Greetings once more. 🙂
Today’s subject matter, I believe, is of great use to Indie Authors everywhere.
No one “loves” the daunting task of editing. Not even editors; much less authors. Yet, it is of primary importance if one is going to have a book worth reading. Every good author knows that the value of his/her book is weighed on how properly it is written. This is exactly why Indie Authors spend 9/10s of their time editing their works—well, the good ones, that is.
Herein lies the problem: many times things transpire that inevitably get in the way, and in the end, causes us to miss things. One of the main issues is called Author Blindness.
What is Author Blindness, you may be wondering? Here is a great article written by my mentor, friend and publisher, Y. Correa. Please feel free to take a look.
Of course, sometimes there are other factors that can impeded the ability to edit properly. At times it is just bad eyes. There are many a random situation that can intervene and irrevocably hinder an Indie Author’s editing process.
In recent times I’ve discovered a tool that benefits us all. It is a little thing called “Text-to-Speech“. Using it is as simple as listening and following along; something most of us learned in elementary school.
Do you remember when your teacher would say, “Open your books to page 15. I will read and you follow along.” In essence, that is very much what utilizing Text-to-Speech for edits is like.
Now, of course, there is one very important note that everyone must take heed in:
To use Text-to-Speech in order to perfect your work, it is also important that you know proper grammar and punctuation. This tool would be of no benefit to someone who does not have a basic knowledge of conventional and correct English.
I do suggest however, should you be an individual that is not well versed in syntax structure, that you find a professional editor to assist you as it would be more beneficial.
With that said, allow me to give you an idea of how Text-to-Speech can work to your advantage.
- To use Text-to-Speech you will need an electronic device equipped with an already installed version, or will allow you to download an application.
- You will also need your manuscript in Microsoft Word form.
- Next, it is a matter of listening, following along and paying attention.
- Personally, I like to have a notebook or note taking application on hand whilst I use Text-to-Speech.
Here is how it works:
- Depending on your electronic device you might be required to either load your manuscript to the device directly, or email it to the device. This completely depends on what device you are using. My preferred method is my Kindle.
- The next step would be to find out whether your device has an already installed Text-to-Speech tool (most kindles have a pre-installed program), or if you will need to download one.
If you have to download one, the only application that I I would really recommend it one called “Voice Aloud”. The icon looks something like this:
- Once your manuscript has been loaded to your device, and you are certain that your device has the Text-to-Speech app, you can then move on to the editing process.
Side Note: Most Kindles will automatically convert your Microsoft Word document into a mobi file.
- At this time, have your notebook or note taking app handy in order to jot down the typos you might have spotted. Or you can also use the actual Text-to-Speech application to “highlight” the mistakes.
- Once you are done listening, reading, following along, and taking notes, you can then go to your original manuscript file and implement the corrections.
That’s it. It is really THAT easy. You will be amazed how many things you will spot when your manuscript is being read to you.
So, my dear author friends, take advantage of this great tool to perfect your prose.
Cheers and until next time.