but a lot of companies sell Mobipocket and there is a great plugin for Calibre that strips the Mobi DRM* as you add the Mobi file to Calibre (all automatic). *This may or may not be legal depending on whether the e-book falls within the recent library of congress exemption.

5. If you don't have to have an e-book device right now, I would wait. Sony is due to announce its new devices; Kobo is going to be $99 before Christmas; I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't a $99 Kindle and/or Nook by Christmas; there will be a subsidized Google Android tablet released on Black Friday; and Apple is rumored to have a 7" iPad. So yes, waiting until October or later makes a lot of sense. BUT! If you can't wait (as I could not), don't feel guilty about your purchase. You'll have gotten some good months in with your device before the price drop or something else comes out. (At least this is what I tell myself).

Best, Jane

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Tags: RT Daily Blog, E-Book