You know what makes the best accompaniment to that Kindle you just got for Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate)? That's right, the Kindle Pocket Guide. This book is chockfull of tips, tricks, and ways to get stuff you already own onto your Kindle, and load your Kindle up with lots of free content.
Now, I know what you're thinking: "Scott, you only think this book is so great because you wrote it!" That might be true, but would I ever steer you wrong? And for only $10 what could possibly go wrong?
As a measure of good faith I'm going to share a couple of tips from the book with you in this post (for free!):
Kindle DX optimized books
If you found a Kindle DX (my current favorite eBook reader) under the tree you'll want to check out the Featured Books for Kindle DX section of the Kindle Store. All the books listed will work with the smaller Kindle, but the DX's bigger screen makes them shine.
Downloading books without a wireless connection
One of the whizbang features of the Kindle is that it is always connected to the cloud (that's geek for the servers that Amazon runs the Kindle Store on)... but what about when you're in a remote location and you can't get any wireless service? Are you stuck with whatever books are already loaded up on your Kindle? Nope!
If you point your browser to http://www.amazon.com/myk you'll be able to Manage Your Kindle on the web. On that webpage you have a number of options, but we're interested in the section called "Your Orders":
As you can see this lists all the eBooks that you've purchased from the Kindle store. If you click on the little plus sign ( ) next to one of the books you'll see the following options:
I think you can tell where this is going now. Click on the "Download to computer" button and you can save the .AZW file that is your eBook (in this case Jasper FForde's latest novel) onto your computer.
Once you have the .AZW saved onto your computer you need to attach your Kindle to the same computer using the included USB cable. This puts your Kindle into USB Drive mode (you can also charge your Kindle using this method). Now your computer thinks your Kindle is a removable USB drive onto which you can copy any sort of files you like. Hmm, I wonder what kind of file we should copy to the Kindle... ah, right! The .AZW you just downloaded!
Double click the new drive called 'Kindle' that appears either on your desktop or in 'My Computer' and you'll see four folders listed: Audible, Documents, Music, and System. The Documents folder is where all the, well, documents are stored on your Kindle, including books. Drag the .AZW file into the documents folder and you've just placed a new book onto your Kindle without a wireless connection (this method can also be used to add PDFs and other e-book files onto your Kindle, but remember that the Kindle can only display PDFs, AZW files (Amazon's file format), plain text files (TXT), and unprotected MOBI/PRCs.
That's all you get for free
You'll find all that information, and more, in the book. So why not buy it right now? And remember you don't need to own a Kindle to buy/read books from the Kindle store. You can read Kindle books using the Kindle app for the iPhone/iPod touch and the Kindle for PC app.