Posts Tagged Kindle

Proofreading and How to Send Documents to the Kindle

Does anyone else use their Kindle for proofreading?

I find this very helpful if I’m writing something longer than just an ordinary short story. It means I don’t have to sit staring at my computer screen for ages whilst I work my way through the whole manuscript and nor do I use large amounts of paper and ink printing the thing off time and time again (although I do use this method when I think I’m almost there).

Proofreading on the Kindle means I can curl up in an armchair with a mug of coffee and pretend I’m reading a ‘proper’ book. I find it lets me judge my writing in a different way and I’m less likely to skip over words.

The disadvantage is that I can’t edit as I go along and I can’t scribble and cross things out either. But depending on what stage you’re at, this can be a good thing because it forces you to read the whole manuscript from beginning to end without wasting time trying to perfect a single sentence. This makes it easier to see the whole story arc and judge whether or not it works.

But in order to be able to proofread in this way, the manuscript needs to be sent from PC to Kindle. There are a couple of ways this can be done. You can either email the document to the Kindle (yes, every Kindle has its own email address!) or plug the Kindle into the PC and ‘drag and drop’ the file across.

There are detailed instructions on how to use both of these methods over on Molly Greene’s Blog so I won’t repeat it all again here. In her post Molly doesn’t specifically mention that Word documents can be sent in this way but I know from experience that they can and there are comments at the end of the post which confirm this. Molly also gives some instructions for the iPad too (I’m not lucky enough to own one of those).

This method of sending stuff to the Kindle can also be used for PDF documents – but I’ve never worked out how to increase the font size of a PDF when it’s on the Kindle and so end up having to use my reading glasses.

And it’s useful to be able to transfer files in this way if you’re ever asked to beta read someone’s work before publication or if you get sent an early review copy.

Please do let me know if you’ve got any proofreading tips or experience of sending stuff to the Kindle.

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Free Kindle Book – Writing: The King Author Way

Writing: The King Author Way is free on Kindle from today (23rd December) to 26th December.

I haven’t had time to look at it yet but it’s described as:

“A collection of over fifty articles on how to be a writer. From tips on
marketing, self publishing and editing to how to submit to an agent and work
with a publisher. This book offers specific advise on writing short stories,
horror fiction, romance, erotica and articles. This easy to read digest
of useful writing advice is a must for anyone who has an interest in writing.”

It’s been put together by  King Author – Author Advisory Service.

So if you’ve got a couple of minutes to spare, it might be worth downloading before Christmas inertia sets in.

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Carole Matthews’ Winter Warmers

Romantic novelist Carole Matthews has produced a collection of 3 short stories available for free (possibly for a limited time only!) download. The collection is called ‘Winter Warmers’ and is available from Amazon here.

It will be published on the 26th November but you can pre-order it now for free and it will be automatically delivered to your Kindle on the 26th.



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Win a Kindle, Kobo or Book Tokens

Following on from my last post – my Kobo e-reader prize has arrived and has turned out to be more of an android tablet rather than a simple e-reader. It is the Vox model and has lots more functionality than I expected, so what choice did I have but to keep both it and the Kindle?

I find the Kindle easier on the eye for sustained periods of reading and it has a longer battery life. But the Kobo will drag me into the world of tablets and Apps – something I’ve had no experience of until now.

The first App I downloaded was A Quick Read (as mentioned in this month’s Writers’ News), which is a collection of short stories for reading on the move. Have a look at the website for how to submit your own stories for inclusion.

I’ve rooted out some prize draws if you’d like to win your own e-reader or some good old-fashioned book tokens:

  • For the chance to win a Kindle Fire, click here 
  • For the chance to win WH Smith vouchers that can be used to buy a Kobo, click here
  • For the chance to win some Book Tokens, click here.

Good Luck!

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Free Writing Books on Kindle

Those of you with a Kindle might be interested to know that there’s currently a range of books about writing, available for free (yes, £0.00) on Amazon.

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

These include:

  • The Writer’s Idea Book by Jack Heffron
    This book has the subtitle ‘How to Develop Great Ideas for Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry and Screenplays’. Heffron has been a professional editor for more than 15 years, has published many short stories in literary journals and won awards for his writing. Apologies, (this is embarrassing) but I’ve just been informed that this book is no longer free (thanks, Shirley!) but I’ve left the details here just in case the price is removed again (fingers crossed)
  • The Author’s Craft by Arnold Bennett.
    ‘Arnold Bennett writes in a very amusing and accessible style in this short manual of advice for authors which will be useful even to today’s writers,’ says a review.
  • Write Good or Die edited by the thriller writer Scott Nicholson.
    This is subtitled ‘Survival Tips for the 21st Century’. One reviewer said, ‘It’s a gem of a book, not least because I came away from reading this with the thought that if the writers within this book can do it? Why can’t I?’.

I haven’t had chance to read any of these myself yet so can’t give a personal recommendation but I have just downloaded The Writer’s Idea Book in the hope of finding some inspiration. By the way, free books do tend to come and go on Amazon – so if you’re interested in any of these it’s probably worth getting them sooner rather than later.

Many thanks to Philip Mallinson whose post on Writing Magazine’s Talkback Forum alerted me to these books.

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Kindle Talk

I’ve finally got round to buying a cover for the Kindle I received at Christmas. It’s a bright pink neoprene zip-up sleeve.Kindle and Neoprene Sleeve I wanted to use the Kindle for a while before deciding whether to go for the book-like cover or the sleeve – but I couldn’t start on the e-books until I’d finished the ‘proper’ book I was already part way through (Harvesting the Heart by Jodi Picoult – not as good as some of her others, I thought).

Before I started using the Kindle I was a bit worried that it wouldn’t feel like a book and I wouldn’t be able to get engrossed in the story. But it was no problem, the page turning becomes automatic and the fact that it’s an electronic device doesn’t reduce the enjoyment. A colleague at work said he was so involved in what he was reading that he totally forgot it wasn’t a book and reached his hand over to turn the page manually.   

The only thing I find frustrating is the choice of font sizes. I was hoping to find one that would let me read without wearing my glasses but my ideal size seems to fall in the middle of two choices – so I still put the specs on.

So far I’ve worked my way electronically through A is for Alibi by Sue Grafton, How to Make £10 in 10 Minutes by Linda Lewis and I’ve just started Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (am I the only person never to have seen the film or read the book?).

Now, I’m wondering about downloading Write a Great Synopsis by Nicola Morgan. I think I’m going to need it to stand any chance of getting an entry ready for the Good Housekeeping Novel Writing Competition – it’s not going too well at the moment! Is anybody else struggling?

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The Kindle Debate

A Picture of a eBook

Image via Wikipedia

Are you a fan of the Kindle and similar e-book readers or do you like to turn real pages and enjoy the smell of a new book?

According to a Telegraph article, Mills and Boon readers are leading the way as buyers of e-books, possibly to avoid the ’embarrassment factor’ of being seen reading them in public (personally I think there’s nothing wrong with reading M&B but I suppose if you’re a big butch male then you might not want to own up to your secret pleasure!). One of the best-selling romantic downloads on Amazon is the M&B The Temp and the Tycoon by Liz Fielding.

Sales of e-book readers amongst romance fans have been so great that Sony has designed a pink version of its reader complete with M&B logo (not one to buy if you prefer to hide your reading preferences!).

Philip Stone, charts editor at the Bookseller, said “Mills and Boon are probably the publisher feeling the biggest benefit from e-books. They were first out of the traps to take advantage of them.”

Whatever our current feelings about e-readers versus ‘real’ books I think we will see increasing numbers of people using them on buses trains etc. I started off very anti e-readers but am now beginning to find the thought of having all my books in one little device instead of piled around the house rather attractive.

This does mean that, as authors, we can no longer look forward to that thrill of spotting someone reading a book in public that we have written.  But on the upside, e-books make self-publishing a lot easier. Have a look at Carol Bevitt’s blog for some useful information from freelance writer Deborah Durbin about Kindle Direct publishing.

So, on balance I think we should welcome this new technology. For many of us there will be a long cross-over period when we read both physical books (I, for one, a have a huge backlog to get through) and at the same time get to grips with the new technologies of e-readers (great for holidays and travelling). 

Let me know what you think.

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