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Adrian, a spy for the King, sees a nobleman murder a servant. His desire for truth is pitted against the dangers of a high-stakes political game. When his friend Draken insists on pursuing justice, Adrian must protect those he cares about as the political games of powerful men alter the lives of everyone around him.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Text to Speech and Editing

Wow. I just had my Kindle read a Work In Progress to me as I followed along in my word processor. If you haven't done that, or better yet, read it aloud to yourself, do it! The Kindle text to voice has a few quirks, but it helped me find about one significant typo or grammar issue per 1000 words.

It's pretty easy to set up, too. I just use Calibre to convert my MS Word document to an e-book. Since it's just for audio proofing, there's no need to get picky about formatting. Just the raw conversion will do.

Calibre menu
Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Click on "Add books."
  2. Select the Word document.
  3. Plug in your Kindle or other e-reader, In my case, it detects it and connects, which activates some new menu items.
  4. Convert the document. You can do this via a right-click menu, or via the "Convert books" button. Be sure to select the right book format in the upper right corner. I use MOBI for my Kindle conversions, but you can use well over a dozen formats.
  5. Wait for it to finish the conversion. Full books will take a lot longer.
  6. If your device was recognized by Calibre, you will have a "Send to device" button. Select your story and click it.
Now that your story is on your device, set it to read the story aloud. On my Kindle, this is an option on the menu you can open from inside the document. It's the same menu where you can turn on wireless, shop the Kindle store, and work with bookmarks. Select "Turn On Text-ToSpeech."

And Bob's your uncle. Listen as you read, and figure out where it sounds clunky, and where you have those editing typos that seem to pop up all the time.

You may not see as many issues as I did depending on your skill level, but I'd be glad to hear about your results.

Edit: Windows has a Narrator app to read text to you, but it's a lot more difficult to configure since you have to tell it all sorts of things like whether you want it to read your keystrokes and a bunch of stuff like that. The Kindle text to audio is easy to set up, and takes no real configuration.

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