I recently had one of the more frustrating and yet interesting and educational experiences when trying to buy a ham radio book on-line. The book I was after was “Amateur Radio and The Great Outdoors”. I wanted to get a quick education on portable operating for an idea I had for some portable antennas for www.OutagamieCountyARES.org use. I visited this site and submitted my PayPal payment. Unlike most of the sites I had made purchases through this site did not redirect me to a download page immediately after my payment was completed. Instead, I was told via the website that the book would be e-mailed to me. The site did not tell me how long it should take for the e-mail to arrive.
In the reviews of the book there were comments indicating that the book had grammatical errors. That lead me to believe that perhaps the book was self-published and that it was from a small operation. I thought that perhaps the Author would have a day job and maybe it would be that night before I received an e-mail with the book. The book never did arrive.
Thinking that perhaps this was an old site and maybe the Author had abandoned the site I opened a dispute with PayPal. The Author responded quickly that he had in fact e-mailed the book. I will skip that back-and-forth we went through, all very professionally. And yes, I have a good e-mail service and I did check my spam and deleted items folders. Eventually I was given a special direct download webpage and a probable one-time password to obtain my book download file. File in hand I was quite happy – until I searched for the instructions on how to get the non-Kindle formatted book file converted and uploaded to Amazon as a Kindle file.
Having a corporate IT Audit background I am not at all afraid to quickly explore menu structures and experiment with uses of menu options. In doing so on my Kindle app I found a “Send-to-Kindle Email Address” in the settings. On a hunch (thanks Big Guy!) I sent an e-mail to that address with the mobi (non-Kindle) formatted file attached. Almost immediately I received an e-mail saying that the file had in fact been converted to Kindle format by Amazon and was available on my account to be sent to my tablet, phone, etc.. I run the free Kindle app on my tablet, phone and PC for reading books on.
Less than a minute later I was able to open the ham radio book on my tablet and could begin reading a wonderful story that I had anticipated for some time. I immediately responded via the PayPal dispute facility that I had received my book and was now a “happy camper” – pun intended. I thanked the Author for working with me to resolve the issue. I also suggested to him that he consider the normal processing routine in the future.
I was so impressed with the interface and speed of the process at Amazon that I decided to write this blog post to document the events. My hope is that some other ham radio operator will read this post and be able to spare themselves the frustration that I felt until I worked through the process to a successful conclusion.
There are a number of other formats that can be converted to Kindle format. For more information on that explore the Amazon Kindle site. I suspect that any like that I would publish to that information would be subject to quick change as technologies evolve.
Until the next time – stay radio active!
Jon E. Kreski – AB9NN
www.AB9NN.com – Please visit often!
Member – Fox Cities Amateur Radio Club (FCARC) – Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh area.