Update #1 (16 October 2022): Currently EPUB titles are still incorrectly handled by Amazon (taken from the filename rather than the EPUB metadata), but they have made a change to correctly extract the author name from EPUBs. So you should no longer be seeing ‘Unknown’ as the author for new documents sent to your Kindle account.

Amazon is currently having trouble correctly handling EPUB metadata sent through its Kindle Personal Documents Service. If you send EPUBs to your Kindle account via email, or use a third party application like our Push to Kindle service to send web articles, you will notice a difference in how your documents are displayed on your Kindle account.

Amazon previously extracted the title and author from the EPUB files it processed, and displayed those in the Kindle library view. Recently they appear to have broken this functionality and now extract the title from the filename, and set the author to “Unknown”.

Screenshot from Amazon Kindle library showing incorrect metadata handling.
Push to Kindle article with author set to ‘medialens.org’, now shown as ‘Unknown’

Notice in the image above, the title appears correct because we name our files based on the article title. If you download this article as an EPUB from Push to Kindle and rename the filename to ‘test.epub’ and send it to your Kindle address, the title above would show as “test”.

Amazon recently announced that it would discontinue support for its MOBI format in the Personal Documents Service in favour of EPUB. But this particular issue currently affects both MOBI and EPUB handling.

Nothing appears to have changed when you actually open the book on the Kindle. Both the title and author appear correctly. But in the library view, where you’re browsing your books and documents, the information no longer correctly reflects the document metadata.

How to reproduce the problem

  1. Download one of the EPUB versions of Alice in Wonderland from Project Gutenberg
  2. The file will be named either ‘pg28885-images.epub’ or ‘pg28885.epub’
  3. Send this file as an attachment to your @kindle.com address (you’ll find it on your Kindle device or app)
  4. Wait for the file to reach your Kindle account
  5. Check how it’s displayed on your Kindle app or device

This is what we see in the Kindle library:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll displayed as “pg28885 by Unknown” in the Kindle library

What can you do?

Please contact Amazon Customer Services and report the problem to them. You can direct them to this page for more information.

Our experience with trying to alert the team to this issue has not been great at all, so hopefully with more people trying it will eventually reach the right people who can fix it.

How does this affect Push to Kindle?

Until Amazon fixes this, if you use our browser extensions, you will see all new articles appearing with the author “Unknown”. For some non-English articles, the title may also appear incorrectly.

If you use our Android app and use the ‘Kindle’ destination (which sends via the Kindle app) you will see the title and author set to the fields in the Kindle app’s ‘Send to Kindle’ screen. Previously you could ignore the fields the Kindle app displayed because the metadata would get extracted from the EPUB, now the title and author in the library view will be set to whatever is in these fields, but that won’t reflect the actual metadata unless you manually enter the correct info.

More information

This problem appears to have started around September 22. Here are some forum posts from Mobile Read and Reddit discussing this isssue:

  • Send to Kindle won’t send author name from metadata.
  • Calibre Epubs/Send to Kindle/Metadata issue
  • Email to Kindle now loses Author, Cover

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