Put these writing tools on your Christmas list and get ready to make a clean start in the New Year.
It had to be you. We have tried them all. Ulysses, Novelr, and more and we are unanimous that if you're tackling a big project, the organizational engine of Scrivener will ensure everything goes off to plan. Who uses Scrivener? Authors, journalists, copywriters, lawyers, novelists, screenwriters, students, translators... If you're tackling a major document, go for it. Scrivener for iOS won both Productivity App of the Year and the over all UK App of the Year at the UK App Awards 2017. Scrivener 3.1.1 has just launched (November 2018) and the list up updates and additions is very long and comprehensive. In truth, Scrivener works best for Mac. The Windows version is less virtuous but still worth getting.
Our members can enjoy a 20% discount on Scrivener at our Members' Library. (One of the many discounts available which make membership well worth having!)
Use ProWritingAid to polish your prose. It will keep an eye on clichés and make sure your sentences are short and snappy. That's important. It will pluck out passive writing and score your writing for readability showing you where you can improve your style. The app analyzes your writing and presents its findings in over 20 different reports (more than any other editing software). Over 700,000 writers use ProWritingAid to spare their copy blushes. You can keep track of your writing style with a neat integration of ProWritingAid and Scrivener. They work very well together. ProWritingAid imports your Scrivener folder into its platform and gives you a detailed analysis of how you're writing. (Of course, you should be a control freak!)
I use ProWritingAid for that final finesse. For nuts and bolts, the dotting of i's and crossing of t's, ProWritingAid will cover that too, but you may also find Grammarly useful.
The kindly grandma of all writing apps. With over 6.9 millions daily users checking their punctuation and grammar, this is a must-have for writers. You can install the plug-in and everything, even social media, gets a clean sweep before it goes out. Go premium. It's worth it. I consider this an essential and like the way it checks everything I do as I write online. I wouldn't press 'enter' or hit 'send' without it. For Mac users, you have to upload your text into the site browser but it's not a big deal and you get a second back up of those important chapters! I find it helpful for silly mistakes, tiresome little niggles, too many spaces and so on. Think of Grammarly as your copy cleaning service.
Here's the smart workaround that will save you time and money and see you through the social season and beyond.
#4. Schedugram. Schedule your Instagram posts beautifully with Schedugram. You get a nice visual display of previous posts and forthcoming allowing you to really consider the look of your wall. Check out our Insta wall! It's pretty.
#5. IFFT. Next, configure IFFT to relay those posts through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and more. This will save you heaps of time and the Insta sized posts (now at 1200 x 1200 px) will look just fine and dandy on every channel. It's FREE and it's genius!
Bye bye Hootsuite headache!
#6. Acuity. The easiest way to embed your diary and create appointments for customers and one to one chats by far is Acuity. We tried them all, and while it's not that beautiful as an interface and the customization is limited it functions robustly and allows for custom reminders and accepts payments.
#7. Draft2Digital has seen some major updates and improvements in 2018 adding Amazon to their book listing engine so that even if you're listed on the e-commerce giant you can now list with Draft2Digital too. If you're writing an e-book, and want to get published start here. Draft2Digital take just 10% of the sales price. What's more, with D2D Print, they've extended their remit to the real world of printed paperbacks and bookshops via Baker & Taylor lately so they will handle for you the printing and distribution of your work to stores. Baker & Taylor is the world’s largest distributor of digital and print books worldwide, to thousands of libraries, publishers, and retailers. As a library distribution partner, Baker & Taylor will further enhance D2D’s reach into public libraries around the world. This improves indie author reach to the estimated 1.5 billion customers who visit libraries each year. Over the past six months Draft2Digital authors have seen a 133% growth in library revenue.
They assign you ISBNs too. Bye bye Neilsen costs! This should be your go-to solution for publishing in 2019.
But...if you're after a major publishing adventure and don't want to go it alone....
#8. Try Unbound. A radical new approach to publishing through crowdfunding. Unbound offers a team of publishers, writers, editors, and designers who take care of the whole process, from manuscript editing to shipping the first editions. You retain 50% of your sales and you get a powerhouse of public relations and noise as the community cheers you on. Paul Kingsnorth who wrote 'The Wake' got onto the Man Booker longlist when he published with Unbound. Unbound accept submissions for unfinished books if they think the idea and example of your writing is of a high enough quality.
#9. The Novelry. And if you want to secure a traditional publishing deal with a mainstream big publishing house, head to The Novelry. The step-by-step program hothouses writing talent with writing courses of a high standard taught by an award-winning author or two to a deadline with live online teaching, practical and provocative content on a beautifully designed platform online which guides you daily on your path to publishing glory. The Novelry passes outstanding new talent to literary agent partners so the road to literary fame is carefully plotted and planned all the way to a happy ending. (The course can be gifted.)
#10. Your Stocking Fillers.
These are natty little sites which are incredibly useful (even if it's embarrassing to admit!)
Because sometimes it eludes the best of us... Whether you're writing ads for Google, SEO titles, or working on the big novel, sometimes you forget quite how to title it. Head to Capitalize My Title. Phew. Job done.
Want to convert a PDF document to Word, edit or compress a PDF? It's free and functional with SmallPDF.
A cheap and cheerful way to check your writing is offered to you with the compliments of the charming Count Wordsworth. Check the number of times you use a certain word. You may be surprised and what seeds you're sewing in the subconscious of the reader! In the first book of The Bible “behold” occurs more commonly than “there”, “as”, “went” and “we”. For an analysis of the cunning repetitions of words to seduce the reader in The Great Gatsby, you may enjoy this blog article.
In search of an idea for that novel you're meant to write? How about writing one you never meant to write. A super party game starter with the Random Logline Generator! I hit the page while writing this and found the idea for my next novel in less than 5 seconds. 'A telephone operator gives advice to the anachronistic adopted daughter of a magician in Scotland.' Why have you been fretting over your big idea for so long, you will ask yourself.
Want to keep track of the things which will make you seem smart over the festive season? Fancy dropping a learned quotation over a canapé or two? Now you can bring all those highlighted passages from your Kindle or iPad iBooks into one place. Sign up to Readwise.
On the lookout for an agent? Try Duotrope which allows you to search by genre and gives a scant but in the future useful insight into responses members have received. When you want the low down on agents, join The Novelry as a member. We share our news on the QT at our closed forum for working novelists - The Novelry Members' Lodge.
If you know someone who has a novel inside them, then make their dreams come true in 2019 with the gift of writing their own novel. The Novel Gift comes with all the support an aspiring author could wish for to write that novel at last.
Find out more about our courses for writers here.
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