Friday, 20 January 2012

Kindle – The Greatest Editing Tool Ever?

    The Kindle, isn’t it a fantastic little device? Being able to carry your book collection with you wherever you go, to have access to lots of cheap reads.

    I got a Kindle towards the end of last year, but I didn’t buy it primarily to read books. When I was finishing the editing of my novel The Last – Tradition I looked at the Kindle and wondered if it would be a useful tool for editing.

    As I was publishing the novel on the Kindle it seemed like an obvious thing to have one so I could actually read the novel on it, as the formatting seemed a bit strange at that point and I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out on the device. I have since worked out how to quickly format my books but this wouldn’t have been possible without having the Kindle.

    Seeing what it looks like on the end device was useful, but an even bigger benefit is the ability to add notes to a book as you read. What a great thing for the writer to have a device that you can read the book as it will appear in its final form, even if it is going to be printed you can still see what it will look like page size, how the story will flow on it, and then to be able to add notes as you read.

    You can carry the Kindle wherever you want so you can also edit where you want, no having to worry about carrying around laptops or piles of papers. If you have to go on a trip or are going to be waiting around for a while somewhere then you can just grab your Kindle and do some editing while you are there. No more wasting time sitting around doing nothing, when you could be editing.

    Depending which Kindle you have you can also get it to read a story aloud, which is another vital step I use in editing, to pick up those sneaky little words that get past your eyes, and something that is also useful to judge the speed of a story and how the dialogue flows.

    Before I got my Kindle I thought my novel was in reasonable shape, but after I had read it several time on the device, and used the note making tool, I ended up with over 500 notes with corrections and alterations to be made. So you can see what final editing a novel on the Kindle can do for you. It also lets you quickly make alterations on your computer and have your updated version downloaded on your Kindle again in a very short time. No more need to print work out on paper, saving you money and the planet trees. If you have a family member who reads your work it is also a lot easier just handing them the Kindle with the latest draft, and they can also make notes for you as they read it.

    So there you go, you can see I like my Kindle for editing, something that I didn’t initially think of using it for. A portable device that lets you read your work like a book and edit wherever you go, what is not to like about that. Oh and you can also get a lot of very cheap, exciting books to read as well, in between the editing of course.


  1. Amen to Kindle as a writing tool. Yes, I discovered these joys lately, and frequent paper print-outs are a thing of the past. You can upload a new draft as often as you like - for free - and see a clean copy. I've become adept at keypadding notes as I walk down the street. Invaluable. - Bryn at

    1. Good to see someone else has also discovered the Kindle editing secret. And it makes a real difference when you can see your writing laid out in actual book format, rather than those silly old fashion A4 sheets.