You love your Kindle, but you hate the DRM. What do you do? Well, if you like, we'll tell you how to strip the copy-protection from your e-books, leaving a plain, vanilla e-book file in the format of your choice. This doesn't just work for Kindle book, either. The method, detailed by Apprentice Alf, will also remove DRM from Mobipocket, Barnes and Noble, Adobe Digital Editions and Fictionwise books, making these stores much more attractive to buyers.
For the meat of the how-to, you should visit Apprentice Alf's blog post, which is both straightforward and detailed. I managed to get it up and running in a couple minutes. For a quick version – focussing on the Kindle, read on.
First, get a copy of the free e-book manager, Calibre. This catalogs and converts your e-books from format to format. With a couple of plugins, it will also strip all DRM from them.
Next, you need those plugins, also linked from Alf's post. Depending on what kind of books you want to fix-up, you may have to configure these plugins. For the Kindle, you need only install it in the right place.
Then download Kindle for Mac or Window, and from there download the books you have already bought and want cracked. Then locate the downloaded files on your hard-drive. Mac users will find them in a folder called My Kindle Content, inside the documents folder. These are titled with non-human-friendly names like 'B002AU7MEK_EBOK.azw', so just pick anything that seems to be a big enough file for an e-book (500k-plus). Then drag these files into Calibre.
That's it. Your files are now DRM-free, and you can use Calibre to convert then to any format. EPUB is the one you need for the iPad or iPhone, but you can choose pretty much anything.
Oddly, since I tried this over the weekend, Kindle books have become a lot more attractive to me. Previously I was buying novels and things I might read once only. Now I'm looking at cookbooks and reference books, pricier purchases that I didn't make before in case one day I stopped using the Kindle, or if Amazon decided to revoke my ownership of a book like it did, infamously, with Orwell's 1984. Now, with my books safely converted, I can buy anything, and use it anywhere.
Ebook Formats, DRM and You — A Guide for the Perplexed [Apprentice Alf]
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