My cyber reading buddy

I have a process. Well, it’s a work in progress, but I am really digging it. Today’s technology can really help an aspiring author such as myself. There are so many tools to help writers as they are developing their work.

As I’ve mentioned, I am a Google gal. I’m writing on Ciara (Keer-a), my Chromebook (told you’d I’d name it) for this article. As many of you who write know, you can go blind from reading your work, and sometimes miss a lot of things because your brain just lets you see what you want to see.  I remember reading a tweet link that talked about reading to yourself, as a way to catch typos, grammar, or weaknesses in your story. I thought it was a good idea, but as someone who suffers from chronic fatigue, I thought my brain would just glaze over my voice, and make me hear what I wanted to hear.

Then came the discovery that my Google Nexus 4 has a Read aloud feature on their Play Books app. Hearing the hip-sounding cyber lady recite my text would be just what I needed. So, this is what I did:

  1. I saved my Google docs file as a Word Document.
  2. Converted the .docx file to an .epub format using Calibre.
  3. Saved the epub to my Google Drive.
  4. Uploaded the epub to my phone, and opened it with Play Books.
  5. Selected Play aloud from the menu.

What I like is to listen to Suzie (the cyber-voice…probably not her real name) read the book aloud while I follow with my Chromebook. Then I can pause the voice and make any corrections, which are automatically saved in Google Drive. Because the voice is not mine, I find that I pay attention better, and often say, “Whoops!” as I hear something that just isn’t right.


I am very grateful that Suzie is so tireless, and doesn’t mind re-reading my chapters over and over. She is my special writing buddy. I wonder if I should include her in the Acknowledgements section. Yeah, it probably would be rude not to.


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