5 Great Author Tools Worth Trying At Least Once by Savannah Cordova

Great writers deserve worthy tools — and if you want to publish a book, you’re going to need a lot more than just pen and paper! Luckily, there’s an author tool out there for every step of the publishing process, from organizing your initial ideas to formatting your final product.

This list avoids the obvious word processors like Google Docs and Microsoft Word, instead focusing on author tools that fit into more specific niches. They’re all either free or offer free trials, so you can test each one and decide which tools work best for you!

1. Plottr

First on my list is a fantastic tool to help you jump-start your story. Plottr, as the name suggests, allows you to plot and organize your work in detail. You can chart character arcs and subplots scene-by-scene, with color-coded lines for easy visual comparison. Additionally, you can create separate notes for character traits, settings, and more. And if you’re not sure where to start, Plottr also offers over a dozen reliable story structure templates to help!

Pricing: Free trial for 30 days, yearly subscriptions ranging $25 to $65 (depending on the number of devices you use).

Lay out characters’ individual arcs with color-coded threads, referring to the upper-hand
chapter headings to keep track of when each plot point occurs. (via Plottr)

2. Evernote

Evernote is another excellent tool to help you stay organized. Gone are the days of messy drafts and random thoughts crowding up your phone’s notes app — with features like to-do lists, PDFs, and voice notes, Evernote will lend structure to your thoughts for optimal organization and productivity. You can even sync your notes across devices so you’ve got your best-selling ideas with you at all times! It’s not just for writers, either; whether you’re jotting down a grocery list or brainstorming for a book, Evernote will ensure you never lose the plot.

Pricing: Free basic plan, $7.99/month for the Personal plan, $9.99 for the Professional plan.

3. Reedsy Book Editor

The Reedsy Book Editor is a free online production tool which formats your book as you write, producing a ready-to-print PDF (or an EPUB if you’re writing an ebook). With built-in goal reminders and the ability to work collaboratively with an editor, the RBE will help you stay on top of your writing schedule and keep all your work in one place. It’s the perfect author tool to try out if you’re looking for a clean, distraction-free interface to solve all your formatting woes.

Pricing: Free with email signup.

Formatyour book with chapter headings, an auto-generated table of contents,
and even front and back matter for when you publish. (via Reedsy Book Editor)

4. Grammarly

Before you find an editor, you’ll want your manuscript to be as polished as possible — otherwise you’ll end up paying for edits you could have done yourself. Grammarly is just the tool you need to nip these errors in the bud. Not only will it check your spelling and grammar, but the Premium version also gives tips on style, tone, and clarity. All this should make your self-edit go much more smoothly — and like Evernote, you can use Grammarly across devices and purposes, for everything from your personal manuscript to work emails.

Pricing: Free basic plan, $12/month for Premium plan.

5. Cold Turkey

Finally, if you’re easily distracted and need a little external discipline to help you focus (don’t we all sometimes?), Cold Turkey is your new best friend. It lets you block different websites and apps when you want to stay focused; this could be just Twitter, or the entire internet. Compared to similar tools, Cold Turkey makes it much harder for you to stop the block once you turn it on, so you’ll be forced to stay on task — which is honestly a godsend on days when you have to write, but feel like you’d rather do anything else.

Pricing: Free basic plan, $39 for lifetime Blocker Pro.

Cold Turkey also provides stats on which websites and apps you use the most,
so you know which platforms are most important to block. (via Cold Turkey)

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with needing a little help with your creative process. With these varied new additions to your toolkit, you’ll be one step closer to finishing — and publishing! — your next amazing book.


Savannah Cordova is a writer with Reedsy, a marketplace that connects self-publishing authors with the world’s best resources and professionals. In her spare time, Savannah enjoys reading contemporary fiction and writing short stories.

Featured Image via: by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The Ghost Beside Me by Lee Hall

Happy Sunday friends. Today I would like to share this wonderful review of my paranormal romance The Ghost Beside Me by a wonderful fellow blogger.

Book Picks and Pics

4 out of 5 stars

“…what do you know of the forces that stretch beyond the boundaries of our own mortality?”

Lee Hall, The Ghost Beside Me

October is the perfect month for a ghost story. I learned about The Ghost Beside Me through the Twitter writing community.

With its enchanting cover, The Ghost Beside Me drew me in. Part ghost story and part love story, this beautifully written novella is about the lonely M. Neville and his quest for companionship.

Initially, I was a little thrown by the formal tone of the language, but it worked with the setting and the story. I appreciated the book’s overall message. I just wish it had been a little longer with more character development.

I’ve read other works by Lee Hall and he is a versatile writer. Bonus: Hall includes a sneak peek of The Teleporter in this book. I will be…

View original post 6 more words

‘Everything, Except You’ by Emma Jordan – Review

A feel-good cosy romance story about two passionate souls…

It can be quite a challenge to put together a slow burning romance that doesn’t appear over indulgent or even sickly but Emma Jordan hits all the right notes in this wonderful cosy love story about two creative souls crossing paths. After their chance encounter, ‘Lucy’ and ‘Cain’ along with their lives are never the same, from picturesque west English west country surroundings to the big cities of New York and London this tale takes the reader and their romance on a journey. Their individual interests from Country Music to 80’s films fit together much like a cosy glove. Many aspects of their backgrounds are polar opposites from family to even career aspirations, even their flaws are perfect but this is a fictional escape after all.

‘Everything, Except You’ is a well-executed story about two people and their lives that are made better for finding each other and the way in which they discover a love for each other. From the initial meeting, to the waiting and eventually breaking down of defensive barriers, the set up to pay off is wonderfully done. I don’t think there was a dull moment throughout the sometimes dramatic but always eventful story that is uniquely told from both perspectives. As these two passionate souls find love in their busy lives they eventually come to realise it. This is not only a great advert for love and romance books but life in general because to me, love is always the answer.

5 Stars – A great, feel-good read.

‘The Stairs’- a paranormal account

The events relayed in this account are true.

Image by Jody Davis from Pixabay

There are unexplained moments that happen in our lives. Some remain that way forever in the back of our minds and on the fringes of belief. For the majority, these ‘events’ are far and few between but then again there are some exceptions. My second paranormal experience was just that; an exception to the rule. It also happened to take place in the vicinity of where my previous one happened. I don’t believe in coincidence when it comes to the paranormal simply because of this…   

In the summer of 2017 I joined my significant other, her family and friends on what had become the annual two week trip to the south of France. For those who read my previous account  you’ll know the setting; a picturesque converted farm sitting on the hills of beautiful countryside. It’s remote and peaceful. The weather hot nearly everyday although this year the presence of bugs was way reduced due to a late frost.

Our particular digs like the other years a ‘gite’ which could hold up to 12 and on this trip 10 of us were about to become 12 at the midway point of the holiday when my S.O’s sister and her other half would be joining us. Their room sat opposite ours and my S.O’s in the right hand wing of the place. We had a bathroom between us and little stretch of narrow corridor which then flowed out to the main staircase. This staircase was fashioned out of dark red varnished wood and the steps were separately slotted into the wall. Like I mentioned previously when someone would climb these steps it’s would be difficult to miss with the distinctive wooden ‘drumming’ and vibrations which resonated against the wall whenever they were stepped upon.

On the night before our new arrivals were due I had already gone to bed when I had the rather strong urge to pee. I eventually gave in to those urges and decided to get up, I put the bedside lamp on and made my way to the door which I unlocked and headed out into the dark corridor. At this time the whole place was dead quiet, everyone was in bed by now and so it was dark but the little light from behind me showed the way and so I went into the bathroom, before I walked in I noticed the open bedroom door in front of me where our new arrivals would be staying the next night. The room sat in the shadows and in my grogginess I shuffled into the bathroom and closed the door.

Being half asleep I took the decision to sit on the toilet and during so I heard the distinctive sound of footsteps drumming up the stairs. Was someone up at this hour? The steps pattered on wood as they continued from what I presumed was the ground until they reached our level. I had the distinct feeling someone was rushing into our wing of the gite and flowing past the door I was behind and into the vacant bedroom. What followed was a loud echoing slamming which sounded like what could have been a heavy door closing.

I finished my business and headed out into the corridor. Immediately I put the light on to see nobody in sight. I walked to the stairs to see nobody around. My inspection of the situation pointed towards nobody I knew being around at the same time. That slamming sound, so distinct and even harrowing, I am swaying towards belief that it was something not of this mortal coil.

Some encounters remain unexplained…

Modest Means

Hey followers, have some flash fiction from fellow blogger and author Megan…

cch217

Brenda tapped Sara on the shoulder to take over her register. Brenda was starting the second part of her eight hour shift. Deep into the full swing of Black Friday. A day that Brenda never looked forward to working. So many obnoxious, rude customers all demanding to be catered to. She logged into the register and looked out over the sea of people lined up with their overflowing carts. The vast amount of greed made her stomach turn.

Here she was twenty-three working retail in order to support herself. Her modest means, and simple lifestyle, she rented a rundown studio apartment, was vigilant about turning out the lights, keeping the thermostat at a comfortable sixties-five degrees and only took fifteen minute lukewarm showers. She utilized the public library for her entertainment needs, and used the neighbors Wi-Fi for her laptop when she needed to be online, which wasn’t often. She…

View original post 250 more words

Weekly Ramble #123

For some time now I’ve managed to make my corner of social media a pleasant place to be. Not that I am claiming to be some hero in the process but for everything I have tried to achieve on this journey, its becoming something I am probably the most proud of.

We’re all fighting or striding for something and this sometimes volatile world of always trying to get results can make us forget that perhaps a pleasant environment is important. Most of us have seen the darker side of social media, the trending feeds full of commentators with plenty of cents and no real sense. The trolls who create accounts to simply fulfil their existence lurking under whichever bridge they choose. The straight up hatred, anger and whatever intimidating emotion these crowds can feel while they try to cancel whoever, what if, just what if there was a place away from that?

I know in my heart that the majority of people I connect with on here and across social media are decent. Genuine people who are just trying to get reads, views, sales or even friendship or connections. Some even have guidance to offer or are in need of some. My Twitter has grown through the simple act of helping others and trying to stay afloat with positivity and in doing so has become a decent pleasant place. Maybe that’s what I will eventually be known for. Not for books, writing or what I sell, but what I offer on that basic level, something that cannot be purchased but still experienced. A nice place on social media. Nice places are hard to find in this world and kindness goes a long way.

Awesome Recommended Indie Reads 4

The journey to reading and reviewing 43 indie books continues and again I am back to share with you what I’ve been reading. Let us dive in!

‘A Few of My Favourite Things’ by A.J. Ross-Etheridge

Fun, honest, thought-provoking poetry guaranteed to put a smile on your face…

5 Stars

Full Review Here

‘Sleeping Beauty and The Cursed Code’ by Emma Jean

Fairy tale and STEM combine for a fun story with an important message…

5 Stars

Full Review Here

‘Evil Eye: A Slasher Story’ by April A. Taylor

‘An unpredictable fast-paced slasher with plenty of twists and tension as the storm unfolds…

4 Stars

Full Review Here

‘Home’ by Thomas Overlook

Unique and intriguing. A page-turning tale that’ll take readers down the rabbit hole of what’s there and what isn’t…’

4 Stars

Full Review Here

‘The Genius’ Guide to Bad Writing’ by R.T. Slaywood and R.C. Martinez

A refreshing outlook on writing and publishing that’ll make you smile…

5,000 Stars

Full Review Here

Bonus Review:

‘Fee Simple Conditional’ by H. C. Helfand – Review by Erik Meyers

Full Review Here

If you have recently reviewed a book, this blog is always looking for guest content. Check out the Submit A Book Review/Article/Book Excerpt tab on the menu above for details

That wraps up another edition of Awesome Recommended Indie Reads. Remember folks, if you read a book, leave a review! Peace out, rock and roll and books man!  

Weekly Ramble #122

As a social media creative who regularly gets views and sales from various endeavours, I have concluded in order to get them consistently over time you need to stand out. Most marketing advice online is either out of date or easier said than done and standing out to me is to simply go against the grain of what everyone else is doing and hope it gets noticed. While that may seem easier said than done, and it is, only you can figure out what works for your brand or persona online but passion above all, resonates with near enough everyone.

Social media seems to contain this giant echo of everyone copying one another to the point where most folks just blend into the bandwidth. The passion in all of this is distinctly lacking. Understandably, it can be easy to get caught up or even daunted by this vacuum of repetition but where is the creativity? Buy this or subscribe to that. Everyone seems to be mining for numbers and sales with no real end game when really all you need to seek on social media is enrichment through conversation. That alone will drive visibility, engagement and eventually trust. Trust that you are more than a miner trying to score more points in an endless game that you can’t take anywhere useful. Gain the trust of someone and they’ll invest in you. And this is something that cannot be fabricated. Top that off with a little human passion and things will start to move.

This revelation came to me after I spent way more time than I probably should have on social media, scrolling, watching and talking – maybe it wasn’t in vain after all because for that time I gained the rewards from a high following to regular sales and now a belief this may some day be a career. That is without mentioning the true value of friendships through those things because I found others who share my vision. All I did was spend time conversing and less time trying to sell things and now people have become my power.

It would appear many creatives loathe the thought of marketing, but me, I actually quite enjoy the challenge and results which are always an opportunity to learn and pass information on. All driven by the desire to go against the grain and try something new fuelled by people who believe in me. Those days of reverting to zero are few and far between for me now, long may it continue.

Let’s talk about… The Struggle for Reviews

And we thought selling our books to people who would actually pay money was hard. If that was the big victory then getting them to leave a review after is a whole different challenge so let’s talk about that struggle.

This post is partly inspired by a message I received over on Twitter from a fellow author struggling to get more reviews for their work. Of course, like all authors who approach me in need I did my best to provide some advice that is both practical and thought based.

I’m going to break down in detail the whole deal of that struggle to get reviews with a little overview, some story telling, some solutions and even tips on how to get more.

Initial Overview

I’ll admit now that there are no real quick fixes, like anything in writing, my advice is subjective but let’s all agree first and foremost that finding reviews is really really difficult. Over the years and through much struggle I’ve concluded that the reason why it is so difficult is because the average reader never thinks to leave a review. Back when I used to read Crichton or King novels way before being published, never once did it cross my mind that they needed my review and they probably didn’t on an individual level.

But now, we stand in a shiny new era of publishing and this new-ish social media self published indie generation have only really just emerged in the past few years (a decade at best), that is of course only a slice of the author pie as I would like to acknowledge anyone else published through traditional or smaller presses. Our struggle is the same, but only recently has it become so apparent because a lot more folks are self publishing and the spotlight from social media makes everything way more heightened.

Readers just not thinking to leave reviews is both logical and hopefully reassuring to you and that’s what this post is designed to be, an objective viewpoint to hopefully reassure and help. So, how do we deal with this struggle for reviews. We’ll get to the logical/practical soon but first comes the story which aims to reassure…

Read the rest here

‘Fee Simple Conditional’ by H. C. Helfand – Review by Erik Meyers  

Introducing fellow author Erik Meyers who reviews Fee Simple Conditional by H.C. Helfand

I don’t remember exactly how I found how about “Fee Simple Conditional”. While that’s not really important, I loved the book so much, I wish I knew where I had discovered it.

At first you think ‘what a funny little phrase’. Then you begin reading and are pulled into a glorious story that grows and grows and grows on you.

Besides learning a lot about deeds, property and the history of such, you follow the ups and downs of Abigail Fischer.

A chance side-job takes her to places and people she never thought she would connect with.

I loved the twists and turns and surprises on every page.

What really stuck out though are the quirky characters. None of them are what you would expect. And that’s what makes the book so sensational.

They aren’t perfect. They have their good times and their bad times, like real life.

I read the book in an afternoon turning page after page faster and faster to find out what happened and the whole time wishing Abigail gets the life she deserves. She sounds like a wonderful person I would actually want to meet.

The ending is a beautiful cherry topping on the cake that will blow you away.

No spoilers here. You will just have to devour this book like I did to find out what happened.

Planned as a series, I can’t wait to read book 2!

I haven’t had a book touch me like this is a long time.

Thank you to Erik Meyers for sharing this awesome review of ‘Fee Simple Conditional’ by H. C. Helfand. You can find Erik over on Twitter here and be sure to check out his books via his website or click on the book covers below.