Monday, 31 October 2011

Editing Book Manuscripts With A Kindle

TypeImage by Eye - the world through my I via FlickrAmazon's Kindle e-reader is the most amazing editing tool for writers you can imagine. It's totally, brilliantly, portable and the keyboard Kindle lets you annotate text, inserting comments simply and quickly and then allowing you run through those notes afterwards, jumping back to the point in the text where your note resides - effectively 'playing back' your edits as you transfer them back to the master copy of your MS.

It's all the more effective as an editing tool as it has effectively the same 'form factor' as a published work - you're reading the text as your readers will see it, not as a double spaced MS on screen or print and as a consequence I find myself picking up many more pieces of clunky writing or gawky style than I have before - even on a manuscript that has been extensively - and professionally - edited.

How do you make your MS into a Kindle book without uploading it to Amazon? Simple as pie!

First go here and download this natty piece of software. It's called Mobipocket Creator and it's a simple and powerful little utility that packs together the files you need to create a Kindle book - including cover files and the like, by the way.

Now you need to export your MS - I'll assume you're using Microsoft Word as an editor. Take the 'Save As' option and find 'Web Page, Filtered'. Give it a nice, distinctive file name and save it somewhere sensible, for instance a folder called Kindle Book.

The 'filtered' option cuts down on (but doesn't totally obviate, tragically) Microsoft's bloated HTML. Mobipocket Creator will import a Word file, but the HTML import option cuts out on more SNAFUs and the like. Once you've imported your HTML file, take the 'Build' option from the menu at the top. When you've completed the build you'll be presented with a screen giving you an option to 'Open folder containing e-book'. Take this and plug in your Kindle.

You'll see the Kindle appearing under 'My Computer' as an accessory, much as you'd see a memory key which, in fact, is all the Kindle is as far as Windows is concerned. Expand the Kindle's folders and you'll see one called 'Documents'. Take the e-book file Mobipocket creator has made and drag and drop it onto this folder and hey presto! your MS has been transformed in a couple of seconds into a Kindle book ready for you to take on the train to work and edit at your leisure.

Amazingly, the above steps represent pretty much 90% of what you'd need to do to create a professional e-book file to upload to Amazon. I'll post about that process a little later.

(This is one of a large number of writing and book posts that will undoubtedly decimate traffic to this blog over the weeks leading up to the Sharjah International Book Fair.)
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

From The Dungeons

Book Marketing And McNabb's Theory Of Multitouch

(Photo credit: Wikipedia ) I clearly want to tell the world about A Decent Bomber . This is perfectly natural, it's my latest...