How to Proofread on a Kindle: 5 Easy Steps

Correct store signby C.K. MacLeod

Are you a beta reader or an editor? You don’t have to review or proofread a book on your computer. You can proofread it on a Kindle, or any device with the Kindle app loaded on it.

Here’s how:

1. Sign up for an Amazon account if you don’t already have one.

2. Add your reading device to your Amazon account, if it hasn’t been added already. Your device is automatically added to your Amazon account when you download the Kindle app onto it.

Once added to your Amazon account, your device will have an email address with an @kindle.com extension associated with it. To find this email address for your device, go to Your Account, Manage Your Content and Devices, and click on the Your Devices tab.

Amazon Your Devices

3. Go to your personal email account — your gmail account, for example. Email the book file as an attachment, from your personal email account to your @kindle.com email address. You can email a variety of file types, including .docx files or mobi files (one of Amazon’s formats).

Note: You need to email your book from the email account that’s associated with your Amazon account. If you use another email account, it won’t work. If you have more than one reading device linked to your Amazon account, make sure you’re emailing the document to the right device.

4. Turn on wifi and sync your Kindle or your device with the Kindle app on it. The book should arrive on your reading device within a few minutes.

5. Use the Notes and Highlights feature on your Kindle, or in your Kindle app, to proofread the book. If you're a beta reader, share the Notes and Highlights (your feedback) with the author.

Proofreading on a Kindle is easy. Further, proofreading a book in a new environment can help you to see errors that you’d otherwise miss.

Thanks to Carla Douglas at Beyond Paper Editing for teaching me this trick.

Image by M. Appelman

3 Options for Sharing Kindle Notes and Highlights

Kindle e-reader

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by C.K. MacLeod

Many beta readers and editors like to proofread on a Kindle or in a Kindle app. This process involves highlighting passages and taking notes on your Kindle. When you’ve finished your proofread, you’ll need a way to get those notes to the author. But how?

Below are three options for retrieving your notes and highlights so you can share them with the author.

An Important Distinction

Amazon handles notes and highlights for purchased books differently than those for unpublished books, or personal documents. Notes and highlights for purchased books are stored in your Amazon account. Notes and highlights for unpublished books and documents are stored in the My Clippings file on your Kindle device. Below are the steps you need to follow to retrieve your notes and highlights for each kind of book.

For Purchased Books

  1. Go to your Amazon account to retrieve your notes and highlights. Sign in with your account username and password and click on Your Highlights. All the books you’ve made notes on are stored here.

If you don’t see the notes in your Amazon account, check your Kindle device. You’ll need to turn on the Annotations Backup feature that allows you to back up notes and highlights to your Amazon account.

a) Copy the notes and highlights you want to share, and paste them into a .txt file or a .docx file. Email this file to the author.

or…

b) If you use Evernote, and have the Evernote Clipper installed on your browser, you can it to send notes and highlights to Evernote.

Evernote Clipper in Amazon
Kindle notes and highlights on your Amazon page

From Evernote, you can share the notes and highlights with the author by clicking on the Share icon.

Evernote Share icon
Kindle notes and highlights in Evernote

The notes and highlights will then show up in the author’s Evernote account.

I learned this trick from Audri and Jim Lanford’s article at Paperitis. If you’re an Evernote user you’ll appreciate the elegance of this approach.

For Personal Books and Documents

Your highlights and notes from personal documents are not stored in your Amazon account. They are stored in the Clippings file on your Kindle. Here’s how you access those notes so you can share them with the author.

  1. Plug your Kindle device into your computer.
  2. Find your Kindle device on your computer’s hard drive. Click on it.
  3. Click on the Documents folder (it might be spelled documents).
  4. Click on the My Clippings.txt file. The notes you’ve made for unpublished books and personal documents are stored in this file, so you’ll need to search for the title of the book you’re looking for (CTRL + F).
  5. Copy and paste your notes into a .docx file or a .txt file and email them to the author:
Notes and highlights copied to Notepad (.txt file)
Notes and highlights copied to Notepad (.txt file)

If you’d like a place to store these notes, you can copy them into Evernote and then share that note with the author as described above.

Clippings.io Method

If you don’t mind shelling out $2 per month, try the Clippings.io plug-in for Chrome. It’ll push your clippings to a Clippings.io account (free to set up) and you can manage your clippings from a central location.

You now have three ways to retrieve and share Kindle notes and highlights!

A special thanks to Len Edgerly at Kindle Chronicles for telling me about the My Clippings file and the Clippings.io plug-in.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

Kindle Textbook Creator in 6 Steps

Create New Textbook from File by C.K. MacLeod

Amazon recently released the Kindle Textbook Creator as a way of making textbooks with complex layouts available on the iPad, Kindle and Android tablets. If you’ve had to create an ebook with design features, such as tables, diagrams and sidebars, you’ll appreciate how easy this tool is to use.

Textbook Creator Quick Steps

1. Download the Kindle Textbook Creator to your computer.

2. Click Create New Textbook from File.

Create New Textbook from File
Create a new textbook from a PDF file

3. Find your book file on your computer and click Open. Your book will appear in the middle pane of the Kindle Textbook Creator.

Textbook Creator middle pane
Your book will appear in the middle pane

4. Page through your book using the thumbnails on the left. If you encounter any blank pages, you can remove them by selecting them and pressing the Delete key, or by going to the Edit menu and clicking on Delete Pages. You can insert blank pages as well.

Textbook Creator delete pages
Delete blank pages

 

Package for Publishing
Package for Publishing

 

5. When you’re satisfied with how your book looks, Click File, Package for Publishing. You can also convert your file by clicking on the Package link in the right pane or on the package icon in the top right.

Notice how Amazon has laid out the publishing steps for you in the right pane.

Your book with be saved with a .kpf extension. This is the file that you will upload to Kindle Direct Publishing

 

 

 

6. Preview your book file by clicking on the Preview icon in the top right. You can preview your book on a variety of devices, which are listed in the pull-down menu.

Text Creator Preview
Preview

And that’s it! You’re ready to upload your .kpf file to Amazon.

Note: You can’t design your book in the Kindle Textbook Creator — you’ll need to create your design and layout with design software like Adobe InDesign or Page Plus, and then save it as a PDF. The Text Creator will then convert that file to Amazon’s .kpf file format.

Reader Experience

At the time of writing, my .kfp file is being held up in the review process. It’s early days for the Textbook Creator (it's a beta release), so I suspect Amazon is checking these files carefully for any problems. I cannot comment on the reader experience yet, but according to Amazon specs, readers will have options to highlight text, take notes, look up words in a dictionary and create flash cards.