Thursday, October 04, 2012

Experimenting with my Kindle

I have not been using my Kindle much of late. My daughter Claire had been using it a lot for her College work, but now that she is finished I get my Kindle back. I have recently just added a book on Statistics to help me with a new module I am teaching at NCI, but I also look at the same book on my iPad which I am using more. At the moment I am doing quite a bit of writing, so have decided not to get involved in reading any books and devote the time instead to writing.

The Amazon Kindle.
Image source: Amazon.co.uk.
Last evening I experimented with the Kindle. I use Microsoft Word for all writing that I do (apart from this Blog). I knew that the Kindle supports documents in Word and I had in the past uploaded work documents to bring to meetings, (using the iPad's Kindle App instead of the Kindle itself). I have written before here about the Kindle format and how easy a book is to read on the Kindle device. So I wondered what my own writing efforts would look like as an eBook on the Kindle.

Uploading any document to a Kindle is very easy. I logged on to Amazon.com and simply added the book from my desktop to my Kindle Library by emailing it to my Kindle account. Amazon takes care of the rest - it was almost immediately available on my Kindle. With a little excitement, I read my own writing on a Kindle for the first time.

This whole process is a symptom of the change that is taking place in Publishing, which has been revolutionized by Amazon. Authors can for the first time "see" what their books/articles would look like long before they are considered for publishing. For the only book I have published, An Introduction to Business Systems Analysis, it was not until a camera ready copy in PDF format was created by my publisher (The Liffey Press) that I was able to see what my book would look like. The Kindle now gives me an opportunity to see what my own book looks like to potential readers, and this allows me to make changes that may not be so obvious in a Word document. I spotted some typos and formatting issues, but also read some text that did not make sense or could be written better. I now plan to upload my script after completing each chapter and read it as an eBook to help improve it even more.

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