Useful Tools for Publishers: Kindle

Here at Ghostwoods Books, there are a handful of pieces of equipment that we find indispensable. Apart from our computers, one of the primary things we use all the time are our Kindles. We have three that we use differently.



How we use it

Apart from using it to read for enjoyment like everyone else, there are several uses for which we find a Kindle to be unsurpassed.

  • Reading submissions. Because you can drag and drop documents onto Kindle, or convert and upload using a free program like Caliber, we often put screened submissions on Kindle to read. We also upload .mobi docs for our slush readers through our submissions system.
  • Proofreading. It’s very difficult to properly proofread on a computer screen. I don’t fully understand why this is so but I think distraction has something to do with it. I usually have the document open in my word processor and on my Kindle at the same time. Then I read it on the Kindle and when I find an error, I go to the document and fix it in my word processor. We sometimes do this on paper for the major proof and just use the Kindle for a second set of eyes.
  • Checking the layout. There’s really no better way to see whether your .mobi file looks like it’s supposed to but to pop it on a .mobi friendly e-reader and take a look. This is particularly true if your document contains images, which rarely look the way I think they will from the original document.
  • Getting some distance from the editing process. To know how a reader is going to see a book, you need to be able to stop seeing as a document you’re working on and start looking at it as a book. Popping the edited document on a Kindle is the easiest way to get a believable “book view.”

Here in the office, we prefer the Kindle Paperwhite for its ease on the eyes. The digital ink-based touchscreen is high contrast, non-glare and the print size can be adjusted for those who, like me, need bigger type. It’s super light weight and about the size of a book, which makes it way easier to handle than an iPad for reading purposes. There’s also a light you can turn on for reading in the dark. These days the Paperwhite goes for around $119.

Obviously you can read .mobi documents on your phone, but I wouldn’t recommend this for editing purposes. It won’t give you the same level of accuracy in proofing and it won’t let you get a clear view of what most people will see when they look at the book.

One great side benefit is that you have an excuse to keep upgrading your Kindle when you use it for work without splurging on the whole cost yourself. And because it holds so many books, you don’t need to worry about not having enough room.

It might just be time to treat yourself to a new Kindle, don’t you think?


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