Tutorial: How to Sideload an E-Books to Your E-Reader

Did you know you don’t have to purchase a book directly from an online vendor to put it on your e-reader? If you spend a bit of time looking, you’ll find lots of places to procure free ebooks, including Project Gutenberg and Book Cave, and many libraries also utilize OverDrive to let you check out ebooks right to your device. (See if your library partners with OverDrive.) Sometimes these sites will deliver to your email address, and you can then drop them into your app. Other times, you have to download them directly. In that case, it is possible to sideload those books directly to your e-reader using a USB port. (Note, this pertains to e-readers, not apps.) I’ll give instructions for sideloading to a Kindle, since that’s what I own, but the method is very similar for other brands.  (Note, you do need to know what ebook file format works with your e-reader. More on that here.) Here’s what you do:

  1. First, make sure you know where the ebook is located on your computer. You’ll have to navigate there to retrieve it.
  2. Next, attach your e-reader to your computer using a USB cable. You should see it show up as a separate drive. Find your ebook and drop it into the “documents” folder within your e-reader drive.
  3. Give it two or three seconds to transfer and unplug.

It is important to note that a sideloaded book will not show up in your online account. It’s only on your device, and once you erase it, it’s gone. Of course, if it’s still on your computer, it’s a simple matter to reload.

That’s all there is to it. Turn on your device, locate your new book, and happy reading!

Need more help?  Most vendors have video tutorials posted online. Here’s the one for Nook.

4 thoughts on “Tutorial: How to Sideload an E-Books to Your E-Reader

  1. The video is simply a commercial. I still don’t see how to download books from smashwords to my Nook!

    1. Sorry you’re having so much trouble, Tracey. I just tried the link and only got “content cannot be found” messages. I changed it to a new tutorial from YouTube. Hope it helps!

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