One tool authors use to edit their work is to read it on a different platform than the one where they wrote it. Often authors will print their story, and/or read it out loud to help identify issues with grammar, sentence structure, or even the pacing. Another method available is to send it to your Kindle and see how it reads as an e-book.
After writing my first draft on my first novel, I followed the recommended advice to let it sit for a while before editing. After that waiting period, I printed out my manuscript (all 474 pages) and went through it with my red pen and sticky notes. The number of mistakes I found by reading it in a different format surprised me.
After going through several editing passes this way, I was ready to read it in a third format. I love reading on my Kindle and was excited to see what my novel looked like on the device. Not to mention, it’s another opportunity to polish my work.
A nice feature of the Kindle e-reader is that you can send documents directly to it so you don’t have to have your book published yet to read them on your Kindle. This article covers how I sent my book to my Kindle.
This article contains affiliate links, meaning we’ll earn a small commission if you purchase products through these links.
Two things to consider as you read:
- I use Scrivener on my MacBook and can compile straight to an .epub or .mobi file.
- The Amazon Digital Services and Support link on amazon.com give pretty good instructions if you’re using applications other than what I discuss below.
Compile Your Work (Scrivener)
If you’re using Scrivener, the first thing you need to do is compile your work. Scrivener has default formats for compiling e-books and you can use these to compile directly to a .mobi file if you wish. (See Exploring Scrivener Compile for more information about compiling in Scrivener.)
If you don’t use Scrivener, that’s okay. The Kindle supports Word documents (.docx) and PDF (.pdf) files as well. See this link in Amazon help for more information on the document types you can send.
Prepare Your Kindle
Before you can send a document to your Kindle, you must get the device ready to receive documents.
First, find the email address assigned to your Kindle. You can either find it on the device itself or look in your Amazon settings for the email address.
Find Your Email Address on Your Kindle
These instructions are for my Kindle Fire. If you have a different Kindle, the settings and menu options may appear differently.
- Open the Kindle reading app on your Kindle device.
- Go to the Kindle settings. (Close the current book using the down arrow at the top left.)
- Tap the More menu at the bottom right.
- Tap the Settings option.
- About halfway down the page, you’ll see the Send-to-Kindle E-mail Address field. The email address shown is where you will send your document(s).
Find Your Email Address from Amazon’s Website
1) Log in to your Amazon account.
2) From the top menu, click the Account & Lists drop-down, then Content and Devices.
3) Click the Preferences option at the top of the page to move away from the Content page to the settings page.
4) Scroll down and select Personal Document Settings.
5) Find the Send-to-Kindle E-Mail Settings to see your device’s email address.
Add an Authorized Email Address
You must authorize email addresses ahead of time that your Kindle can receive documents from. You do this in the Device Preferences setting on the Amazon website discussed above.
- Follow the instructions above to get to the Preferences page.
- Scroll down to the Personal Document Settings section.
- Under the Approved Personal Document E-mail List, review the email address listed (if any).
- Click Add a new approved e-mail address to add a new email address. (You can have up to 15 approved email addresses.)
Send the Document
Once your Kindle is ready to receive the document, it’s time to send it.
- Using your email app of choice, create a new email to the Kindle address that you found above.
- Attach your document(s).
- You can send up to 25 attachments in one email.
- Total size must be less than 50 MB.
Convertin the subject line if you need Kindle to convert your document into the Kindle format for you. (Not needed if you’re uploading a .mobi file.)
- You’ll receive an email from Amazon to verify the request. (This email goes to your main Amazon account email.)
- Once verified, the document will load onto your Kindle the next time you turn your wireless on.
If there is an error with the document, Amazon will email the account you sent the document from explaining the issue. (I know this because I had to try with a different format!)
Editing Your Book While Reading
Just a final note to remind you that you can highlight sections in your book and make notes as you read through it.
I didn’t discover this ability until I had owned a Kindle for a while and I thought it was worth mentioning for those of us who don’t regularly make notes.
Wrap-up and Call-to-Action
That’s it. Pretty nice, don’t you think? Now I’m off to read (and edit) my first book. Hopefully, there won’t be many errors, but if there are, I should see them better using a different format for review.
What other mediums do you use to edit your books?