March 8, 2023
Recently, some changes were brought into the Amazon Shopping and Amazon Kindle apps that made it impossible to buy Kindle books using those apps on your phone. I’ve had a lot of readers saying they’re finding it difficult to order books now, because they don’t have access to a laptop or desktop computer.
So, to make it easier, I thought I’d explain the process step by step so that, should you wish to buy any of my ebooks on Amazon Kindle (like One For the Ages, say, but it works for anyone else’s books, too), you’ll be able to do so without any difficulty. And so, dear reader, I present to you…
First of all, a very brief explanation as to why Amazon removed the option to buy Kindle books directly through their apps first.
OK, maybe that’s a little too brief. The slightly longer answer is that Apple, and now presumably Google, want a cut of all digital sales made via the apps on their respective stores. I believe with Apple it’s something like 30%. So, if Amazon sold a Kindle ebook at £3.00, then Apple would take £1.00. That’s basically Amazon’s entire cut of a Kindle book, with the other 70% going to the author.
So, annoying as it is that we can’t buy ebooks on Kindle directly through the Amazon or Kindle apps, I understand the reasoning behind it.
Fortunately, it’s still pretty easy to buy the books from your phone. You just have to avoid using any of the Amazon apps, and instead use your mobile web browser.
Depending on your phone, your default browser might be Chrome (Android phones) or Safari (iPhones). You might also have installed a different browser like Firefox, Microsoft Edge, etc. It doesn’t matter, the process is exactly the same.
STEP ONE: OPEN YOUR BROWSER
I’m using Google Chrome, even thought I’m on an iPhone. Like I say, it doesn’t matter which browser you use.
STEP TWO: GO TO AMAZON
In the menu bar, type Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk, or whatever your local Amazon is. I don’t recommend pasting a link into the browser, because it will often try and redirect you to the Amazon Shopping app. This can be convenient when shopping for things that aren’t Kindle books, but when you are trying to buy a Kindle book, it’s going to scupper you immediately.
Depending on if you’re logged on or not, the screen you see might be slightly different to the one above. If the top of the screen shows your name somewhere, then you’re logged in. Skip to STEP FOUR. If you’re being prompted to ‘Sign In’ like I am in this screenshot, then tap there (I have two options here – up the top of the screen and in that box on the left) and you’ll be taken to the login screen.
STEP THREE: LOGIN
If you’re anything like me, this will be the trickiest part of the whole process, because you’ll have no idea what your password is. If you know it, great! Go ahead and fill out your email address and password and log in. If you’re the only person who uses your phone, go ahead and check the box to stay logged in. That way, you won’t have to go through this step again.
Below are both stages of the login process – email address is the first step, then clicking ‘Continue’ will let you fill in your password. If you can’t remember your Amazon login details, click the ‘Forgot Password’ link and you’ll be able to reset it.
Once you’re logged in, the battle’s almost over. Hang in there, you’re doing great. We’re going to get through this, I promise. You will get that new Kindle book you wanted.
STEP FOUR: SEARCH THE AMAZON KINDLE STORE
There be gold in that there search bar up the top of the page. Anything your heart desires can be found there, provided it is currently sold by Amazon, or one of Amazon’s marketplace sellers. Today, I’m searching for the new book by David J. Gatward – ‘The Dark Hours’ – the latest in the brilliant DCI Harry Grimm series.
As you can see, as I type, Amazon tries to make my life a bit easier by guessing what I’m after. Either hit the Return key on your phone’s keyboard, or tap the suggested search result. You’ll then be taken to the search results page, which will show a big list of Kindle books (and probably some other things.)
Ideally, like above, the book you’re after will be at the top of the list. Sometimes you might have to scroll down past a couple of ads for other books before you find it. Either way, it should be close to the top. Tap on that book, and you’ll be taken to…
STEP FIVE: THE AMAZON KINDLE BOOK PAGE
We’ve arrived at our final destination. As you’ll see from my screen, I’m a member of Kindle Unlimited, so I could potentially borrow this book at no extra cost as part of my membership. More on this in a minute.
There’s also a link telling me I can buy the book for £3.99. Much as it galls me to give Dave any of my hard earned money, for the purposes of this demo, I’m going to do just that. You can see two screenshots below, the one on the left showing the ‘Want to buy for £3.99’ link, and how the screen changes once I click the link.
I’m going to go ahead and click the ‘Buy Now’ button.
STEP SIX: REJOICE!
All being well, you’ll then get this notification to let you know that you have successfully purchased the book. I could also go ahead and pre-order Dave’s next book from this screen if I wanted, but I’ve already given him almost four quid so far today, which is quite enough. But the option is there if you want it.
When I flick over to my Amazon Kindle app, or fire up my Kindle ereader now, the book will be available for me to read. Mission accomplished!
As long as you use the mobile browser, you can now trawl through Amazon however you like and buy any Kindle books you care to buy. You don’t need to always search for a specific book like above, you just need to make sure you’re browsing the store using the mobile web browser, and not any of Amazon’s apps.
A quick note on Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited Subscription Service
I mentioned Kindle Unlimited above, and how it would let me pick up this latest book from Dave as part of my membership. Membership is currently £9.49 a month, so assuming I read 3 books a month which are enrolled in Kindle Unlimited (not all books are, so be aware of that) then I’ve saved money. Also, because you’re not making purchases and are instead using your subscription, you’re able to borrow Kindle ebooks directly from the Amazon Kindle app, meaning you don’t have to do any of the stuff above.
Amazon is currently offering a 30 day free trial of Kindle Unlimited in the UK, so if you want to give it a try, click here.
I hope all that makes it easier for you to buy your ebooks on Amazon’s Kindle store now. Once you’ve done it a couple of times, it’ll become second nature (although it’ll always be a little bit of a pain in the arse!)
Thanks for that, JD!
Yes thanks, JD, I did think I had sorted this ethos out, until one night ar say 1.00am – having finished one of your books, or David’s-I was looking to get the ne t one in the series instead of sleeping – but I messed it up – now I’m acknowledgement on track. Cheers!
If you buy a free trial with kindle unlimited, don’t cancel it on the day you buy it ( you still get the free trial but you don’t end up being signed up automatically). Put a note in your diary to remind you to cancel and when you do you sometimes get a deal of some sort to keep you going a bit longer