Category Archives: Writer

My top writer phone apps

I finally updated to an iPhone 7 Pro from the iPhone 4S. The size difference is considerable. I thought it would bother me more, but between the much improved camera and larger screen (my eyes are not so great) I’m adapting quickly to it.

So I though I’d share with you some of my top apps that I think writers might like;

mswordMS Word app– A full word processor, I would also note this does not include the fonts you would have on your laptop/desktop computer. You can however open and save DOC files, typing up novels no matter where you are at the time.

Cost: Trial period for 30 days then various monthly cost with Office 365 subscription. This is $6.99 – $99.99 depending on which plan. I already have a subscription so this was free for me.

openofficeOpenOffice App– Unlike  MS Word, this app includes the ‘suite’ of Openoffice software. This means you get the word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation elements of OpenOffice.

Cost: $5.99. This is a flat cost not subscription.

googledocGoogle Docs is a free word processor app that connects to your Google Drive account. This connects to your Google account, so links with the Google Drive.

Cost: Free

***The iPhone comes with a robust Notes app already installed.

 

iDeasiDeas for Writing is a fun app that helps you with ideas with prompts. This includes First Lines, Title, Character, and Five Words. I’ve used this my writers group. The app looks good, provide ideas, workshop (writing techniques challenges), and a built-in notebook so you can jot down ideas or take on the writing prompts.

Cost: $2.99 for the app.

storyplanner

Story Planner enables you to outline plots, characters, locations, scenes, and more. This exports to Scrivener, Final Draft, into PDF or DOCX formats, or just plain text. This app syncs with iCloud so your work is backed up,

Cost: $3.99

Writer Lists includes tons of lists for ideas. You can pick names, roles, body types, appearance, personalities, plots, setting, and more.  I use this to look up elements of a story or browse for ideas.

Cost: $2.99

canvaCanva is the official Canva.com app. Here, you can create designs such as book covers, but also design graphics for Facebook, web sites, Twitter, business cards, and more.  You can create an entire media kit for your author brand.  You can save designs as PDF or PNG formats.

Cost: Free

What are your favorite apps? Ever considered writing a novel with your smartphone? Comment below.

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Romance, love, and mushy stuff

loveromance01I don’t read romance and I although some of my stories have romance, it is not in the romance genre. That being said, I wanted to share a few resources for those who do, who might appreciate some tips and hacks.

Book Cover Design: Canva.com provides some lovely options for graphics but also layouts for book covers. This is great for ebooks. Printed books demand more attention. I also appreciate the costs ($1 for each graphic), so you can create a cover and use it commercially.

Templates can provide you a guide on creating a cover. This can be fun just creating one for fun. Romance Cover at GlassGiant.com.

Name Generator: Not just for romance, the FakeNameGenerator provides a database of names. This includes nationality, gender, and even age.

Marketing: How to Market Your Romance Novel on Pinterest, Goodreads, and more.

Romance plot: How to plot a romance novel.

Historical romance: Writing Historical Fiction provides tips but also the site provides visitors to look up historical fiction based on the era.

Writing Ecourses: Low Country Online Writing Courses for Romance Writers. Courses cost $20

More Resources: Writing-world.com provides a nice list of resources for romance writers.

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Published our fourth anthology

Anthology cover 2016

 

My writer’s group publishes an anthology of our writing each year. Members submit, then I take their stories and assemble the book, design the cover, and upload to Createspace and Amazon Kindle Publishing.

The steps to publish an anthology is as follows;

  1. Edit and revise your stories so that it is the best it can be. As editor, this often means I go through to remove indents, line spacing, spellcheck, and run through punctuation. I then make sure the Title is formatted to HEADER 1, and the author’s name is HEADER 2.
  2. I add pages: Page Numbers. Title page that includes all authors. Copyright page for the book and include book cover design copyright as well. Book dedication page, which often is to the authors who submit, my writer’s group in general, and all would-be authors out there. TABLE OF CONTENTS- This gets added when I add all stories into a single document. This is where the HEADER settings are added into the TABLE OF CONTENTS field. I double check its layout and if its correct.
  3. I revise again for formatting issues.
  4. I download a pre-formatted file from Createspace that includes the gutter (that’s the book seam of a printed book) and margins. I cut/paste the book, then go through the document to check for formatting again.
  5. I send this out to all writers to check their bio page and story, and if they want, they can also check the rest of the book. It is always a good idea to get fresh eyes on the manuscript.
  6. I make revisions again.
  7. I work on book design while authors check the manuscript. Once I get their feedback, I put everything together and upload to Createspace.
  8. I often have to make more revisions if it doesn’t look correct under the online revision screen. This generally includes how the pages look in the book format.
  9. If it looks good, then I click ok, choose ‘channels, which includes book stores or online stores that might want to order the book, libraries, and of course Amazon and Createspace stores online.
  10. I adjust price. I generally keep this as low as possible since the anthology is meant to get the writers some exposure.
  11. Add the eBook version. I have to go through a similar process to get the eBook version up, editing the book cover as well. What I find frustrating is that Amazon and Createspace doesn’t play so well together and you can end up with two listings of the printed version and the eBook version.
  12. I then announce to group and hooray– we have another book released.

Printed anthology 2016

EBook version of anthology 2016

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A Writer’s Dashboard

writer dashboard

For my writer’s group, and the visitors who visit the Western Maryland Writers Site, I designed a writer’s dashboard. You can bookmark it and save it for later, so you can use tools and resources.

Ambience– I’ve included a number of ambience sites that provide background noise for writing. They include background noise of a café to nature sounds, to sites that provide mix-and-match, even with music.

Generators– Here you can find name generators for modern day fiction or fantasy, but also a link to more tools. I’ll add more as I find them.

Members– This is where you can find the group members and links to their sites/blogs.

Programs– I’ve included word processors, but also programs to help organize your writing.

Printables–  Sometimes I have handouts, but I also make other printables such as quotes to have on your desk, or cards to send. More to come.

Writing– This links leads to all things writing, from drafting to publishing and marketing.

Let me know if you want more tools, generators, links, and resources added. If you have suggestions, please post in comments.

 

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