I’ve mentioned before that my laser printer is one of my best friends during the editing process, but another best friend, especially for quick reads, is my Kindle. With relatively little headache I can export my Word document as an epub, pop it on my Kindle, and have, effectively, a prototype of a typeset book; book-like thing.
I say it’s great for quick reads because on the Kindle I tend to read with more of a reader’s frame of mind than a writer’s (or editor’s, for that matter, as it’s just tedious enough to make annotations on e-ink to discourage me from making too many).
It’s probably a holdover from my design days, this wanting to see a prototype on the native device. Once you’ve built the whole widget yourself, it can be hard to work in one stage of the process while knowing how much your decisions in later stages can affect the overall experience. Book jacket designer Chip Kidd famously wrote his first novel THE CHEESE MONKEYS in the page layout software Quark 3.2, which is kind of like trying to carve a turkey with lasers. (But I understand, Chip!)
This is also why I admire the quality in screenwriters that allows them to entrust a director with a movie script, to give that baby away and see someone else raise it. Or to be more precise: the Quality is a trusting non-attachment, an awareness of being a part of a larger ecosystem/community/world. I’ve been trying to cultivate this quality, both personally and professionally—I’ll be working much more with others to publish this book than I did with the previous one.