Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Revising in the Digital Age

Okay, so I used to go through my manuscripts over and over (okay, I still do that!), and then finally when I thought I had it, I'd print it. The hard copy was the last version I went over to find all the little things I just couldn't see on the screen.

I mean, I couldn't print my 350-page novel every other day, you know?

But now, I find that I'm not printing anymore. The goal was always to see the manuscript in a different way.

I'm using my Kindle. I can email any document (PDF or simply a Word doc) to my Kindle email address and ba-bam! It shows up, ready to read. I can change the font, the size, the background color. And I can see it in a different medium -- anywhere!

Not only that, but I recently discovered that I can HIGHLIGHT things in the text. I used to keep a notebook with me as I read my manuscripts on the Kindle. I'd take notes on what needed to change/be fixed in each chapter.

Now I can highlight those things -- and it's easy to find those notes, because Kindle keeps them in a list for me!

It's a match made in heaven. Not only that, but I can email myself a new version of my book every day if I want! I even sent myself my launch day speech. No more printing for me!

Have you used an e-reader to actually edit before? Did you know you can highlight the things you need to fix in the manuscript?? I mean, seriously!

17 comments:

Natalie Aguirre said...

I've never done that. I'll have to figure out how to do that with my Nook the next time I want to see a print version of my manuscript. Thanks for the suggestion.

JeffO said...

I haven't used an e-reader. I'm currently editing/revising my WiP on screen in Word, and I will highlight and use the 'comments' feature as well. When I'm particularly stuck, I like to print out the offending section or chapter. I find 'changing things up' is helpful, plus I like the physical act of scribbling on the page.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

Yeah, I've been revising this way for about 2 1/2 years now. I stopped printing stuff because I was buying too much ink before, and then I discovered my Kindle and i never went back. Now I do all of this on my iPad, which I like even better than my Kindle. It helps that my publisher sends digital passes, as well.

Michelle D. Argyle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I haven't tried that on the Kindle. I have printed my novels by removing double spacing and reducing font size ( a little less paper!) Thanks for the tip.

Kim Webb Reid said...

I don't have a Kindle or iPad so it's hard for me to imagine how a screen is a different enough medium. BUT this gives me another excuse to buy an iPad and try it out for myself because I don't even own a printer!! :) Thanks for the tip.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've used my iPad to edit before although I still prefer to print out the pages.

Alice said...

What a great idea. Now I just need to get a kindle!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

YES!
In fact, when I first got my Kindle, the FIRST thing I looked up how to do was send a document to it, NOT how to buy a book on it, lol!

I've been using my old Kindle 2 for editing for some time now, but now my husband has a Kindle Fire, and the pages I send him look even better on his Kindle than mine. I am beginning to feel some Kindle envy.

Melody said...

I've used it a little bit for editing, but you've reminded me of how many wonderful features it has. I need to start using it for something other than reading, again! :)

Dawn Malone said...

That sounds too good to be true! I don't have a Kindle yet, though, so I'll take your word for it. Looking forward to someday doing paperless editing!

Jemi Fraser said...

I did it a few months back and was shocked how well it worked! As an added bonus it looks like a 'real' book :)

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

What a great idea! I have a basic kindle, but it would totally work and still give my eyeballs a break from the computer screen.

Carolee Dean said...

On my old Kindle I could also turn on TEXT TO SPEECH and listen to the story read aloud while I drove to work. It was a robotic voice, but even so, listening to it out loud added a totally different dimension. I have not figured out how to do that on the Kindle Fire or on the Kindle app on my iPad.

Laura Pauling said...

Yes, I've been doing that for a while. Printing an entire manuscript seems such a waste. But most importantly, reading on a Kindle shows me exactly how it will look for real to readers so if I need to shorten paragraphs I know to do that. And it feels like a real book where 300 printed pages doesn't.

I haven't used the highlight feature yet, but I should try it out! Thanks for the reminder.

Amy McBay said...

I like to use scrivener to compile it into a .mobi file, then transfer to either my kindle fire or kindle keyboard. The plus side about my kindle keyboard is it has txt to speech and I can sit and listen to my own book.

Caryn Caldwell said...

Just today I was thinking that I would do that for my last draft! I think it would be very helpful for re-seeing the book and, yes, cheaper than printing the whole thing out again.

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