Natural Reader Continued…Converting Your Writing into an MP3

I don’t have a lot of excess time these days with family, a full-time career, and the piddly but necessary tasks of life. We all have errands to run, homes to clean. Date Night with the hubby is nice too.

Face it, there’s no getting around the fact that editing is a time-suck. However, I can squeeze more out of my time by using Natural Reader.

The Process

Here’s how to convert your writing into an Mp3 and put it on your mobile device. I can use either my iPod Nano or my Galaxy s5 phone. You can also put your writing on a tablet or listen to it straight from the computer. Play around with the program and see what works for you.

Admittedly, I got a little picture happy. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Launch Natural Reader (Click on pictures to enlarge them)

Step 2: Copy-paste your text from your favorite writing program into the window.

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For this demonstration, I’m using an old writing exercise. With all the crazy Twilight parodies out there, why not add The Terminator to the mix? Sorry, it’s just how my mind works.

Step 3: Choose your preferred Natural Reader voice. In this case, I chose Heather.

Step 4: Select the convert button at the top of the window. On the Mac, it looks like an arrow pointing to a music note.

The Convert Button darkens after selected
The Convert Button darkens after selected

Step 5: Natural Reader will ask you to save the file before it converts it into an Mp3. This will help you find it easier in iTunes.

I saved the file as Prologue, Twilight with the Terminator
I saved the file as Prologue, Twilight with the Terminator

Step 6: Import the Mp3 file into iTunes.

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Click OK

Step 7: iTunes will launch. Under the Music tab, search Songs for the file. I ended up with percentage signs between the words of the title.

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Step 8: Change the file name in iTunes. Right click on the file. Select Get Info.

Select Get Info
Rename the file under the Info tab

Step 9: Create a new Playlist. I called mine Writing Proofs.

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Step 10: Move the newly renamed Mp3 file into the desired Playlist.

Step 11: Sync iPod.

Step 12: Under Writing Proofs, the new file is ready to play.

Under the Writing Proof Playlist, the file is ready to play
Time to proof your work

On the Go

You can listen to your writing in the car, while exercising (action scenes are best for this), or around the house. Time seems to pass more quickly when your brain is occupied. It’s even better when you are enjoying what you’re doing. How often can you say that?

Keep a notepad handy, or use your speech-to-text function on your phone or mobile device for recording notes. I often play a chapter or two before I go to bed. Using the memo program on my phone, I note missing words, phrasing that sounds off, or ideas that spring to mind.

Natural Reader is one tool that works for me. It doesn’t catch those pesky homophones, but it’s a start. Later on, when I send my manuscript to my beta readers and eventually to a professional editor, I know the majority of the copy-edits are handled.

Good luck, dear reader. If you have any thoughts, questions, or suggestions, leave me a comment or shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help.

Natural Reader Software, A Writer’s Next Best Friend!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Call it a blond thing, learning disabilities, or selective blindness, but I tend to make those clumsy errors that can kill a manuscript right out of the gate.

Hello, Slush Pile! Please add my novel to your bludgeoning “to be shredded” bin.

Natural Reader, a text-to-speech software program by NaturalSoft Limited, has made a huge difference in my work. It can help you too.

While the program will also read webpages, emails, PDFs, etc., I’ll be focusing on how to use it as a “first reader” for those early drafts of your stories. At least when you send your manuscript to a professional editor (always recommended), you won’t have to send aspirin along with it!

A Few Virtues of Natural Reader

NaturalSoft has excellent customer service. The sales team helped me make my move from Windows to Mac successful.

The voices do sound natural—within reason. No, Heather and Kate won’t surpass Singularity anytime soon, but that’s a good thing.

Writing instructors are notorious for telling you to read with zero inflection. After all, an honest reading is what counts. The Natural Reader Voices can do that.

What is on the page is what you get—zero varnish.

It can help with dialogue, scenes, and even plot.


I use the current version, Natural Reader 3.0 for my Mac, but I also have Natural Reader 12 on the Cloud.

You have access to 30 different voices on the Natural Reader Cloud. Pick a reader that suits you. I recommend changing voices for different levels of editing.

My favorite offline voices are Kate and Paul, the readers I started with years ago on Windows. Another voice I recommend is Heather for either Windows or Mac. She sounds younger, which fits my heroine better.

Until they can make Jay Snyder into a robo-reader, Mike, Ryan and Paul aren’t half bad.

Here we go. Launch Natural Reader.

Launch Natural Soft Reader


Using MS Word, or whatever writing software you prefer, copy and paste your text into the Natural Reader window.

This is on my MacBook.
This is on my MacBook.


The Cloud version.

Here's what it looks like on my Windows machine.
Here’s what it looks like on Windows.


Select a voice, set your preferred reader speed, and give it a listen. You’ll be surprised at the things your tired eyes have missed.

Try Natural Reader here.

Pricing varies. It’s under $70 for Personal or Education Silver editions. A bit steep, but worth every penny. Plus, as an existing customer, I was able to upgrade for cheaper. No, I do not get a commission for this blog. Ho hum.

Next Up:

How to convert your writing into an Mp3 and play it on your mobile device. You know, for the obsessed folks out there! Got you covered.