Put these writing tools on your holiday 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 overall 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 long and comprehensive. Scrivener works best for Mac. The Windows version is less virtuous but still worth getting.
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!)
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.
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.
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 headaches!
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.
New Year. New Ambition?
Publishing a Book
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 eBook and want to get published start here. Draft2Digital take just 10% of the sales price. Also, 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.
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 crowd funding. 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 keep 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 long list when he published with Unbound. Unbound accept submissions for unfinished books if they think the idea and example of your writing are of a high enough quality.
How To Get Published
#9. The Novelry
And if you want to secure a traditional publishing deal with the likes of Penguin, 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 has an affiliation with a leading literary agency and passes outstanding new talent their way so the road to literary fame is carefully plotted and planned all the way to a happy ending.
Your Stocking Fillers
#10. 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 a big blog post, 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.
Offering a cheap and cheerful way to check your writing to you with the compliments of the charming Count Wordsworth. Check the number of times you use a certain word. It may surprise you and what seeds you’re sewing in the reader’s subconscious! 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 epic blog post, 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 canape or two? Now you can bring all those highlighted passages from your Kindle or iPad iBooks into one place. Sign up to Readwise.
Wishing you Happy Blogging in 2019.
Louise Dean is the founder of The Novelry. She has lived and worked in London, Hong Kong, New York and the South of France and is now living in the UK. She has won the Society of Authors Betty Trask Prize, Le Prince Maurice, had her books chosen for The Oprah Book Club and been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. If you want to change the way you write for good, head to The Novelry.