How to Backup your Amazon Ebooks

Late last year, Amazon reaches across the world and wiped a Kindle (belonging to a Norwegian lady) clean – disabling access to the 40 e-books which she had paid for. As it turns out, she may not have been the only one.

While the move was eventually reversed after negative press in the media, nobody wants to pay for an e-book only to have it arbitrarily taken away.

Here’s how you can backup your Amazon e-books so they can be read on any device.

Also see – Download Free Ebooks

Download Calibre

First you’ll need to download Calibre, which is an e-book library management app available for Mac OS X, Windows and Linux. You can find it at : Calibre Ebook. Install it on your PC.

Calibre Ebook

Download DeDRM

Download the DeDRM plugin from Apprenticealf and unzip it. In Calibre, go to File > Preferences and click on ‘Plugins’. Choose to ‘Load plugin from file’ and pick the k4MobileDRM plugin zip file (it’s a zip file inside the calibre plugins folder of the DeDRM tools folder you just unzipped).

DeDRM plugin

Install Kindle

If you haven’t already, install Kindle for your PC and download all your ebooks. If you’re doing this for the first time, you can find them under the ‘Archived items’ in the left sidebar. Once you’ve done so, your archived items’ count will go to zero.

archived items

Drag and Drop Kindle e-books

Now we’ll need to drag and drop your Kindle e-books into Calibre to begin the conversion. On a Mac, you will find your e-books at either:

~/Library/Containers/com.amazon.Kindle/Data/Library/Application Support/Kindle/My Kindle Content/

or

~/Library/Application Support/Kindle/My Kindle Content/

If you don’t know how to access your Library folder under your username account, hold the Option key while clicking on the ‘Go’ menu in the Finder, the Library will show up among the list of options.

Also see – Lesser Known Features of Kindle

On Windows, you can find your Kindle e-books in the ‘My Kindle’ Content folder under My Documents. The Amazon Kindle e-books are the files with the .azw extension. Drag and drop them into the Calibre window.

my kindle content on mac screenshot

Converting e-Books

In the calibre window, select all the e-books you want to convert. Click on the ‘Convert books’ icon.

Convert books

Choose your output format in the upper right corner of the Convert window, for a common format that can be easily read on most devices choose ‘EPUB’.

common format and its selection

Choose ‘Page Setup’ on the left sidebar, and set ‘Kindle’ as the input profile, and choose the output device you want to read on. If you don’t have a preferred device, choose the ‘Default Output Profile’ for a generic conversion.

Click ‘OK’ to start the conversion. The conversion might take a while, and the ‘Jobs’ button in the lower-right corner will give you a status update on how it’s going.

Also see – Free Microsoft eBooks

If everything goes smoothly, you’ll find the converted versions of your e-books inside a Calibre Library folder under your username directory. Remember that these DRM-free e-books are for your own back-up purposes only, and not meant for distribution.


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