Sunday, 16 December 2012

Revising Tip: Make Use of Your Kindle

While living in Vancouver, I became addicted to my Kindle. It made the 40 minute bus rides to campus much more enjoyable. There was only one problem. Reading in moving vehicles gives me wicked headaches. Luckily, most Kindle books can be read with the text-to speech function. The automated voice sometimes pronounces words phonetically, but it isn't terrible. Yes, audiobooks are better, but they are also more expensive. I've become very well-acquainted with the automated voice, and it gave me an idea for editing: adding my work-in-progress manuscript to my kindle.

I know this is not exactly a new idea. People have been able to add documents to their Kindles for years, and no, you can't edit, at least not on my model. I can't speak to the newer models.

How do you do it?

First you need to know your Kindle email address. If you're thinking what the heck is that or I don't have one, both thoughts occurred to me as well. Hit the menu button. Click settings. Go to page two. You'll find it there. It should be something like JaneDoe89_37@ You can email a file to that address, but it might cost you money. No, I don't know how much, but you can take the same email address and change to and it should still work. I did it. You will then get an email saying you have a file wait to download. I went through a variety of steps including plugging my Kindle into my computer. Somehow it worked. I synced my Kindle and my document came up. It's really not hard. I just made it harder than it needed to be, but really it was pretty easy.

Why do it?

I plugged in my headphones, turned on the text-to-speech and listened. I had already gone through one edit, but I found a few typos that I'd missed. I didn't catch them by sight, but I could hear them, so I had a pen and paper nearby and made a note so that I could fix the mistakes on my laptop. The cool thing was it read like a real book. It was just as good as the published books I'd read this fall. I know I'm biased, but doing this not only helped me to catch typos, it made my WIP seem a little more real. It reaffirmed my confidence in the book.

- Beth

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