I have all my books. Sort of.
December 27, 2016 8:32 PM   Subscribe

Inspired by the question about Kobo and Calibre: I have a library of kindle books that were purchased through a shared Amazon account that are mine, but I don't believe I can get them on to my Kindle due to the DRM. How do I unlock my library?

My ex probably explained to me how to do this a few years ago, but honestly, I cannot in the least remember and things have probably changed. We wanted to share books, and so books were centrally purchased. When we separated, I got all files for the books that were mine, and they've sat on Dropbox. Today I wanted to access one of them and I realized that I don't think I can. Possibly relevant - the kindle in question has always been the same piece of hardware, but it's now registered to my account.

I have a macbook pro and I'm technically literate, but googling for this has sent me cross eyed. I won't threadsit clearly but I can answer any pertinent questions.
posted by Medieval Maven to Technology (9 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
You should be able to get them onto your Kindle, but I am assuming "shared account" and "ex" means that is no longer an option, for whatever reason that I will not question.

You need a free program called Calibre, which is an e-book software app. Then you need the Calibre DRM removal plug-ins -- you can Google for that, but you want the Apprentice Alf’s Blog site. Once you have downloaded the plug-ins and added them to the Calibre app, you need to load the book files from Dropbox into Calibre, and then convert the to the mobi format, which you can then put onto the Kindle (directly from Calibre, if your Kindle is connected to the computer with Calibre on it), and the Kindle will be able to read them and you will be able to read them on the Kindle. Since you already purchased them, this shouldn't be illegal, but IANAL.
posted by old_growler at 9:01 PM on December 27, 2016 [10 favorites]

Like old_growler, we use the DeDRM plugin with Calibre. You download the plugin and follow the directions to install it. You'll need your Kindle serial number at some point.

Then do what old_growler said to get the book files into Calibre and then onto the Kindle. If the DeDRM plugin is installed correctly, it should just strip the DRM automatically when the books are imported to Calibre (so install the plugin before you move the files to Calibre).

Memail me if you run into issues - happy to try to help troubleshoot.
posted by bananacabana at 9:07 PM on December 27, 2016 [5 favorites]

I'm well on my way. Ugh, thanks for this, there is a lot out there and it's difficult to sort out the best way to go about it. Yay AskMeFi! :)
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:14 AM on December 28, 2016

OK, I've installed the plugin, but I'm not sure how to use it. The Apprentice Alf site says:
The DeDRM calibre plugin removes DRM from ebooks as they are imported into calibre. So to use the plugin, just import your DRMed ebooks into calibre, and the DRM will be removed. If you have already imported your ebooks into calibre, you will need to remove the DRMed ebooks and import them again.
I've got DRMed books on my Kindle; how do I import them into Calibre so I can strip the DRM? If I buy an e-book, it gets sent straight to my Kindle, so I need to get it onto Calibre. I'm probably missing something obvious.
posted by languagehat at 11:00 AM on December 28, 2016

Just copy them off the Kindle using Windows Explorer/Mac Finder into a folder on your hard drive. Run them through Calibre with the DeDrm. They will be put into a new folder called Calibre. Delete old ones from your Kindle via Windows Explorer/Mac Finder.Copy them to your Kindle same way. Et voilà. When you open your Kindle there they will be, DeDrmed.
posted by TheRaven at 12:18 PM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I had to put my kindle serial number into Calibre -- I was having trouble with it also, and I found this to be helpful.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:37 PM on December 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

I thought the problem was getting them onto your Kindle in the first place? If they are already on your Kindle, you shouldn't have to do anything, or if they are sent to your Kindle when you buy them.
posted by old_growler at 2:33 PM on December 28, 2016

languagehat, go to Amazon -> Account and Lists -> View Your Kindle Orders -> sign in -> click on the "..." button to the left of a title in your Kindle list -> choose "Download and Transfer via USB".

Then import that file into Calibre to strip the DRM.

To my knowledge you have to download each book individually, not as a batch, so it's a little annoying, but it should work.
posted by bananacabana at 11:34 AM on January 2, 2017

Thanks, but I followed Medieval Maven's link and it worked like a charm.
posted by languagehat at 3:04 PM on January 2, 2017

« Older Questions about Kobo + Calibre   |   Where can I find someone to help me install PHP... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.