Using your Kindle for the First Read-Through

In developmental editing of fiction, most editors, including me, follow a three-part process: we do a first read-through, taking notes about problems we’ve encountered, then we do the main editorial pass(es), then we do a final review before returning the ms to the author/client.

The first read-through is generally intended just to help you understand the bare bones of the story: who the characters are, where the story takes place, what happens. I always take notes about my reactions and what I think are problems as I go, but I don’t try to edit in this pass—it will all just have to be changed anyway once I understand how the story comes together (or doesn’t).

Sometimes I like to take my work with me, if I’m waiting for an appointment or want to go to the beach. Or sometimes I don’t want to lug my laptop to the coffee shop. So, I send the manuscript to my Kindle and do the first read-through on my Kindle. Some people don’t realize that you can send files, such as Word documents, to your Kindle but you can!

If the document you send to your Kindle is a PDF, and you tell Kindle to convert it, it will convert the PDF to a Kindle file that can be annotated. This means you can take notes on the manuscript as you go along. (Note that this is not the same as editorial queries/commenting! This is just to help you keep track of where you had various reactions/thoughts during your first read-through).

These notes can be exported and sent to you as separate file, which you can use when you are ready to begin editing the document.

To save a document as PDF, go to Word > save as > save as type > select PDF from the list. If that doesn’t work, Adobe (makers of PDF) will convert it for free at this link.

To send an email to your Kindle, here’s a link.

To export the notes, here’s this link.

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