So, you have painstakingly crafted a novel, left it to rest, edited and re-edited. What next?
There are many different recommendations for editing, especially during the final stages of your work. Most writers recommend using a different medium, which is more likely to flag up any issues with sentence structure and grammar. You can read aloud so that you are hearing, rather than seeing your words, you can read it on the screen, print it out, or there is anther method, which I have found really effective. A method that has, for me, picked up the most issues with the manuscript…
One of the most effective ways of editing your work is to read it on your kindle or any other eReader device. Follow these simple steps, and you might also want to try it for blog posts:
1. Make sure you are happy with the text as a whole.
2. Download Mobipocket eBook Creator and import your word document. Mobipocket will generate and save a kindle ready file. This keeps the formatting clean.
3. Send the document as an attachment to your kindle email address, which will probably look something like email@example.com.
4. Make sure the wireless setting on your kindle device is switched on and then click ‘check for downloads.’
5. Don’t worry too much about formatting yet if it feels overwhelming. You can do this at a later Stage. The less carriage returns you have inserted, the better. You will need to use page breaks when you get to the formatting stage as kindle, at least, does not recognise the return key.
6. I would advice stepping away from your computer for a while and having a change of scene. You are removing your writing hat and putting on your reading hat. In other words, you are approaching your work as a reader would. It might, in some cases, feel as though you are reading someone else’s work.
7. You can either make the changes by using the ‘Add Note or Highlight’ function on the home menu of your kindle or you can print out a hard copy and annotate directly onto this. I find that there is more space and it is quicker. You can then go back to the computer when you have finished, to make the changes needed. Happy reading!
There is something about reading your work on an eReader that helps you to see the text in a different light. You will probably find issues which you might have missed on screen (partly because the manuscript is too familiar) will jump out of the page…..sorry, screen!
Although I tend to use a kindle, you can use any device. Here are some useful videos for editing on kindle, NOOK, and iPad:
I do this too. It really does help me find errors or issues, (except I have a kobo). It helps also if you print out your ms in another font than what you were typing in. Anything different helps.
Thanks, Vanessa. Printing it out is really helpful, I hadn’t thought of changing the font. Thanks for the tip.
After several other ways of self editing I find I always find more errors etc. by reading my stuff aloud
Thanks, Allen. I find reading aloud particularly helpful with dialogue. It helps you to find stilted sentences, unnecessary words and awkward exchanges. Great reminder.
Great post. I’ve got it bookmarked. THANKS!
Glad it was helpful. I have found it to be a really effective method of editing. I pick up issues which I miss on paper or on my computer. The eye needs to see things from different angles.
Wow! This is so helpful. I didn’t know any of it. a BIg thanks for taking the time to explain all in such an easy to understand way 🙂
It has changed the editing process for me and it gives you a break from the computer. I’m amazed by how many issues
I can see on kindle that I miss on the screen.
Thanks for your comment, Tom. The Mobipocket ebook Reader Software is free to download. You can access it here http://www.mobipocket.com/en/DownloadSoft/default.asp?Language=EN
It helps with the formatting. You can email your doc directly to your kindle but it is less messy to read if converted first. It’s pretty quick and easy. Personal preference, though. I find editing on kindle really useful and I feel less surgically attached to the computer.
For those without a mobiPocket ebook creator, you can also just mail your word doc to your kindle address, being careful not to put anything in the subject line, and it will show up as a personal document, looking just like an ebook, to which you can highlight and annotate to your heart’s content. At least this is true in the U.S.