Monday, October 01, 2012

Subscribing to magazines on the Kindle

I'm a huge fan of technology, but I'm also a late adopter. My husband, Jeremy, sometimes has to drag me kicking and screaming into our glorious new age, which is good because left alone, my tendencies steer me toward inadvertent Luddite territory.

This may have something to do with beginning my career in desktop support. I eyed every new toy and new release suspiciously. You always needed a patch or a config change to make stuff work correctly. And after a full day of dealing with "known features," when I came home, the last thing I wanted to do was find the quirks on my own time. Let someone else beta test, was my motto.

So a little over a year ago, reluctantly, I purchased a refurbished second-gen Kindle from w00t for a very reasonable price. And, lo, it was a very good purchase indeed.

My single best discovery for making the Kindle viable for me was the Weightless Books store and e-magazine subscriptions.

Last November, I subscribed to Apex, Lightspeed/Fantasy, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld, and Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet. And it's been fantastic. I love all the new content I get to read for one low price.

If you've never had an e-subscription before--especially through a seller other than Amazon--it's really easy. When you buy from Weightless, you can either choose to automatically deliver new issues to your Kindle (for a small fee to Amazon) or you can have your issues delivered to an interim folder at Amazon called "Personal Documents" for free. I do the second option.

In general, you need to tell Weightless Books what format you want and where to send the issues, assuming you want them sent somewhere. If you don't want to bother with Kindle delivery, you can choose to download issues manually each month instead.

To set up Kindle delivery at Weightless Books, buy your subscription and navigate to "My Library." Then you select your preferred format (MOBI in the case of Kindle). Next you need to enter an email address for delivery (More info at If you want to receive your issues for free, you can input the "free" address provided by Amazon, which looks something like, where xxx is your identifier. If you don't know your identifier go to Amazon and find the "Manage your Kindle" page and all the info is there.

While you're at the "Manage your Kindle" page you will also need to add the approved email addresses for Kindle delivery provided by Weightless Books, just so Amazon knows the emails aren't spam. Details at that link above.

Assuming you've input your address, new issues of the magazine are sent from Weightless Books to a "Personal Documents" folder in the "Manage your Kindle" section at Amazon. (You get notified by email when a new document appears there, so it's easy to keep track of.) And then you just have to use the drop down box next to each issue and select "Send to Kindle." Next time you turn on your Kindle wi-fi you'll receive your issue for free.

I let a few issues stack up and send them all over at once.

If you don't mind paying Amazon to receive magazine issues directly, you can use the regular Kindle email address and the issues should go straight to your Kindle reader. I prefer to keep it free, even if it means adding a manual step.

I love subscribing to e-versions of magazines for a few reasons. One: I constantly have new content to read all year long. Two: I get to read markets where I want to be published someday. It's all research. Three: As much as I like paper, the electronic versions are so handy and clutter-free. My smart phone has a Kindle app on it that syncs to the Kindle library stored at Amazon, so I can easily go from reading a story on my Kindle to reading it on my phone, without losing my place in the story.

Now that it's been a full year of reading on my Kindle, I can definitely say this is a good thing. I highly recommend e-subscriptions, and Weightless Books, in particular. And if you're wondering, I wasn't paid anything to say so.

1 comment:

fleclerc said...

Hi, you might be interested in looking at alternatives to Amazon for newspaper and magazine subscriptions. The 2 services I am aware of package online content for your kindle and deliver it daily to your kindle as personal document. Since the source is online, you don't get the content that requires paid subscription but this is still great for a number of newspapers (for some it's difficult to tell the difference with Amazon's version) and it's free or cost only a fraction of what Amazon charges. is the service I am using, but apparently they are not taking any new users, not sure why. I recently tried because one title was missing from kindleman and I am happy with what I got.