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Using My Kindle Fire to Proofread

After a three-year hiatus (the reasons why will be explained in another blog post), I had finally finished the next book in the Vista Security series, Edge of Trust, Vista Security book 3, which released in December 2015.  And I wanted to share the way I discovered that I think makes it much easier to proofread or do a little copy editing. A way that doesn’t include printing out hardcopy or staring cross-eyed at the computer screen for hours. And yes, I used it as well, on my upcoming release, Nia, Be Mine, a Vista Security prequel (coming soon, I promise!)

I have always made it a habit of reading my work aloud in the final polishing. But by this point, I’m thoroughly tired of the story (interpret that as: sick to death of it) and I find myself forgetting to read out loud and before I know it, I’m skimming.

Christian Suspense writer and friend Dale Amidei suggested a text to voice program, which sorry, I can’t remember what it was called. Dale, if you’re reading this, you can add what the name of the program is and the link to it in the comments. I checked it out but decided against it when I realized I would have to be sitting at the computer for hours more. I was tired of sitting at the computer. But while investigating this program it occurred to me I already had something like this—on my Kindle Fire! Maybe you already know this, but to me, it was practically revolutionary.

Okay, the chick (or dude, I think you can choose male or female), sounds kinda robotic, but to me, that makes it all the better because I have to pay attention and read along. And what is more cool about the Kindle Fire (and I’m betting most e-readers have this function) is that I can highlight typos and make notes.

First, I create a word document and then email it straight to my Kindle. (For those who don’t know how to do that, I’ll include instructions at the end).

 

It looks like this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, I just choose the text-to-speech feature and she starts reading. Her normal speed is pretty slow but over to the side, there’s an option to speed it up 1X, 1.5X, 2X, etc.  (That option doesn’t show up in my picture because I made the mistake of showing the text to speech option after I’d finished but you can see the little play button at the bottom of the page.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I come across a typo or a word I used too often, or one I don’t like, I highlight it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or when I want to add something or change something, then I click on the “note” option and type in a note.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So basically I can sit in my easy chair, let the Kindle read to me and do my polishing. Once I’m finished, I just scroll back through the document and make the changes on the computer.

Easy and fun!

Have you ever tried it? Or do you have any clever proofreading/copy-editing/polishing tips?

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BONUS INSTRUCTIONS: How to email yourself a Kindle document.

First, to find your Kindle email address:

Go to Amazon.com
Go to Your Accounts & Lists tab (top right to the left of the cart)
Click on the arrow
In the drop down box, in the far right column, scroll down and click on MANAGE YOUR CONTENT AND DEVICES (it will ask you to sign in here if you’re not already)
Click on the SETTINGS tab (far right)
scroll down to PERSONAL DOCUMENT SETTINGS (keep scrolling, you’ll get there)
Your Kindle email is in a blue bar under personal documents
(tip: When I use a Kindle email address, I add “free” to the address so Amazon won’t charge-honestly, I don’t know if Amazon still charges to send documents but they used to. So if your email is YourName@kindle.com, I would change it to YourName@free.kindle.com)

NEXT you must give permission to your Kindle to receive emails from you, so …

Scroll down a little further past PERSONAL DOCUMENT SETTINGS
to the Approved Personal Document Email List
Find the Add A New Approved Email Address link (in blue)
and add the email which you will be sending the document from.

After that, just go to your email, add the document attachment and send it to your Kindle email address.

Any questions, you can reply in the comments here or email me at dianalayne@yahoo.com

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One last note:

If you want to catch the cover reveal and also learn how you can read my upcoming book, Nia, Be Mine for FREE, please sign up for my blog and watch for upcomng details: www.dianalaye.com/blog

 

27 responses to “Using My Kindle Fire to Proofread”

  1. Belinda Bass says:

    That is a wonderful suggestion. I really hate printing a draft to lug around and read…almost as much as sitting at the computer for hours doing a read through!

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  2. I still have the old school Kindle that doesn’t have a text-to-speech function, but this is a great suggestion for those who do. 🙂

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  3. I did not know you could send a doc to Amazon to read, Diana. I don’t have a Fire but I wonder if it would work on my IPAD app. I’ll need to check it out.

    I just started using Natural Reader which Hope suggested a few weeks ago to those of us working in the chat room. I used it a few times already~ cleaning up chapters for critique ~and it worked great. But you’re right, you’re attached to you computer. Here’s the link to Natural Reader. Look for the free version. https://www.naturalreaders.com/

    Thank you for this post. Definitely going to check it out.

    1+
  4. What a great idea, Diana! When I do my first round of edits, I print out a hard copy and move from my writing desk to my “editing chair” where I tackle big picture edits. The different format and location do wonders for a fresher read. Your text-to-speech tip will be perfect for my second round of edits where I’m focusing more on language and elegance of writing. Seriously, I love this idea! Now off to find out if I can do it on my tablet. Thanks!

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    • Diana Layne says:

      I hope it works! And yes, I print out a hard copy for the first go round because I like to scribble all over the manuscript, and these days I’m running it through Grammarly or Pro-Writer, too, but this is a good way to do a final proofreading.

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  5. Heather D McCollum says:

    So cool! Thanks for sharing. I had no idea that technology was becoming actually helpful : )
    I don’t have a new kindle (yet), but I’ll keep it in mind!

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  6. I didn’t know a kindle could do this. Mine is old so I’ll have to see if it has this option. I do this with Word. Just highlight on the .docx what you want to hear and hit option escape on a mac. Works great and I’m amazed what I find. Thanks.

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  7. Rita Henuber says:

    I have a new Kindle fire and the text to voice is really very good. I believe one or maybe two generations back will do this also if you kept it updated. Thanks for the tips Diana.

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  8. Such a cool idea!! I’ve never thought of doing it this way before. I always feel like a doofus reading aloud to myself. This makes it seem much saner. 😉

    And congratulations on your newest release. Many happy sales!!

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    • Diana Layne says:

      Thanks! I’m still working on my marketing plan before I set up a firm release date. Been doing lots of studying, marketing makes me quake in my bare feet!

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  9. Dale Amidei says:

    That was the free TTSReader, Di! Still an excellent option for those of us chained to a PC. Thanks for the mention.

    http://ttsreader.com/

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  10. Why didn’t I know about this before? Genius! Thank you.

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  11. Dawn says:

    I have an ipad and find myself highlighting passages of nonfiction books I want to recall. Sure, even some fiction, I suppose. To print your highlights, here’s a link I use to walk me through it each time. I don’t know how I stumbled upon it, but it’s always been helpful:

    http://www.paperitis.com/productivity/super-useful-tip-about-highlights-and-notes-in-your-kindle-ebooks.html

    This way, I can print my highlights and just have that as an “export” from the book.

    Hope that helps someone. I was REALLY surprised it worked as easily as it did.

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  12. Hywela Lyn says:

    Thanks for the tip, I’ll certainly try it for my next revision. I hate having to print out a long draft, and much prefer to revise online although everyone says this isn’t the best way. Kindle sounds like a great option!

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