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Guest Post: Penguin Group Kindle books from OverDrive don't work with the Kindle app

This guest post is from Sarah Carlson, Reference Librarian at Stoughton Public Library.

PenguinI have had a few interactions with patrons over the last couple days regarding OverDrive and the Kindle app. In a nutshell, if you have an iPad, or other device on which you are running the Kindle app, and you don't own a Kindle device, you will run into problems downloading books published by Penguin Group. Penguin has now made it so in order to transfer their books via OverDrive you need to connect your Kindle to a PC and transfer via USB cable. When you are taken to the Amazon page, where usually you just hit "Get library book," it now gives you a message something to this effect.

You can tell when you are browsing the books who the publishing company is, but the publisher is not mentioned in your list of "checked out" items. It is also hard to look the books up in Amazon to find the publisher because it gives specific imprints and might not say "Penguin Group." So, it is best to either steer clear of these while browsing for your books in OverDrive if you are using a tablet or PC that has the Kindle app -or- download the free OverDrive app and then choose the EPUB or PDF version and read with the OverDrive app. FYI there is no way for SCLS or OverDrive to change a Kindle copy to a EPUB/PDF once a patron has it checked out. OverDrive Support recommends returning the title and placing a new hold on the EPUB/PDF format.


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There's an added complication with this in that the Kindle Fire does not come with a USB cord. I got this from the PUBLIB list (poster named Pat):

"Most of the Kindles have a USB port, but not the Kindle Fire, which has only a charging port. Since I have a Kindle Fire myself, I investigated the matter and was able, through trial and error, to figure out what to do.

Kindle Fire owners will need to purchase a special cable, called a USB Cable 2.0 A Male to Micro B Male. This cable connects the Kindle Fire charging port to a regular USB slot. You have to be careful to purchase a cable with two male ends or it won't work. Also--be sure that you get the MICRO, not the MINI.

The cheapest one that I found on amazon.com was from a company called BuyCheapCables at a cost of $3.89 directly from amazon or $1.29 from one of their vendors. I was able to download the book with no problem using that cable. Amazon also offers their own AmazonBasics cable for $6.08."

When I sent Pat's comments out to the SCLS Announce list, Sarah Hartman from Middleton pointed out this tidbit about the micro cord:

"The Kindle Fire has a standard micro USB port. I would suggest that, before staff tell patrons they will need to buy a new cable (or come into the library to use a library cable), ask them to try the USB cables for other devices they have in their home. They very well might already have a micro USB cable for their cell phone, camera, or another device, since it is a common, standard cable size. I already had 3 of them when I purchased my Kindle Fire."

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