Update on a Kindle as a Proofreading Device

My last post was about emailing your manuscript to your Kindle and reading it there for proofreading. I thought I’d share my experiences with this.

The first time I went through the manuscript, I did it by reading it on the Kindle and jotting down in a notebook any corrections or changes I wanted to make. I would later go to the computer to implement those changes. The big advantage of doing it that way was that I could proofread anywhere. I was doing this during the Christmas season and did it in the car (while my husband was driving, of course) while we were heading to various relatives’ houses who live an hour or more away. I also did this while sitting on a bench in a grocery store while my husband escorted his mother while she shopped, and during downtimes at my job. The upside of this was I utilized time that would have otherwise been wasted. The downside was then having to go back to the computer and input the changes. (The other downside was that sometimes I couldn’t read my own notes and had trouble figuring out what I wanted to change or correct; this was in part due to my own awful handwriting, and in part to sometimes writing in a speeding car on pothole-filled roads.)

The second time I read through the manuscript on the Kindle, I did it while sitting in front of my computer and making the changes as I happened upon them. That method has proven far faster although it does lack the flexibility of the first method. One advantage I found of having the manuscript on the Kindle while you’re making changes is that you have the original before you on the Kindle while you change the onscreen manuscript. If you mess up, or as sometimes happens to me, words, or sometimes whole sentences, just mysteriously disappear from the screen (I swear there is a gremlin living in my computer), you still have the original version right there before you on the Kindle.

On the whole I’m happy with the Kindle as a proofreading device. Besides the smaller-sized screen making it easier to see any typos, I’ve also noticed how long a paragraph can appear to be on Kindle vs. on the computer screen. I’m not saying that’s going to change my writing style into one- or two-sentence paragraphs, but on a few occasions I did break up long-appearing paragraphs when I could (these paragraphs would have looked normal sized in a print book, and they did look normal size on the computer screen. But it’s good to know how their appearance is altered on a reading device.) Since Amazon changes your emailed manuscript to mobi, you can also see if you’d made any formatting errors that will make it look wonky, and I figure it’s better to get that squared away now than when it’s uploaded to KDP and seen on the previewer there.

Happy writing, proofing, and MLK Day!