Writing a book with standard issue software is often a frustrating experience.
Tools such as Google Docs and Microsoft Word were created with the casual writer in mind. They are better suited to shorter compositions such as letters and documents than they are to full length novels or nonfiction projects.
I’ve long advocated for using a specialist book writing app. There are a lot of options out there, depending on the type of computer you use, your budget, and the particular features you require. However, my personal pick is Scrivener.
Read on to discover the three reasons I love Scrivener and why I’m sure you will too.
Project Planning For Pro Authors
Many authors have spent years honing their writing craft. However, this doesn’t always mean they take the time to learn project planning and other fundamental skills needed to successfully self-publish.
If you think about it, this is entirely understandable. The creative, artistic ability of writing doesn’t automatically link itself to the strict discipline and organization of project management.
This is one area where Scrivener can play a massive role in keeping you on track. It has multiple ways to outline your book. You can use the app to set project targets and goals. You can also look back to see how much you wrote during any particular session. This allows you to gain insight into your own patterns of productivity, and learn to work in the way and the time that maximizes your output.
Scrivener also makes organizing your book a total breeze compared to more basic writing apps. Its ability to divide your work into chapters allows you to strike when the creative iron is hot, and figure out the sequence of your work after writing it down.
Delve As Deep As You Like
One common complaint about using Scrivener is a fear of the learning curve. People worry that the pain of learning how it works will outweigh any benefits they gain from using the app.
This is understandable. After all, Scrivener is a powerful, feature packed piece of software. The good news is Scrivener allows you to use it in a way which is as complex or basic as your needs.
At its simplest level, you can use Scrivener as a place to store your research and write your book. You don’t have to use any of the advanced features, or even know how they work, to make use of the app.
On the other hand, if you take the time to delve deeper, you will find that Scrivener is an absolute treasure trove for writers. Some of the coolest advanced features include –
- Linguistic Focus. A powerful, in-depth language analysis tool. Very cool for highlighting only dialogue, for example.
- Advanced formatting capabilities. If you’ve spent much time working with eBooks, you’ll know getting the format to appear as intended can be one of the more frustrating aspects.
- Corkboard mode. Superb tool for having a visual overview of your book project, and integrates with the writing interface of Scrivener.
- Fully customizable Scrivener templates and other community resources.
Scrivener is a great example of software which is a joy to use, no matter how basic or complex your needs happen to be.
Ease Your Self-Publishing To Do List
Spend any time at all in the author community, and it will soon feel like a cliche when authors claim ‘writing is the easy part!’.
Self-publishing is as much about having a logical plan in place to move your book project to completion. This involves an incredible amount of moving parts, such as formatting, exporting, uploading, and even advertising.
Typically, authors have two choices. Either invest their time in learning a multitude of skills, or invest their money in hiring a pro to carry them out.
Scrivener gives a great third option. You can use it to format and export with a far shorter learning curve than if you used separate, specialised apps for each aspect. Even hiring someone to format and export your book even once could end up costing you more than a one-off payment for Scrivener access!
You can tell I adore Scrivener, right? You’ll also notice there are no affiliate links in this article. I genuinely love using Scrivener, and have done so ever since I received an incredibly early copy when I worked for Apple.
I’m confident if you check it out, and take the time to get to grips with what it’s capable of, you’ll end up feeling the same way.
Scrivener offers a truly epic free trial which only uses up one of your free days when you actually use the software. You can also use a Scrivener coupon to get a discount if you end up taking the plunge and investing in Scrivener.
It’s one of the best decisions I ever made as an author, and I hope you end up feeling the same way too.