What to do if nothing happens

When you have finished specifying the e-book you want, the following things happen:

  1. Our web server creates a Kindle e-book according to your specification.
  2. Our web server sends the e-book to Amazon.
  3. Amazon process the e-book.
  4. Amazon deliver the e-book to your Kindle.

Steps 1 and 2 normally take between ten minutes and an hour, depending on the size of the e-book and how many other e-books are in the queue at the time. At the end of step 2 we will send you an email telling you that the e-book has been sent to Amazon. After that, it is out of our hands.

If half an hour has passed after you receive the confirmation email from us, and nothing has appeared on your Kindle, it is time to look into what might be going on. Amazon send no error reports at all, they either deliver the e-book or they don't, so if they haven't, a bit of detective work is in order.

New (from August 2022): An Amazon error message. The new improved Amazon systems sometimes fail and send an error message. You can read all about this here.

1. Check the Kindle email address

Every Kindle (and Kindle app) has an email address ending in @kindle.com. If you choose the wrong one, it isn't like sending an email to a wrong address – you don't get any report, but you don't get your e-book either.

This page explains how to check the Kindle email address.

2. Check the "from" email address

The e-book is sent to Amazon from your own email address, which you entered when filling in the form you used to request the e-book. People don't often need to type their email addresses, so it's possible that you may have mistyped it. Go back and check.

In addition, you have to make sure that your email address is listed in Amazon's "Approved Personal Document E-mail List" for your account. If it isn't, the e-book won't bounce back to you: it will simply be discarded.

This page explains how to check Amazon's Approved Personal Document E-mail List.

Once an e-book has been discarded by Amazon for either of the above reasons, it will have disappeared entirely. So after correcting the cause, re-send the e-book from this page (or this one if it's in Latin).

2a. Respond to Amazon’s confirmation of your email address

Sometimes Amazon will send you an email asking for confirmation that this is your address and you did send a Personal Document from it. They give you 48 hours to respond, and if they have not heard from you by then, they will delete the e-book instead of delivering it.

Depending on your spam filter, this confirmation email may have gone into spam, so you might need to look for it there.

3. Check your wi-fi

Your Kindle needs to be connected to the Internet to receive e-books. If, like us, you turn off the wi-fi most of the time, to save the battery, turn it on!!!!

Wait a while after turning it on, and with any luck your e-book will arrive.

4. Check your Personal Documents list

A good way of narrowing down the cause of any problems is to see whether Amazon have rejected and discarded your e-book, or accepted it but failed to deliver it. Amazon's web site has a list of Personal Documents. Here is how to find it:

  1. In "My Account", select "Manage Your Content and Devices" (not "Apps and Devices", which is different).
  2. In "Manage Your Content and Devices", look at the "Your Content" tab, and set the "Show" option to say "Docs" rather than "Books".
  3. You will then see all the Personal Documents that have landed in your account.

If your e-book is in the list, then the problem is delivery from Amazon to your Kindle; if it is not in the list, then one of the key email addresses must have been wrong or not registrered.

5. Ask Amazon

If nothing else works, ask Amazon.

Your experience may be different, but in general we find Amazon's staff in this area to be more helpful than useful. (Amazon's great strength is in customer service rather than technical support). You can make life simpler for them and for yourself by not mentioning Universalis. All they need to know is that a Personal Document has been sent from your email address to your Kindle's email address. The particular machine that did the sending won't influence what goes on in Amazon's systems.