Have you decided to start writing your book in 2019?
Creative writing and the publishing process have changed forever.
It doesn’t matter if you plan to take the route with a traditional publisher or if you want to self-publish.
Digital publishing, sometimes called e-publishing, is where everything starts and stops now for published books.
If you are ready to write your book, you should make sure that you have the essential book writing tools to get the job done. A pen and paper are great tools for notetaking, and a typewriter is romantic and nostalgic.
In today’s world, electronic files are necessary from the beginning to the end of the writing and publishing process. If you check your app store for writing tools you will find hundreds for Mac, PC, Android and iPhone or iPad.
The only part of the process that hasn’t changed is that you need to have the time to write.
Indie authors are having success and are competing with traditional publishing companies and some are achieving bestselling author status.
You only need to take a quick look at the bestselling books on Amazon to see that many self-published authors are in the top 10 for a variety of genres. In particular, for ebooks and Kindle Unlimited readers.
If you are ready to start your book project, there are a lot of ways you can publish. But before you start, make sure you have all the tools you will need to do the job.
Writing and publishing today means you need the best tools
A lot of people have a great book idea.
Writing and publishing a book with today’s technology is easy. All you need is a great idea and the writing time to finish your book.
The reality of writing fiction books or a nonfiction book is that only good writing and outstanding books stand a chance of selling.
If you are new to writing and electronic publishing, it is a good idea to work on practising writing before you start your book project.
It is not that successful authors today need to be professional writers, but writing good books does require competent grammar and writing skills.
But don’t worry. There are plenty of resources and tools available now for a new book writer to help you learn and improve your writing skills.
It might seem odd today to recommend that you read a book. But On Writing by Stephen King is still a great place to start for all new writers.
Writing your book
It starts with a few chapter titles. Then, once you’ve written between forty and eighty thousand words, you can say, “I wrote a book!”
Then the process of carefully preparing your manuscript for publishing begins. For most writers, it means finding an editor and a competent proofreader. It might also require the services of a book formatter as well.
All that is for later though. Because first, you have to write your book.
No one writes a book on the kitchen table with a pen and paper anymore. And the days of sitting down at a typewriter are long gone.
The tools that an author needs today are electronic and digital. Most are very easy to use. But as with anything new, you might have a short learning curve at first.
The two essentials for a serious book writer are a multi-layered word processor and editor designed specifically for writing a book or novel and a first-class spelling, grammar and writing checker.
Related reading: How To Control The Future Tense In English Writing
Book writing programs
Word processors like Microsoft Word, Apple Pages or Google Docs are fine for writing letters, articles and essays. But writing a book is a long and complex process.
When you write a book, you need to be able to work on individual parts of your story. You will need to have notes or perhaps mind maps about your characters, events and your story timeline. This is much more than simple word processing can do.
At times, you might need to reorder scenes or even chapters or make changes to your plot. Scrolling back and forward through one long text editor or word processor document is a painful process.
The best and most productive way to write a book is to use software that is made precisely for the purpose.
Here are some other dedicated book writing software suggestions for you that will help you in the writing process.
Scrivener is one of the most popular premium creative and book writing tools.
It is feature rich with all the writing tools an author needs. It is tailor-made for very long writing projects.
Scrivener has everything you need to write a book. An outliner, cork board, side by side viewing, word count targets and a full-screen editor for distraction free writing along with print, export and publishing tools.
It has all the tools that a writer could ever need. About all that is missing are writing prompts and instant cures for writer’s block.
You can learn a lot more about Scrivener in this short video.
Scrivener offers a 30 day free trial period. But only days that you use the software are counted. If you use the software every second day, your free trial period will run for 60 days.
Scrivener is available for download for both Windows and Mac. There are also iOS apps for iPhone and iPad.To find the free version, scroll down to the footer of the product page. You will see the Download link on the left-hand side.
One feature is that it breaks book writing into chapters. When writing a book, this is a must-have feature.
It also comes with the ability to build characters and locations.
It has an outliner, word count, distraction-free mode and a novel assistant to help you develop characters using the snowflake method.
Not too bad for a free piece of software.
Writing checkers and editing software
When you start writing a book, you are going to need software programs and editing tools that will help you improve your writing.
While intense editing and proofreading will start after you finish, you still want to make sure that what you write is as perfect as possible after each writing session.
The best way to do this is to use a premium writing checker that will help you find ways to polish your writing style, grammar and consistency.
There are many free online grammar checkers, such as the Hemingway Editor, but most are not suitable at all for working on a long document.
The only two I use and would recommend for working on a manuscript are ProWritingAid and Grammarly.
ProWritingAid calls itself a personal writing coach, grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor.
From my experience with using it, I can certainly say that it is not an exaggeration.
While most grammar checkers can find the passive voice, incorrect prepositions and plurals, ProWritingAid goes so much deeper into analysing long-form writing.
There are twenty-five different in-depth reports that will give you so many suggestions as to how you can improve your text.
It also has a very big advantage of being compatible with Scrivener.
There are many free and premium grammar checkers, but only ProWritingAid has all the tools that are essential for authors.
There is a free version available. But if you are serious about learning how to write a book, you will probably choose the reasonably priced premium version with all the tools you need.
As a second choice for authors, you won’t go wrong. But it is better at helping correct online writing such as for a blog post or social media entries.
I use it a lot, but only for short-form writing such as short stories and checking that what I write and post online is as accurate as possible. You can read my full review of Grammarly.
It works exceptionally well with the WordPress editor, so for bloggers, it is almost always the best choice.
Again there are free and premium versions available.
Yes, there are a lot of free tools for writers available online now to help you with many time consuming tasks.
But if you are serious about writing your book and writing it well, a small investment in the best book writer software you can find is a small price to pay.
If you decide to use Scrivener and ProWritingAid together, you will have the best two tools available for the long task ahead of you.
All you need now is your brilliant book idea, and the passion and energy to turn it into a fantastic story.
Related reading: What Is Point Of View In Story Writing And How You Choose