How to Review Your Novel on Kindle WITHOUT Uploading It for the World


As I’ve stated before, I’m in the middle of revising my novel. So part of the process is to read the work as a reader (as mentioned in Amy N’s helpful post). So what better way than to send it to my Kindle for review. The thing is, I don’t want to upload it to sell. It’s more of a for-my-eyes-only kind of thing.

I’ve tried creating a .pdf and view it that way, but I didn’t like it. It didn’t look like a book I’d read. So after fiddling and failing and trying again, I’ve figured it out. I’m sure you could too, but why go through the hassle when I already have? Let me share with you what I did.

Be forewarned. This is not to format your novel for Kindle. There are a ton of other helpful sites out there that go into far greater detail for that. This is to get your story on your Kindle to read for your personal revisions. If you get tangled up now in formatting, that novel will never get revised.

Create a .mobi file

By far this will be the toughest part, but wholly necessary. The .mobi file type is what the Kindle reads. So if you want to view your novel on the Kindle like any other book, you’ll want to convert it.

  1. If you aren’t a Scrivener convert yet, please take this time to check it out. It simplifies this process immensely. Scrivener allows you to compile your work into multiple formats, one of them being for Kindle. You can even format it to your liking from its compile menu, though I won’t be covering it here. That would be book-length versus post-length.
  2. Of course there are many other paths to creating a .mobi file. Amazon offers its own conversion tool called KindleGen.  Another option is Calibre. Both downloads are free (my favorite kind). Although I’m sure you could find other tools online, these are the ones I’ve tinkered with and feel okay enough to suggest.
  3. Using the method of your choice, create a .mobi file of your project. Don’t get hung up on formatting. Remember this is for you only.

Send it to your Kindle

Now I’m assuming you have a Kindle to do this. Otherwise, why have you read this far? Without a Kindle the rest of these instructions won’t make much sense.

  1. Did you know your Kindle has its own email address? It does. If you don’t know what it is, you can find out by logging in to your Kindle account and click on Manage Your Devices. From there you can see a list of all your Kindle devices and your Kindle email address.
  2. Attach the .mobi file into an email to your Kindle account. No subject. Nothing in the body. Just the attached file.
  3. Give it a few minutes and your novel will show up on your Kindle device. Easy as that.

Another option for Dropbox and smartphone Kindle users

  1. Save your .mobi file to Dropbox.
  2. From Dropbox on your smartphone, find the saved .mobi file.
  3. On the right of the title, touch the down arrow for a list of options.
  4. Select More.
  5. Select Export.
  6. Select Amazon Send to Kindle.

Read your novel

Your story is now on your Kindle for your eyes alone. Read it as a reader. Take notes for later. And get ready for revisions.

I hope this little How To was helpful. Anything that can get you closer to getting that book done is good in my eyes.

Happy revising!