How to use Kindle text to speech

Delve into the world of audiobook narration using Kindle text-to-speech

Since its first release in 2007, Amazon’s Kindle has taken the world by storm, revolutionizing how people read.

By integrating unrivaled features such as a glare-free e-ink display, an extensive library, and various accessibility functionalities, Kindle was always ahead of its time, making it one of the best e-readers on the market today.

One of its most popular accessibility features is Text-to-Speech (TTS), allowing readers to have their favorite books read aloud to them. In this article, we'll delve into this functionality, discussing how to enable Kindle text-to-speech, and how you can use the latest in AI technology to turn any book into an audiobook using ElevenLabs.

Whether you’re an author, an avid reader, or someone looking to purchase a quality e-reader with extensive accessibility functionalities, this article is for you.

What is Kindle?

Kindle is a lightweight digital reading device that allows you to carry a whole library in your pocket or bag. Similar to tablets, Kindle devices have been the go-to e-readers since Amazon first introduced them in 2007. 

Kindle devices come in different sizes and models to suit individual requirements and offer a convenient, portable, and digital alternative to physical books. Over the years, Amazon has released several generations of Kindle e-readers, showing a consistent commitment to quality and device evolution.

Since the product’s initial launch in 2007, Amazon has integrated dozens of useful features into their prized e-reader, including excellent display clarity, larger screens, audiobook integrations, and even waterproof functionalities. Overall, it’s safe to say that Kindle has established itself as a leader in the market, and that’s not about to change any time soon.

Four Kindle models are currently available in 2024:

Kindle

Also referred to as the Entry-Level Kindle, this model has all of the standard benefits, including a 6-inch glare-free display, 300 ppi high-resolution display, an adjustable front light and dark mode, up to 6 weeks of battery life with USB-C charging, 16 GB of storage and access to over 2 million titles with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Kindle Paperwhite

An enhanced version of the standard model, The Kindle Paperwhite includes a high-resolution 6.8-inch display with adjustable warm light, up to 10 weeks of battery life with USB-C charging, waterproof reading, 17 LEDs for a uniform front light, and 8 GB or 16 GB of storage.

Kindle Paperwhite signature edition

This model includes all of the features in the Paperwhite device, plus wireless charging, auto-adjusting light sensors, 32 GB of storage, and up to 10 weeks of battery with USB-C charging.

Kindle Kids Edition

Designed specifically for young readers, the Kindle Kids Edition includes all of the features in the standard model plus one year of unlimited access to thousands of books with Kids+. This model also includes a cover and a 2-year worry-free guarantee.

The advantages of Kindle text-to-speech

Kindle offers several accessibility features that make it a popular choice for e-reader enthusiasts, with one of the leading functionalities being Text-to-Speech (TTS). 

As long as this functionality is enabled, the TTS option turns any book into an audiobook, perfect for busy readers looking to listen to books on the go or those who prefer audiobooks over traditional ones.

Likewise, this feature is also helpful for visually impaired readers or those who suffer from eye strain and want to give their eyes a break. 

Let’s explore some of the key benefits below in more detail.

Accessibility

One of the main advantages of Kindle Text-to-Speech lies in its accessibility. TTS helps literature enthusiasts with visual impairments or reading difficulties access and enjoy books in a format that suits their requirements. 

Convenience

An ideal option for busy readers or serial multitaskers, the TTS functionality allows users to “read” books while performing other tasks, such as daily chores, work commutes, cooking, and exercising. Likewise, it’s also a perfect option for users who tend to feel nauseous while reading on the move but would still like to continue with their book during a long road trip or daily commute.

Language learning

Aside from accessibility and convenience, TTS can also be a valuable educational tool, especially regarding language learning. Readers can improve their understanding, pronunciation, and general language skills by listening to books narrated in the original language. 

Fatigue reduction

It’s no secret that many people spend their working hours in front of a computer screen, leaving them too exhausted to read. TTS allows readers to reclaim their hobby without having to worry about eye strain or migraines.

Customization

Kindle TTS includes many customization options tailored to suit individual readers’ needs. These options include reading speed, narrator selection, and playback options, to name a few.

How to enable Kindle text-to-speech

If this reading experience sounds appealing to you, you’ll be pleased to know that enabling the TTS feature is straightforward and intuitive. 

Check if text-to-speech is supported

Not all Kindle books have the TTS option enabled, so check the details to ensure Text-to-Speech is supported before purchase.  

Turn on text-to-speech

Open the book you want to read, press the “Menu” button and navigate to the “Settings”. In the “Settings” menu, select “VoiceView” and turn on TTS. Once the function is enabled, you can start and stop narration by pressing and holding the “Play/Pause” button.

Customize text-to-speech settings 

Navigate to the “Settings” menu and adjust the settings to suit your preferences, including reading speed and preferred voice.

Control playback

Once Text-to-Speech is enabled, you can pause or resume narration via the “Play/Pause” button. Use the “Fast Forward” and “Rewind” buttons to skip forward or return to a previous sentence or paragraph.

To exit Text-to-Speech, disable VoiceView via the “Settings” menu.

Transform any e-book into an audiobook: ElevenLabs

If you’re an author looking to transform your e-book into an audiobook for broader reach and improved accessibility, check out the ElevenLabs TTS tool for a natural-sounding narration. 

ElevenLabs is an advanced TTS and AI voice generation tool specifically designed for human-like voiceovers. With a vast selection of narrators to choose from, multiple settings to adjust, and affordable pricing plans, you can transform your e-book into an audiobook in just a few clicks.

So, how does ElevenLabs work for e-book narration? 

All you need to do is follow seven simple steps:

  1. Sign up for ElevenLabs and select your preferred pricing plan.
  2. Upload a PDF or ePub, or write your book directly on our platform.
  3. Choose your preferred language and accent.
  4. Customize the narration style to fit your target audience.
  5. Generate the voiceover and review the result.
  6. Make further adjustments if necessary.
  7. Distribute your audiobook across any platform of your choice.

Key takeaways

Text-to-speech is an undeniably important feature, especially in our current landscape. TTS has allowed many avid readers to reclaim their favorite hobby and enabled people with visual impairments to enjoy countless previously inaccessible books. 

With the rise in audiobook popularity, authors must consider TTS and custom narration when publishing any e-book. A natural, human-sounding voiceover will help expand your reach and bring in new readers who would otherwise choose another book. 

Try ElevenLabs today, and turn any book, script, or piece of text into an audio file expertly converted into speech using the latest innovation in AI technology.

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