3 ways to add own ebooks to any iOS book reading app

If you downloaded a book app to your iPhone and iPad, you can add your own books to it – and you don’t have to connect your device with a cable to a computer to do it via iTunes desktop app.

There may be some exceptions, but the three ways described below should work for most of book reading applications in the iTunes AppStore.

One thing to remember is that most apps support pdf and epub files (some, like Readmill or Bluefire Reader, can deal with Adobe DRM-ed files). If you use Kindle app, you can add files in mobi format, not epub.

1. Open an email attachment in a Mail iOS app

The most common method is to send an email to yourself and open it in a Mail app on the iPhone.

It’s important that you open the email in Apple’s native Mail app, not other mail apps – they don’t handle attachments.

Add own books to iOS book app - via email 1 step

When you tap on the attachment, you should see a window with icons of all apps that can handle the file. As you see, I’ve got on my iPhone three apps that support epub format: iBooks, Readmill, and Kobo.

Add own books to iOS book app - via email 2 step

Select the app you want to use and it will open immediately with a book either already loaded or loading.

Using this method will also let you add the attachment to the cloud service app like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Devices needed: computer, iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch.

2. Use iOS cloud service app (Dropbox, Google Drive)

Using cloud service app is actually the other way to add own books to book reader. If you often use Dropbox or Google Drive, you probably have relevant apps on your iOS device.

Upload the book you want to read on your computer to a Dropbox/Google Drive location. Then open a relevant app on iOS device, locate the file and tap on it. The same window with icons of book reading apps will appear. Pick the app you want to use. Job done.

Add own books via Dropbox or Google Drive app

Devices needed: computer, iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch.

3. Use Safari to open a file from url address

Some sites with free ebooks (best ones are Project Gutenberg and Feedbooks) have tailored their interfaces to mobile devices, and on top of that they have clear url addresses of ebook files.

Thanks to that you can easily access and browse these sites directly from a Safari browser on your iPhone or iPad.

When you tap on a link to a particular file format, a window will appear with a top right button linking to recently used app. If you want to pick up another app, tap on Open in… button in the top left corner.

Add own books to iPhone iPad via Safari

What you have to double-check is the url address. If it ends with .epub, you’ll download epub file. If you are looking for a book for your Kindle app, take it from url address ending with .mobi.

Devices needed: iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch.

• • •

Some apps offer more advanced and convenient ways to add own books and personal documents.

For instance, Kindle iOS app has a specific email account for sending own files. If you have an iPhone and iPad, and you’ve got Kindle app on both, each of them has a separate email. If you send a file to this email, it will be added directly to the relevant app, so there is no need to download the file from the virtual Kindle bookshelf.

Other apps, like Marvin or Documents by Readdle, let users download books without leaving the app. It may be performed either by a built-in web browser, cloud service (if you connect it to the app), or by OPDS catalog.

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