Reading Your Manuscript on Kindle

I find it easier to spot my mistakes when I read my work from a different media.  I recently uploaded my manuscript to my Kindle which was very easy once I discovered a couple of tricks.  Here’s how I did it.

STEP ONE – clear formatting

Copy document into a new file.

Highlight complete document (Control +A)

Single line space whole document

Change font to <Times New Roman> 12 point

Then click on <FORMAT>

Choose <Styles & Formatting>

Choose <Clear> to clear all formatting

Make sure there are no tabs.

STEP TWO  – First line indents


At <Alignment> select <left>

At <Special> select <1st line> by <0.5>

Obviously make sure you then <Save>

It sounds tricky but it’s really very easy.

Emailing  Document to your Kindle

By email obviously send it to whatever your Kindle is called.

In Subject just type the word CONVERT

Then attach your newly formatted document and send it.

Sometimes it comes through to the Kindle quickly, other times it takes a while.

40 thoughts on “Reading Your Manuscript on Kindle

  1. Brilliant, thank you so much, Sue. I sent my wip to my Kindle and was so disappointed that the alignment and indents weren’t as they should be. I shall print this and keep it for future reference. Must admit I got a hell of a kick out of seeing my book looking like a real ‘book’. Very exciting, as well as being an excellent tool for spotting typos etc.

    • Hi Rosemary, there’s a whole lot more to do for uploading an ebook, but I do have the instructions. I could blog about that on another post. Hope this is helpful though.

  2. Whoops – oh silly me – that’ll teach me to rush. You’re not talking about publishing but reading your mss on Kindle – doh … as you were xx

  3. You are a star for posting this, Sue. I’ve bookmarked the page and once I’ve finished my novel re-write (and have something to download!) I’m going to have a go.

    Can’t wait to see what it looks like 😉



    • It’s only something I’ve recently become familiar with but it’s really useful.
      Sue x

    • No charge that I’ve ever come across Rachel. It can be a bit slow coming through but it’s worth the wait.

  4. I have found reading my maunscript on Kindle brilliant too. It looks like a real book and the errors seem to leap out. Thoroughly recommended. Mx

    • Oh I love looking at my manuscript on the Kindle – I showed my sister and for a moment, I took great pleasure in pretending it really was a book!

  5. I have to say a BIG thank you to Sue! She’s done this post on special request as I know I will find it really useful when I’ve finished this rewrite.

    Big thanks and a hug 🙂

    Catherine x

  6. Sue, you must be a mind reader. I’ve got a birthday coming up soon and I’ve been dithering over whether or not to ask Bongo Man for a KINDLE. Many writers have told me how errors just shout out at you because you’re looking at your manuscript in a different format. I guess the £140 Kindle would be best for editing because it has a tiny keyboard on it ? Of course, I can also (at last) buy books from my epublished friends in the RNA. Guess its a no brainer.

    • I just have the basic Kindle with keypad – I don’t think I can edit the manuscript directly on it though – I just use it for reading. Unless you are planning to download books abroad I really don’t think the 3G Kindle is necessary. Others may well feel differently but I haven’t found the all singing and dancing one a must for me.
      Sue x

  7. Brilliant post, Sue! I do exactly the same thing, although I have to confess, I didn’t know I could just send my MS to Kindle, I tend to run it through Mobi first and make a .prc (Kindle) file. But I have been proofing with my Kindle for a while and it’s absolutely fab. Sometimes I scroll through screens with really big font, and sometimes I make it very small. I have gone through forwards, and also backwards. It’s amazing what leaps out.

    Lizzie–I have no idea RE the keyboard functionality, but I’ve not got that, I’ve only got the ‘little’ Kindle, and I just highlight anything that needs attention. Then you can either retrieve that from your clippings, or just scroll through bit by bit while you put changes into Word or whatever you’re using.

    Sue–inspired post, and well worth considering for everyone out there proofing. THANKS!

    • I think the Mobi is great to get the full on Kindle effect, but I have found this way just as good for proofreading. Sometimes, the justification is not always spot on but for my purposes, it’s definitely good enough.
      Sue xx

  8. I haven’t got a Kindle yet, Sue, but have taken note of your fab instructions for future reference. Thank you 🙂

    Jan x x

    • Hi again Nicky, thanks for the suggestion about highlighting and then having the Kindle by my side as I go through my revisions. Wouldn’t have thought of that. Doh.

    • You’ll have to get one Jan just so you can look at your manuscript on a Kindle. Does wonders for the ego! 🙂

      Sue xx

  9. Sue, I’ve tried this and hit problems. I’ve got Microsoft Word on my Mac. When I go to the option is There is no box. Perhaps someone will have a tip I can try. Many thanks.

    • Oh that’s a shame – I’m not familiar with Mac workings at all. What option are you getting stuck on, I might be able to help.
      Sue x

      • I can’t clear the formatting. There must be a way to, it’s if Microsoft Word after all. I did look at my old pc, which has all my documents on it, but couldn’t find the option there either. What edition of Word are you using? And thanks, btw.

      • If you have the latest version of Word from the toolbar where it has all the different styles, scroll down the menu and clear formatting is there.

        Hope this helps.
        Sue x

  10. Great post Sue. I begrudgingly bought a kindle as I was publishing my book as an eBook so wanted to see it. I discovered the facility to send my own docs prior to publishing. It’s brilliant – and, I found 4 errors that had been missed by all of us! Plus, after owning it for less than one evening, I bought 24 eBooks ! And I loooooove my Kindle now. Lizzie, it’s worth getting the one with the keyboard, although it is bigger, so it really depends on how big your handbag is 🙂

    • I was a bit anti-Kindle to start with but I do love it now and, yes, it’s amazing how many books you suddenly develop the need to buy!
      I’ve got your novel, Highland Fling, on mine now and am looking forward to reading it. Hope it all goes well Emily.
      Sue x

  11. Thanks so much for that, Sue. I didn’t know until a couple of weeks ago that we could even send docs. to a Kindle, then I located my Kindle email address, and sent my m/s, in its original Word format. It isn’t bad at all – some pages look perfect – but there are several indent errors and so this will be really useful. x

  12. I don’t have a Kindle, but do have Kindle for PC. Hmmm…shall check and see if can do this on it. ??? Otherwise, will get Kindle.
    Love this, thanks SO MUCH for posting – what a great tool!!

  13. I spent part of this afternoon trying to do Sue’s wonderful instructions on my Mac, for which I have Word. There was a problem in not being able to clear the formatting. I solved it and I will now go back, try and remember what I did and make notes. If anyone else has a Mac and encounters the same problems, tell them I have the solution.
    I also went back through the entire document aligning first paras in new chapters – or where there’s been a break due to change of pov etc, as well as centering any headings. I’ve e-mailed it to my Kindle and can’t wait to go and have a look. I’d sent it before, but it knocked everything out in the process. I want to see what it looks like now that it should be more like the end product one hopes to get when ordering from Amazon!
    I also posted it off to the NWS this morning, so my poor baby is in transit 😦

    • Oooh, good luck with the NWS report Rebecca, I’ll be sending mine soon.

      If you’ve done any centering that needs to be done the long way, through the formatting options rather than just clicking the icon on the tool bar. For some reason the short way doesn’t transfer over.

      Sue x

  14. Hi Sue,
    I downloaded my MS onto the Kindle I got for Christmas and found it really useful as it’s easy to pick up errors. Also it’s great to ‘pretend’ it’s a real book! Thanks for this info as the formatting was OK, but not perfect-I’ll be keeping a copy for future ref.

    • I know, I like ‘pretending’ too. One day, Anita, we might not have to! :0)
      Sue x

    • You’re more than welcome – any problems, shout, I’ll do my best to help. :0)

  15. Sue – hi, me again. Just had a KINDLE for my birthday today (March 11th) and have downloaded the synopsis of my novel for a trial run. WOW. Thank you so mych fior the time and effort you took to post this on the blog. Look forward to Part 2 one day soon. (cheeky :-)) Happy writing, Lizzie

    • Hi Lizzie – so glad it worked okay for you – it’s lovely seeing your own work on a Kindle, does the ego no end of good! LOL. I will do Part 2 sometime in the future. Happy reading and, of course, writing. Sue x

  16. Thanks Sue – I was shown to your post by Bex on Twitter and after a bit of jiggery pokery have 27k words of my WIP pretending to be a proper novel on my Kindle. Weird to see it there and rather inspiring! It means I can read it on the way to work and review it.

    Thanks again

    • I changed the font to the smallest, and all my indent problems disappeared – it appears to have transferred almost perfectly when viewed in small print. Obviously, not perfect enough as I want it to look right in bigger print too. 🙂 Will be tackling Sue’s directions when brain feeling less addled than of late.

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