How To Read the eBook You Bought Directly from Me? (via Gumroad)

Darling Gentle Reader, I use a vendor interface called Gumroad in order to sell and give away books directly to you. This allows me to cut out the middlemen and not use companies like Amazon, who are miserable to deal with.

However, I understand that Gumroad may not be a comfortable interface for some, and that it’s frustrating to deal with a new platform, so I appreciate you trying. If you’re struggling to actually buy the ebook at all, that’s a Gumroad Customer Service issue, however if you ought it and can’t read it? I wrote this guide.

First of all, if you created a Gumroad account the latest version of the book will always be in your Gumroad library. If you preorders and got the sample and the full book is now out, the full version will also be in that library. You should also have received an email from me directly with the updated book attached.

I also use Gumroad for the occasional audiobook and print book sale. But this blog post is just about ebooks!

Header How To Read the eBook You Bought Directly from Me? via Gumroad

How To Read the eBooks You Bought Directly from Me?

So you got the ebook from me (yay, thank you!). You will receive a splash page directly after that purchase that looks (something) like this:

Gumroad Checkout Splash Page

Also, Gumroad will email you a receipt (using whatever email address you gave them). That digital receipt from Gumroad looks something like this:

Gumroad Email Purchase

Sometimes the email takes a few minutes depending on how fast your email server is. If you never got any email from Gumroad, consider which email address was entered, or checking spam?

  • PLEASE Do not forward this email to a different email address and try to open the purchase from there, that’s what people do when they are stealing a book. Gumroad will not let you do this.

When you click on “To Download Click Here!” BOTH of the above (the splash page and the email) will take you to a page that looks something like this:

Gumroad Download Page

  1. Do NOT download on your mobile device and then use Gumroad’s app. It sucks. (I mean you can, of course, you can do whatever you want, I just wouldn’t advise it.)
  2. If you’re having Gumroad sign-in issues, contact Gumroad customer service.

Okay so you now actually own the book, Gumroad believes this (and so do I). If all else fails you can log into Gumroad and download it form there.

So now I need to know. Do you want to… ?

Read on Your Phone or a Tablet (like an iPad)

  1. Pick up that phone or tablet, turn it on.
  2. Go to your email app.
  3. Open up the email from Gumroad with the book in it.
  4. Click the download button
  5. Please don’t “Open in app” – that takes you to the Gumroad Library app, it sucks, don’t use it
  6. Please don’t “Download all” – this will put all the books files (there are 2-3 of them) into a dropbox or onto your device, it’s overkill
  7. INSTEAD, scroll down to the download options at the bottom. Download the Kindle version if you use that app, or download the other .epub version
  8. If you have an Apple device it will ask you to download again at the very bottom of your screen, tap the word “Download”
  9. Then you will get a “Open in…” option, tap that
  10. Up will pop all the apps you have loaded on your device
  11. Choose Kindle if you’re using that app, or Kobo, or Apple’s Books or whatever.
  12. Choosing Kindle will pop up a “send to kindle option”, after clicking that, you’ll need to open the Kindle app and then download the new book, it may look like a .doc at first (but it isn’t).
  13. Books & Kobo will load the book directly right then and there and open the app for you.

How I tested this? On an old iPad mini with the Kindle app, and then with the Kobo app. On an iPhone 12 with the Apple Books app.

Still not working? You can try downloading the epub to your computer and then emailing it to yourself, bypassing Gumroad’s system. Then follow the “download from email” instructions from the app you prefer. (Just google it + the app’s name.) If that still doesn’t work, you’ll need to consult the customer service of the app. Or you can just read it on your computer. See next section.


Note: I mentioned in a recent Chirrup that I was exploring alternatives to the Kindle app. I’ve chosen Kobo on my iPad to try first. Kobo has the highest rated ereading app, and I enjoy working with the company and parent corporation (Rakutan) as an author.

I discovered the “mail it to yourself” method (detailed here) for books I already own (ARCs, direct sale purchase, oh and my own stuff) and it works great!

I used the Kobo App on a recent trip and so far so good. I have to say, I find it a lot more enjoyable to use than the Kindle app.

Therefore: Please consider Kobo my recommended ebook app

Dear Lord A on Gail's Destop

Read on Your Desktop/Laptop

  1. Go to your computer.
  2. Open your preferred browser and log into your email account.
  3. Open up the email from Gumroad confirming purchase.
  4. Click the download button.
  5. Choose to download the non-kindle ( .epub version.
  6. Navigate to wherever you have your computer set to download (mine goes to my desktop) or search for the title of the book
  7. Double click to open
  8. Your computer probably comes preloaded with some kind of ebook app already installed. If you have a very old or very bare computer you will be prompted to choose and app and may have to download something to read it with. Honestly thouhg, you got more tech problems than I can help you with at this juncture… viz my impossible parental units.

How I tested this? On a MacBook Pro 12 with the Apple Books app that came preinstalled.

Lilliput Holder Cat Kindle ebook read Gail Carriger

Read on Your Dedicated eReader (like a Kindle)

This is so complicated. And I’m assuming most of you are Kindle users.

So guess what? You get a video! Yay!

You can also try emailing the .epub to your Kindle device. But you must have your Amazon account set up perfectly to receive files, from Gumroad in particular.

How I tested this? On a new Kindle Paperwhite Signature using the built in email function. I do it all the time though to test my stuff so I’m not a good beta on this.

Still having issues? If you have an older Kindle, that device may still want the .mobi instead. That file type is supposed to be obsolete but I provide it just for this reason. So you’ll need to try everything again just with the .mobi file. If it’s still not working, you have a Kindle the problem is probably with Amazon and you must go through their customer service.

Still, if you haven’t updated your device in a while… there are so many bugs who knows what could be going wrong.

Look: Amazon in particular doesn’t make this easy because they want you to only buy from Amazon forever and ever. That’s their entire business model. And they want to force us authors to provide everything on Amazon – but you should know they take the biggest cut and they are the nastiest to authors in terms of contracts and service etc…

For further help with buying directly from Gail, please contact Gumroad Customer Service.

Gumroad, Inc.
548 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94104-5401

(650) 742-3913

[email protected]

If absolutely all else fails you can email me, forwarding your Gumroad receipt and I have one final nuclear option. However, you STILL must know how to sideload, open on your desktop, or download from an email to an app.

Okay, I’m exhausted.

Take care and in the immortal words of Lord Akeldama,

Don’t be food,

Miss Gail 


Dear Lord Aledama is available ONLy as a digital exclusive from me. So if you wanna play with this process…

Dear Lord A Gumroad Header


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