Migrating from Amazon Kindle to Kobo E-Reader (Using Free Tools)

This blog post explains the migration from Amazon Kindle to Kobo E-Reader. I had purchased the Kobo independently of wanting to do such a migration (and use two devices) but I found tools online that facilitate such a migration (and also remove Amazon’s DRM in the process).

I believe such side loading is legal since I have purchased the book already from Amazon. I guess this is my only caveat.

My tools below are based on the Microsoft Windows platform; however you can use the Apple Macintosh versions of these tools. All of these tools are freely available.

What you will need:

  • Calibre e-Book Manager: A free e-book manager for Windows and Macintosh (https://calibre-ebook.com/). This tool will ingest the Amazon E-Books and convert them to the target profile desired.
  • DeDRM Calibre Plugin: A free plugin for Calibre that decrypts Amazon E-Books and removes DRM. This is an open source project, with pre-built plugins (https://github.com/apprenticeharper/DeDRM_tools/releases).
  • Amazon Kindle Reader for PC Version 1.17 or earlier: The version is important, as any version after 1.17 will output a file that is currently not able to be decrypted by DeDRM. Search the internet for an archived version of 1.17 (here for example).

Instructions

  • Download all the tools noted above.
  • Install Calibre e-Book Manager.
  • Install DeDRM Calibre Plugin, using the instructions provided. Within Calibre, go to Preferences, add a custom downloaded plugin by using the feature in Calibre and indicating the downloaded DeDRM Zip file release on your hard drive. Restart Calibre.
  • Run Amazon Kindle Reader for PC v1.17. Connect it to your account and download your books.
  • In Calibre, click Add Books and select all the books downloaded by the Amazon Kindle Reader for PC. These should be in Documents \ My Kindle Content, and should have the extension of .azw.
  • If DeDRM has been installed correctly, these files should be imported into Calibre. The titles of the E-Books will be in the list of books instead of the filename on your hard drive. Double click one to check. If you can open the file, the DRM has been removed.

At this point, you have successfully decrypted the Amazon Kindle E-Books and removed the DRM. If you have a Kobo, you can then convert and sideload the E-Book to your reader by doing the following:

  • Install the KoboUtilities plugin in Calibre by clicking Get New Plugin, finding it in the list and installing it. Restart Calibre.
  • Plug in your Kobo E-Reader via USB to the computer running Calibre. Click on KoboUtilities on the toolbar. It should be detected, so add it as a managed device.
  • Select the book(s) you want to transfer to the Kobo, and click Send to Device.
  • Calibre should perform the conversion and upload the book(s) over USB to the Kobo.

The Amazon Kindle E-Book(s) should now be on your Kobo. Congratulations!