I have a Kindle DX and mostly use it for listening to (text to speech capability) books I bought on the Amazon Kindle store site while I drive.

I'm interested in knowing if it is possible to somehow change non-DRM books from other sites (Humble eBook bundle for instance) so that the Kindle would play audio in these books as well.

How can I modify the files, or trick the Kindle into activating text-to-speech for these non-Amazon books?

See image 1 -> Kindle store bought e-book with voice enabled menu:enter image description here

See image 2 -> Non-Kindle DRM free other store bought (in this case a Wikipedia generated ebook)Audio not enabled

As you can see voice is enabled for the Amazon bought book, but not the other ebook. I need a way to enable this for ebooks (for instance ebooks bought from the Humble ebook bundle) that are DRM free, but I still want to listen to whilst driving.


It seems that PDF as a format as not readable by the Kindle DX.

The route I've found after trying various avenues:

  1. Import non-DRM ebooks from other vendor/location to Calibre
  2. Set your export device to Kindle DX
  3. Mobi format the ebook and click on convert
  4. Transfer ebook to Kindle DX

Mobi format allows the Kindle DX TTS engine to read any book, regardless of Amazon DRM.


Not having a Kindle (any more), I can still point to some pertinent information:

First, it is quite easy to copy files into your Kindle. Some methods are discussed in the article
Three Easy Ways to Load Non-Amazon Books on Your Kindle Fire.

My own Kindle was not the Kindle Fire, but I found it very easy to plug it into my home network, as it externalized a network share that I could copy files to.

The files should go on the Kindle into the Audible folder (if that is its name).

Second, the ebooks have to be in an audio format that the Kindle can understand.
For audio I believe that this is .mp3 or .aax.

If they are not in a compatible format, you could use a tool to convert before copying.
If you need to find a good conversion tool, please add to your post the format of your audio ebooks.


You can convert the text files to speech on your computer, then transfer the audio files in .mp3 format to the Kindle.

If you wish the Kindle to natively read text files, the following article claims that this hidden ability (hidden because of pressure by copyright holders) still exists and can be re-enabled: how do you make the kindle read to you.

The article says :

To make the Kindle “read aloud” function work, follow these steps:

  1. Press the “text” key. This is the key marked with the symbol "Aa".

  2. Use the 5-way controller to highlight the “Text-to-Speech” option.

  3. Press down on the 5-way controller to select “turn on.” You should begin to hear the text of your book spoken aloud through the Kindle’s external speakers. If you wish, you can plug in headphones to listen privately.

(I have no idea if this procedure will work for your Kindle model.)

  • Thanks for the answer but this is not what I want. I specifically want the text files, be it whatever format, to use the Kindle's Text-to-Speech system. Not audio files, but pure text files. This is enabled for store bought books, but not for other formats. – Forkrul Assail Oct 28 '12 at 14:52
  • You could do the text-to-speech conversion on your PC and transfer the .mp3 files to the Kindle. The google query of "text to speech mp3" gives heaps of answers. – harrymc Oct 28 '12 at 15:05
  • I've done that in the past, but I want to specifically modify the ebook files to trick the Kindle into allowing TTS on the device. A 500k file is much smaller than 10 hours of audio transferred to the device. – Forkrul Assail Oct 29 '12 at 12:07
  • It seems like there is a way, which I added above. If the described procedure doesn't work for your Kindle, then I don't see another way than transferring generated audio files. – harrymc Oct 30 '12 at 6:56
  • harrymc - I know how to activate text to speech - I've been using this feature for ages, which brings me to the specificity of my question. How do I enable TTS (which is disable by Amazon) on non-Amazon store bought books. I've edited my question to reflect the situation better. – Forkrul Assail Oct 30 '12 at 9:40

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