Proofreading with a Kindle
If you have a Kindle, here’s a tip to help you tidy up your MS as much as possible before you submit it to an editor (hopefully me!).
It’s actually quite hard to proofread totally accurately off a computer screen. More errors tend to slip through. This is mainly because you’re so familiar with your own writing that your brain cuts in and says ‘yeah, yeah, that bit’s OK’, and stops you seeing any typos.
Previously the best solution was to print the piece of writing out, although with a long MS that could use a lot of paper. And even using draft print quality, it uses a fair bit of ink. However, since draft is kind of hard to read, that could be a false economy anyway!
Here’s a better solution. Use your Kindle to proofread. How? First convert the work into .prc format using Mobipocket creator. This program is a free download, and it’s fantastic. Once you’ve got that file, then email it to your Kindle using your personal @free.kindle.com address. Alternatively, transfer it via cable. You could also read the .prc file on Kindle Previewer, another free piece of software that simulates how a book will appear when Kindle-ised. Yes, that’s still on your computer, but the appearance is significantly different from what it was in Word or whichever wordprocessing software you were using, so it’s fresh to your eyes and you’ll spot the mistakes much easier - those annoying little ones that try and hide.
An added bonus to using your Kindle is that you can do your proofreading on the move (on the bus, at the hairdressers, waiting for the kids) and flag any typos or areas where you need to do some reworking by adding a note. Or, when you’re at home, do what I do and have Kindle next to computer and make the adjustments as you go.