You’ve been writing for years, and you probably have your preference for which tools to use. But, if you don’t explore all of your options, you could be taking all the fun out of writing books. Since creativity is the driving force behind your work, leverage tools that allow you to spend more time being creative and less time fighting with technology. Here are the tools that every writer today needs to know about.
It’s a bummer to have a lightbulb moment and no way to record it. So, forget jotting down your ideas on napkins only to acquire a pile that resembles something you would see in your bathroom wastebasket. You never know when inspiration might strike, so capture your ah-ha moments with this invaluable tool.
Store and compile your ideas with Evernote and share them with anyone across multiple devices. Store reminders, to-do lists, and sketches in the cloud. A basic account (Up to 60 MB of storage) is free. The most you will pay is $69.99 per year for up to 10GB of new uploads.
Compiling your wordplay is one thing, but organizing it into chapters and keeping track of characters can be tedious. Some writers want a word processor with advanced functionality. This tool makes book creation as easy as possible.
Using Scrivener you can grow your manuscript your way from iOS and Mac OS X.
- First, leverage the Corkboard for idea compilation.
- Next, use the Outliner to plan your storyline.
- Then, take advantage of Scrivenings to move seamlessly from editing one section at a time or as a whole.
- Finally, write your story in the easy-to-use Text Editing
The cost of this software is $45, and you get to try it for free before you invest.
If you’re using Scrivener, and you’re not already using Evernote to collect ideas, there is another option. You probably want to use a tool that’s setup to work smoothly with your text editing software. For you, there’s Story Skeleton.
This is a story-mapping app for iOS that lets you collect ideas when they strike. The app provides bluetooth keyboard support for iOS 7 and above. For $8.99, start compiling your vision from your iPhone or iPad.
4. Google Docs
If you don’t own a Mac, you don’t have the option of using Scrivener. For you, Google shares an awesome, cloud-hosted word processing option where your fans can even watch you write live.
Google Docs isn’t just great for building a following; it’s also feature-rich. Everything you write is saved automatically. You can work on and offline. All it takes is one click of your mouse for whatever format you need to download your work in (even epub). The best part is that it’s absolutely free with a Gmail account.
Yes, many writers are still using Microsoft Word to create amazing works of literature. Some argue that after MS Word 2003, the software became overloaded. Decide for yourself.
Office Live provides a cloud based version of Word that, like Google Docs, is full of valuable writing features like auto-save, on and offline writing, and rich formatting. The live version of the software is free with a Hotmail account.
Typos can kill you. Wouldn’t you love it if you had a little writing helper sitting on your shoulder to highlight your errors as you work? Well, now you can have that.
Write original content, but comb through and edit it before you share it with the public. Grammatical errors, poor spelling, typos, and passive voice can play a significant role in the quality of your literature. Grammarly also checks for plagiarism, which is helpful. So, use Grammarly to perfect everything you write before it goes out to your audience. It will cost $29 per month if you want to upgrade to the pro version (you do).
Note: Grammarly works well with MS Office, but is not currently supported by Google Docs.
Once your book is complete, you will need a place to sell it. Of course, you will have Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all of the other common platforms for book sales, but you will also need your own website. Advantageously, the most popular eCommerce platform is now optimized for selling books and eBooks online.
Shopify provides everything you need to sell books online with a ready-to-use solution. Give yourself more time to write by making website management as easy as possible.
Here are some of the valuable features you should take advantage of:
- Simplified Interface
- Professional Marketing Tools
- Beautiful Templates
- Fully-Customizable Store Design
- 24 Hour Support
See what over 377,500 other store owners trust, and try shopify for free. If you like it, you’ll pay $29-299 per month, depending on your needs.
When you want to facilitate more productive use of your writing time, leverage the tools that will make it easy. Try out the software from the list above and see how simple it is to make efficient use of your energy and creativity.
Jared Carrizales is the fearless leader of Heroic Search, a digital marketing company in both Tulsa and Dallas. Jared and his team offer digital PR, content marketing and social media services for businesses all over the world.