Blogger: Wendy Lawton
As writers we know how important it is to read the written word but did you know it is equally important to listen to the written word? Yes, read and listen.
I know you’ve heard writing experts tell you that when you get close to your final draft you should read it out loud. Listening engages a different part of the brain than visually reading. When you are listening to your work being read you’ll often catch repetitious words, overused phrases, clunky sentences and jerky rhythm.
It works for pleasure readers as well. Lately I’ve become a fan of Amazon’s WhisperSync technology. When you buy an ebook, you can add the audio version of the book for a few dollars more. Quite a bargain when you consider that an unabridged audio book usually runs about thirty-five dollars.
Or if you have a regular Audible account where you pay $8.99 a month and get one credit toward an audio book, you can connect those to your ebook purchase so you can both read and listen. One credit generally equals one audio book.
Let me tell you why I’m a fan of having both the ebook and audio book. As a professional it lets me experience the book in both modalities– visual and aural. It allows me to read and listen for the cadence and voice of the writer.
But there’s a more practical reason as well. With WhisperSync you can switch back and forth between ebook and audio book. WhisperSync always knows what page you were on whether you were reading or listening. If you do both at the same time you can listen to a beautiful narration of a book while reading the words. WhisperSync even turns the pages for you at the appropriate time.
I found it perfect for my pleasure reading. I generally only have bits of time here and there for non-work reading. If I am using WhisperSync on a Saturday, say, I may set aside an hour to read in the morning but if I just can’t put the book down, I switch to listening as I do housework or cook. I’ve got a great set of Bluetooth earbuds that I can pop in and keep listening while getting groceries or going for a walk. If we’re going for a drive, I can plug my iPad or iPhone into the car and listen to the book over the car speaker system. Right now, Keith and I are listening to Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I can even listen to a book on my Apple Watch. (Geek alert.)
So, all that to say that Amazon is giving away a free book/audiobook with WhisperSync if you’d like to try it out. It’s a fascinating technology. The bonus is that when a writer will both read and listen to books, his own writing will improve.
So here’s where you find the free offer. I don’t know how long it will be offered: WhisperSync trial offer. Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Amazon, nor do we receive any remuneration for your signing up. It’s just a no-cost way to try a fascinating new technology.
So, how many of you have used the WhisperSync option? How do you like it? Have you read aloud your own work? Does it help you spot problems? Why do you think that is?