Downloading and sideloading 101 (and links to desktop e-readers)

You don’t have to be a geek to sideload – it’s just a fancy name for moving a file.

“Easy Peasey! I saved it as a download, plugged my usb from the nook to my PC, located the download file, left clicked, and selected “send to” and chose my Nook.”

You will need the following things:

1) A desktop computer where you receive your email so that you can download and save your file. You can then read it either on the desktop or on a mobile device (tablet, smartphone). This should be your own computer – if you are on an employer’s computer, there is probably a firewall and that may prevent downloading. You can complete the purchase, just provide an email address that you can access at home.

2) A non-AOL browser (AOL does not support the javascript required to complete the download).

NOTE: If you don’t have a desktop system (or laptop) you can purchase the eBook Amazon or Barnes and Noble.


The Kindle & Kindle Fire

There are 3 different ways to upload to a Kindle device:


STEP 1: Download the Kindle file to your desktop.

STEP 2: Email it to your kindle address – (you can find your kindle address by clicking on the Docs tab on the home page of your Kindle…under the tab is says send documents to “”” see Alternate STEP 2

STEP 3: Sync your Kindle (click the settings icon- top right – then press Sync)

STEP 4: Look for it under your “docs” tab


Amazon now has an app for uploading to Kindle where you can drag and drop a file onto the app to upload. see their website to download.

comments from readers:

“I GOT IT!!!! The only difference is I don’t have a docs tab… I had to dig into my personal settings to find the kindle address. I totally forgot that the kindle can download documents and stuff like that. I just use it for books. Thank you so much for all your help… I was stumped.” – from one of our “test bunnies” who could read it on her desktop with the Kindle Reader, but could not get it on her Kindle until I shared the above method with her.

Here’s another step you may need to take: “YEAH…I got it…I had to go into my Amazon Kindle settings and add this email address to ALLOW it to send stuff to my kindle…that worked, I got it on my kindle..going to READ now…”

the Nook

From a friend with a Nook:

“Easy Peasey! I saved it as a download, plugged my usb from the nook to my PC, located the download file, left clicked, and selected “send to” and chose my Nook.”

She also added: “I will say that I had to transfer it twice because I didn’t pay attention to the message that says “BE SURE TO PROPERLY EJECT YOUR NOOK or you will have file transfer issues. the second time I ejected it as directed and it worked awesome.”

the Kobo reader

Working on getting the steps – we have had one Kobo reader so far and she has had no issue.

Desktop Systems

Make sure you have your e-reader program in place – see below for download links.

ADOBE ACROBAT READER CANNOT READ AN EPUB FILE or a mobi file. Epub is a compact format very different from a PDF – much more like a web page, using xhtml and stylesheets, and you need a reader that handles these files. A mobi file is Amazon’s proprietary format, a simplified epub without some of the formatting bells and whistles.

A few readers have been blocked from actually downloading the file by their desktop system because it does not recognize the file format, or had Adobe Acrobat Reader try to open it and then claim it was corrupted. So download the free e-reader you are going to use FIRST, and then purchase the book. (IF YOU ARE AT WORK, your company may have Firewall in place, and will block you from downloading of e-reader programs, or any other files that are not PDF’s — although one reader convinced her tech support to help her so she could read it on her lunch hour! I hope she made them cookies.)

Some ereaders have web browsers built in – if you download the file from the built-in browser, it SHOULD recognize that it is a book for that device, although it may put it in your “docs” directory, so check there.

Another way is to install the Kindle Reader, a free download from Amazon, on your desktop to load the file. (The book is full color, so if you only have a B&W Kindle, we recommend you at least peak at the book on your desktop to fully enjoy it), and then use the Amazon “cloud” to load it to your Kindle.

NOTE: You can also use the Kindle reader program to read the book even if you don’t own a Kindle — but in that case we would recommend the epub version of the book, as more of the original formatting is supported by most ereader programs.

Also, Amazon doesn’t offer the Kindle reader for older Macintosh computers.


Adobe Digital Editions – A nicely performing standalone reader that is free (and compatible with library books).

Here’s a link to the Amazon page where you can select the right download for your operating system and device.

– If you have a Nook, you may share content with your device using this reader, and it will work as a standalone reader too.

Calibre is an independent free program that will manage your digital library across all devices. The interface might not be as pretty, but you can use it to convert a book into different formats (WARNING – it may crunch some formatting in the process) – but if you are not so concerned with a nice user interface, this is one way to go.

Now you can add “sideloading” to your resume and discover a whole world of other content out there (after you are done reading E101 of course!)