How to Find (and Compile) Proofreading Errors on a Kindle

by Corina Koch MacLeod
Updated February 2014
In a previous post, I described 8 steps for proofreading on a Kindle and explained why you’d even consider doing such a thing. In short: if you’re publishing an ebook, you’ll want to see how it looks on an e-reader.
But let’s suppose you’ve already published your book, and then you find proofreading errors. Or your book looked fine in Word, but it’s a disaster on your Kindle. Oops.
Don’t worry. All is not lost. It’s a digital book after all. 

Post-Publishing Proofreading Steps

So, here’s the step-by-step procedure for using your Kindle to create a list of those proofreading errors so you can send them to your formatter or use them to fix your ebook file yourself:
1. Go to your Kindle Publishing account. Download your mobi file to your computer. Check the Downloads folder on your computer.
2. Transfer your file.
You have a couple of options: you can open your file in the Kindle for PC or Kindle for Mac app, or you can transfer the mobi file to your Kindle.
3. Identify errors.
Want to proofread on the go? You can identify proofreading errors using the Highlights feature on your Kindle. This trick works for the computer, tablet and smartphone apps as well.*
A neat feature that I hope Amazon tweaks
I discovered, quite by accident, that if I highlight errors on my Kindle, in a book I’ve purchased or downloaded for free, those highlights are saved, compiled, and stored in my Kindle Amazon account. These annotations are also synced across devices. That’s a remarkable thing (see the next step).

The only way I can think of how to get Amazon to store those annotations for my own book is to purchase my own book or download it after it’s set at free. A bit of a drag. If you know of another workaround, I’d love to hear it.

4. Find your compiled list of errors.
To find a compiled list of errors, go to your Kindle account. You’ll find your list of highlights (errors) all in one place, under your book’s title. Here’s the magic link. (Amazon tends to bury 
5. Store errors in a Word document.
Copy and paste your list of errors into a Word processing document. You now have a handy list of errors that you or your formatter can refer to.
6. Fix your errors.
Go back to your source document and use Word’s Find and Replace feature to search for the errors.Tick off each error in your compiled errors list as you address it.
7. Re-upload your ebook.
Once you’ve fixed your errors, upload your ebook again.
And that’s it! It’s surprising how many authors and publishers forget to proofread a book on some sort of e-reading device. Set yourself apart from the pack and don’t be one of them.
*You’re not limited to using a Kindle to check for errors. You can check for errors on a computer, tablet or smartphone, too. To do that, you’ll need to download the appropriate Kindle reading apps.
Image by J_O_I_D (CC BY 2.0)
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3 thoughts on “How to Find (and Compile) Proofreading Errors on a Kindle

  1. Thanks for this great step-by-step blog post, Corina. It’s definitely one to bookmark and refer my clients to. I was recently asked by a client to provide this service for her manuscript post-copy-edit and proofread. I believe editors and proofreaders who work with independent authors will see a greater demand for this service in the coming months.

  2. Mary, I believe you’re right. In fact, even ebook publishers like Open Road Media, are beginning to include a “last look” in their ebook production workflow. This is a value-enhancing step, to be sure.

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