Using a Kindle to Edit


As part of the Indie e-Con run by Kendra Ardnek, I agreed to write up a post about how to use a Kindle to edit your book. So here I am sharing that advice with the world.

First things first

Of course, the first thing you need to do is get the rough draft written. Once that is done, you can send the document to your Kindle. If you don’t know how to do that, here are some instructions. Once the document is on your Kindle there are a couple of options depending on your version of Kindle. I have a Kindle Paperwhite as well as a Kindle Fire, so those are the only two I will mention in this post.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, let me tell you a few reasons why your Kindle is a great tool.

  1. It gets you away from the distracting computer with Facebook, emails, etc. on it. Especially if you turn off the wi-fi on your Kindle while you work on your book.
  2. Kindles are a lot easier to transport than laptops or desktops.
  3. It is almost like reading on paper instead of a screen where at least I have the tendency to space while reading.
  4. It saves paper since you don’t have to print it off.

Kindle Paperwhite (KPW)

KPW has two nifty features for books, highlighting and notes. When I edit on my Kindle, it’s more making notes there for me things to transfer to the computer later. There are a few different methods you can use, so I’ll just tell you what I do.

First, I start reading the book (duh!). When I come across a word or phrase that needs deleted, I usually just highlight it since that is faster. For sentences or paragraphs that need reworded, I usually make a note saying to reword it or I’ll type in the wording I want to use instead.

Once I finish the book, I put my Kindle in front of me with the document open. On the Kindle, I open up the notes. You can find these by tapping at the top of the screen, clicking on “Go To” and then there is a tab labeled “Notes.” Click on that and you will find the highlights and notes you have. If you aren’t sure where in the document, you can click on it and see more of the context. You can also delete or remove the highlights and comments as you go so you can see physical evidence of the progress you are making.

Kindle Fire

Many of the tips for Kindle Fire are the same as for the KPW. There are three differences.

  1. There are four options of colors for the highlights. If you want to, you can color-code your highlights. One for deleted words and phrases, another for rewording something, etc.
  2. Finding the notes is a touch trickier, but also potentially more helpful.

To find the notes, you will tap near the top so the menu-thing comes up. Tap on the three vertical dots in the top, far right corner. Then click on Notebook and you will get a list of the notes you made. From there you can either work on it like I mentioned for the KPW or you can email the notes to yourself and have a copy to either print off or have on in your web browser.

The third, and biggest difference is the text-to-speech option. If you’ve ever read any books on editing, you probably know that one of the best ways to edit is by reading your book out loud. That isn’t always possible or easy to do, though. A way around that is by using your Kindle Fire’s text-to-speech option. It isn’t perfect since the voices are automated and read some words with the incorrect pronunciation, but it works if you are reading along with it. And it’s kind of fun to switch up the accents.

And there you have it. Any thoughts? Have you used your Kindle for editing before? What did you think? I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Be sure to check out the rest of the articles for the Indie e-Con here.

5 thoughts on “Using a Kindle to Edit

  1. When I am working with Rebekah, I use the Kindle app on the second read through. As you said, it is smaller than the computer plus, it seems more like a book that way. I do the same as you, highlight the errors and add a short note. i don’t use it on first draft as that one involves more rewriting.

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