Friday, May 6, 2011

Text to Speech

Today, I'd like to talk a bit about text to speech.

Text to speech is an audio streaming feature that is common on e-readers.

I always thought it was a fairly pointless feature, to be honest. I have a K3- Latest Generation Kindle with 3G and Wi-Fi- and had never saw a reason to use it.

For those who have never used it, let me simply say that text to speech (on the Kindle) streams the words from the e-books using pre-recorded sounds. This means that it produces a monotone audio version of the e-book.

It's great for those who can tolerate it while driving. It makes them able to continue with a book, even when they are supposed to be driving to work.

However, it's terrible for any other use, really. That was my opinion before today, however.

Using Mobipocket Creator, I made an e-book out of the first 4 chapters of Through the Flames. I went through all the motions, adding the cover art, the mock copyright page, adding the dedications page, adding the table of contents, adding the map, and adding the bookmarks that tell the Kindle where the toc (Table of Contents) and the start are.

I checked the e-book out with Kindle Previewer to make sure that it looked right. Kindle Previewer is a free program from Amazon's website that simulates a Kindle for people who want to make sure their book will look good when it is published. With it and Mobipocket Creator, you can't go wrong.

I had to revise a paragraph when I saw that it wasn't playing nice with the previewer and was making it look as though I had used tabs instead of spaces between words. Thus, I had to redo the whole process.

The second time I did it all, it came out just as I wanted it to. I can only hope it comes out as well when the book is complete, but that's another subject altogether.

With the four chapter e-book complete, I saw that I could open it with Kindle for PC, so I got curious.

Needless to say, I connected my Kindle to my PC via usb cord and transferred the e-book to it. It showed up as a regular e-book with "Ryne" as the author. I'm still wondering how my name showed up since I did not add it, however.

Anyways, my first four chapters showed up on my Kindle as an e-book, and all the features were enabled, including text to speech.

See, I wasn't going off subject after all.

I came up with a bright idea at that moment. What if I used text to speech? What if I listened to it carefully. Paying someone to edit my book would be expensive, and it's not something I can even consider before I even have a single book out there to bring in some revenue.

Text to speech is great, as I soon learned. There is nothing like a monotone voice reading your work aloud. It makes your mistakes glaring, and it also provides you with a good laugh. Nothing like hearing "Keera-cath" instead of "Keera-cauth", among other things.

As it turns out, the Kindle is not just great for readers. It's also great for writers.

Anyways, that's all from me today. I'm not going to post when Chapter 5 is finished since I've already said the important stuff for the day.

Thanks for reading.

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