How-To Geek

Preview and Purchase Ebooks with Kindle for PC

Want to look over a new book, or buy it immediately in ebook format?  Here’s how you can preview and purchase most new books from your PC the easy way.

Most new books, including almost all New York Times Bestsellers, are available in ebook format from Amazon’s Kindle store.  The Kindle store also includes numerous free ebooks, including out-of-print classics and a surprising amount of recent books.  With the free Kindle for PC reader, you can read any of these ebooks without having to purchase a Kindle device.

Preview Ebooks Before you Purchase

Sometimes, it can be hard to know if you want to purchase a new book without reading some of it first.  With Kindle for PC, however, you can download a sample of any ebook available for free.  The sample usually includes the table of contents, forward or introduction, and often part or all of the first chapter.

To get an ebook sample, find the book you want in the Kindle store (link below).


Now, under the Try it free box, select the correct computer or device to send the sample to, and click Send Sample now.


Amazon will thank you for your order, even though this is only a free preview.  Click the Go to Kindle for PC button to open Kindle and read your ebook preview.


Or, if Kindle is already running, press the Refresh button in the top right corner to check for new ebooks and previews.


Kindle will synchronize and download the previews you selected.


The most recently downloaded items show up on the top left.  All sample books have a red “Sample” bar on the bottom of their cover, and they also include links to Buy or view more info about it on it’s cover.  Double-click your sample to start reading it.


Your ebook sample will usually open at the introduction or beginning of the first chapter, but you can also view the index, cover, and more.


When you reach the end of the sample book, you can click a link to buy the book or view more details about it.  Strangely, both of these links currently take you to the ebook’s page on, but perhaps in the future the Buy link will directly let you purchase the book.


Or, you can also click Buy Now on a sample book directly from your Kindle library.


If you clicked one of these links, you will be returned to the ebook’s page on Amazon.  Choose the PC or Kindle you want the book delivered to, and this time, select Buy Now with 1-Click.


Add your payment info if you’re not already setup for 1-Click Shopping, and then you’ll be shown the same Thank you page as before.  Refresh Kindle for PC, and your new ebook will automatically download.  Strangely, the sample ebook is not automatically removed, so you can right-click on the sample and select Delete this Book.  Additionally, your last-read page in the sample is not synced to the purchased book, so you may have to find your place again.


Now, enjoy your full ebook!

Download Free Books for Kindle

The Kindle Store has an amazing amount of free ebooks.  Some free books may only be free for a limited time as a promotion, while others, such as old classics, may always be free.  Either which way, once you download it, you can keep it forever.

When you find a free ebook you want, select the Kindle or PC you want to download it to and click “Buy now with 1-Click”.  Notice that this book shows it’s price is $0.00, but the button still says Buy now.  Rest assured, if the book’s price show up as $0.00, you will not be charged anything for downloading it.


Your ebook will download as usual after your next refresh.  Note that you can still download the sample first if you want, but since the book is free, just download the whole thing and delete it if you don’t want it.

Redownload your Purchased or Free Books

If you install Kindle on a new PC or delete a book from your library, you can always re-download it from your Amazon account.  Browse to the Manage your Kindle page on Amazon (link below) sign in with your Amazon account, and scroll down to the list of your purchased content.


Select the book you wish to download, then choose the Kindle or PC you want to download it to and press Go.

Note: There is a “Delete this title” button right below this.  If you press the Delete button, you will not ever be able to re-download it.


Or, you can download the book directly from the Archived Items tab in Kindle on your other PC.


And, if you have your Kindle content on multiple computers, your reading will be synced via Whispersync.  You can start reading on your desktop, and then resume where you left off from your laptop.



With these tips and tricks, it is much easier to preview and purchase new books, find and download free ebooks, and re-download any you’ve deleted from your PC.  Have fun filling up your digital library!


Manage your Kindle account

Matthew digs up tasty bytes about Windows, Virtualization, and the cloud, and serves them up for all to enjoy!

  • Published 04/21/10

Comments (7)

  1. DiAnne

    As an avid reader, I considered the Kindle. But after research, I discovered that with Kindle, they use a proprietary format and you’re basically stuck buying all of your books from Amazon (also known as the “Apple Concept of Sales”).

    I looked at options and bought the Barnes & Noble Nook. Better device, basically the same price. But the benefit of the Nook is that it can use the (practically) standard ePub format as well as .pdf and .pdb. I can get my books from anywhere (except Amazon). Even the libraries across the nation support ePub. Reading books for free from the library beats shelling out $15 per book to Amazon any day.

    Previewing books on the computer works, too. Just go to

    No, this wasn’t meant as an advertisement. But since nobody knows what the heck a Nook is, I wanted to throw what I consider to be a far superior alternative option into the mix. Just because B&N doesn’t seem to know how to advertise like Kindle does, doesn’t mean people shouldn’t get to learn the difference.

  2. Matthew Guay

    @DiAnne – Thanks for sharing your experience and opinion. I have used the B&N ebook reader for the computer in the past, and should look at it again. Books do seem to be cheaper on the Kindle store, though; also, Kindle for PC (and the Kindle device, I believe, though I’ve never actually used one) can read ePub books. The Nook does look like a nice device, though. For me, my netbook is my ereader, and the great thing there is I can read books from the Kindle store, B&N, Sony, Adobe Digital Editions, and more :)

  3. Van Kirby

    I saw a small reader device for downloading books from Kindle. Where can I buy this device?

  4. sgage

    Neither the Kindle nor the Kindle for PC will read epub books – just about the only reader that won’t read ’em.

    – sgage

  5. fathima

    hi hello

  6. fathima

    please send me ebook

  7. Matthew Guay

    hi machan

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!