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Cool Editing Tip of the Day

Some of you are probably ahead of the curve on this, but I tried a new editing technique today and loved it.

Not sure if this works on other e-readers, but for those of you using a Kindle, upload your chapter or manuscript to the device. (Go to to find out how.) Then press the Aa button and turn on speech.

While you're listening to the Kindle read aloud, follow along and edit the text on the computer. Pause reading as necessary.

It's a great, handy way to catch typos, dropped words, and clunky dialogue. You'll be shocked what you pick up on. And it's easier to do using the Kindle than toggling back and forth between one screen with MS Word and the other with MS Reader or whatever text-to-speech program you might be using.

Though I often read aloud my own work and find it helpful, I still miss things because my brain knows what I meant to type. Having another person (if you can find one with infinite patience) or a machine read is a terrific help.

By the way, Amazon charges a small fee to upload .doc or .pdf files to your Kindle. Under a buck, I believe, and totally worth it.

For those of you still looking for an excuse to purchase an e-reader, this could be the one!


SCM said…
I agree that it is helpful to hear you work aloud, Colleen. I have used Natural reader on my computer, which has both a free version and a paid version that contains more voices. :) for those who are still Kindleless.
I've used that one, too, when I worked on a PC. Just checked and found a free version for Mac, too.

Thanks for the reminder! I've been looking for a good text-to-speech program for Mac!
Suzan Harden said…
I'll just suffer along with the MS Reader for now. When I sell millions of books, then I might be able to afford a reading device.

But having someone that's not you reading out loud still catches those pesky words you accidentally leave out.
You can upload your docs for free if you use the address on your kindle account. You can also convert PDFs by putting "convert" in the subject line.

I've been doing this for a while, and one of the other things it helps with is making sure you have paragraph starts in the right place, as well as commas. The T-S feature doesn't pause at line breaks or commas, so as you listen you might say, "Hmm, I might need to break that section up," and find the natural spots for commas and new paragraphs.
Thanks, Angelica! Better yet! I didn't know there was a free address. Will definitely check it out so I don't have to toggle between computer screens.
Here's the link to the deets on free doc upload; should have included it before

If that link doesn't work, it's under Transferring, Downloading, and Sending Files to Kindle>Sending Personal Documents to Kindle
Also, this:
Thanks so much, Angelica! Just what I needed!

And lol on the other link!
I was surprised by how much my Kindle-owning friends didn't know about their device, so I did a blog post today with the Top 5 Kindle Tips

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