Sentiment Analysis & Book Publishing

Sentiment Analysis & Book Publishing

A few weeks ago, I talked to our developers about a phrase I heard them throwing around a lot: Sentiment Analysis. Once they finished their explanation, I immediately asked them to do a write up for the blog. This is fascinating! The people must know!

And…they gave me a blank stare, a kind smile and then promptly went back to work (as they should). So, with their guidance and fact checking, I’ve tried to translate their detailed, data-rich reports and updates for your reading pleasure.

So, to start off, what exactly is Sentiment Analysis and why are we talking about it? Simply put, sentiment analysis is one way of looking at books and is one of the analytic methods we use to analyze manuscripts. Technology can actually interpret the very life and breath within a manuscript.

How does that work?  

Sentiment Analysis 101

At a glance, sentiment analysis is fairly straightforward: text is analyzed and, using natural language processing, each part of the text is categorized positive–happy statements–or negative–sad/angry statements. Within each language, words can be determined positive (elated, kiss, jump), negative (smash, kill, cry), or neutral (the, a, road). Take these altogether and graph the results, and you can see the emotional arc of a text mapped out in a physical form, called a sentiment map.

Recent Sentiment Analysis Study —  Best Sellers

If you’re still with me, maybe you’re thinking: what can the sentiment map tell us about plot? We mapped out three extremely popular best sellers — Fifty Shades of Grey, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl–to illustrate how these novels are constructed and why some books are said to be more surprising than others.

All three of these books buck the conventional trend of a high, happy opening and a high, happy, neatly wrapped up ending: they all have endings that are dramatically lower in sentiment than the highest point of the book or even the beginning. And, looking at the plot points for each, the graphs make sense.

*Spoiler Alert for all three novels*

1. 50 Shades of Grey  by E.L. James

Sentiment Analysis of Fifty Shades of Grey

 

Unlike most romances, the end of Fifty Shades is not happy.  You can see the sentiment taking a sharp decline in the last few pages as the book ends with the main character crying, swearing she never wants to see her lover again.

2. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson


sentiment analysis of Girl with the Dragon TattooThe major dip around 3/4th of the way through the
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is when Mikael is trapped by Martin Vanger and almost dies. The sentiment rises as Lisbeth frees him, and continues to rise as Mikael publishes the expose on Wennerstrom. The sentiment heads back downward through the end of the book as  Lisbeth goes to tell Mikael she loves him, only to find him with Erika Berger (Poor Lisbeth 🙁 hasn’t she been through enough?!)

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Sentiment Analysis of Gone GirlArguably the progenitor of a recent trend in unreliable, potentially psychotic female central characters, Gone Girl’s graph is easy to follow. Consider: in the first half, Nick is looking for his missing/possibly dead wife Amy, during which time it’s revealed how much Nick cheated on her (a LOT) the seriously fatal state of their marriage, meanwhile Nick is named the number one suspect in her disappearance. So, the general downward spiral, errr slope, of the graph makes sense. The brief, sharp climb around point 60 is when Amy comes back and it turns out Nick won’t be going to jail, but the sentiment just plummets right on down because Nick is still unhappy, Amy is still terrifying and dangerous, and life does not seem to actually be getting better.

The final, brief peak at the end is when Amy tells Nick she’s pregnant, but even that is barely above neutral. In this world, news of Amy and Nick spawning is not really good news, and the sentiment analysis confirms that. And, additionally, this bit of information may give us insight to why so many people read this book and thought “WTF IS UP WITH THAT ENDING?!” It’s because most novels don’t end with a fairly neutral ending; so the reader is left feeling unsettled, as if  there is something missing that they can never recoup.

 

Had I convinced my technology-minded colleagues to write this blog, it may have ended with a discussion of linear regression, decision boundary, sentiment vectors. and macro-arcs. But since my background is in publishing,  I will end more philosophically. Thinking about editing and reviewing, this kind of technology is so exciting. It gives an editor another way to explain the pacing of a book to their writer. It gives a publisher the ability to look at the breadth of their work to see what kind of brand and niche they are establishing and where the holes may be that they could fill. It gives writers an ability to objectively see if the impact they are trying to achieve is actually coming across. And these are just a few of the possibilities. Sentiment Analysis and other machine learning actions are just additional tools in the hands of smart literary professionals. It’s a way to analyze across books and within books. And a way to look at thousands of books in the same time you or I can review one or two.

 

More on Sentiment Analysis:

 ACM Digital Library

Mashable

What Is AUTHORS.me? A Guide To What We Do & Why We Do It

What is AUTHORS.me? A Guide to What We Do & Why We Do It

So what, exactly, is AUTHORS.me?

AUTHORS.me is an online platform that connects writers to publishers and agents seeking new content. We accomplish this through technology which streamlines and standardizes submissions. Our platform lets your work shine. Through intelligent machine learning,  we deliver efficient, accurate editorial snapshots to agents and publisher who are likely to be a good fit. The whole platform is built to help eliminate the guess work of the traditional query process without losing the valuable information that is conveyed in an ideal query letter. We connect writers to publishers and agents by using technology to simplify the whole process; so that editors and agents can do what they do best and technology can handle the rest.

Let’s start off by addressing what it is AUTHORS.me does and what it is we definitely do NOT do.

We DO:

Simplify Submissions & Queries

If you’ve ever written a query letter—or a cover letter or resume for that matter—you know just how exciting the idea of a “streamlined submission” is for writers. For kicks, Google “Query Letter template.” I’ll wait.

Did you catch that? 311,000 results. Literally thousands of options and opinions on what the “perfect” query is. And it’s all completely subjective. Some talk about making sure to personalize. Others mention describing your audience while others leave that out and just want to know more about your qualifications. With all of this guesswork, it’s easy to understand how discouraged writers, publishers, and agents can get with this part of the process.

But with our platform, that’s gone. If you complete every field for your project and writer details, and complete it with thought, consideration and detail, you will not have missed anything. Even better, you won’t have added too much. We deliver the information  in such an easy-to-read format that our partners know just where to send their eyes for the details they care about. Yes, it will take time. But it’s time well spent. It’s your virtual pitch for why an editor or agent should invest thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into you and your book, and why they should want to. Why they should beg to spend that money on you.

Level the Playing Field

How often have you heard a story about a how someone met their agent because of a cousin or a friend? It can sometimes feel like the only way to get published is to know someone in publishing, regardless of your talent or work ethic. But through our platform, the work is allowed to shine, and the agents and publishers are able to evaluate not just on the subjective word of a trusted friend, but by objective, empirical information we deliver on the suitability of your manuscript to their needs (which, by the way, they tell us).

We Do NOT:

Publish your Book

AUTHORS.me is not a publisher, plain and simple. We work with publishers, and we like them very much…we just aren’t one of them.

Use, Sell, or Distribute your Book

AUTHORS.me has never and will never take our authors’ content and sell it, give it away or even show it to anyone who did not have permission to view it  or was not a publisher or agent we work with. Likewise, we have no interest in working with anyone who has a less than stellar reputation. We’ve actually denied account requests by agents and publishers who do not have upstanding reputations, which means we’ve turned down money. We take copyright and intellectual property very seriously (more on that here) and would never jeopardize that integrity. The only people who can view your work are people with logins, and no other writer can view your work. The site is secure and encrypted.

Promise you a book deal

This might sound harsh, but it’s the reality of it. We’re not going to say we guarantee you any kind of deal or attention, because we work with publishers and agents who are making decisions about their business. We can’t—and wouldn’t venture to—make those decisions for them. What we’re interested in doing is giving everyone involved the tools and data they need to make good, efficient  decisions for their business.

 

“So that’s what you do, but why do you do it?”

 

 

The traditional submissions process is a pretty fraught ordeal. Every year, 2 million people submit proposals to agents and publishers, trying to make the case for their book. Every year, about 350,000 trade books are published. Is that difference because there is a lack of quality, or because the editors, agents and scouts finding the projects are finite? The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but we saw the latter as a very solvable problem. We talked with acquisitions editors, agents, and publishers, and asked them what they loved about their jobs and what they wished they could change. Almost universally, they loved the stories, and the process of bringing a book to life, but hated the drudgery that can come along with finding those stories.

 

“So much of what is sent to me just isn’t right. I want trade romance, not sci-fi mystery. I feel bad, especially when it’s really good stuff, but it’s just not right for me.”

“We get proposals in all shapes and sizes. Some have the things we want, but so many just have the manuscript or are missing a big chunk of vital information. And even figuring out what is missing takes time. When you need to review 100 submissions a week, seemingly little things like  the wrong subject line or a missing CV will get a project rejected before it’s read. There just isn’t enough time.”

 

We heard concerns like these and saw two very solvable problems: the need for standardized submissions that shows the publisher and agents the things they need in addition to the manuscript, and a way to easily navigate through submissions. So, we built just that.

Reinvigorating Tradition

In addition to this, we have developed a proprietary technology that looks beyond genre and word count to match elements of your manuscript with the publisher who is most likely to make it a success. Our technology is able to review entire manuscripts to look at story arc, character development, scene location, and more to further showcase manuscripts that might otherwise not make it past the 2-sentence hook. This has resulted in an acceptance rate that is almost 10 times faster than the traditional model of an email sent into the ether, perhaps never to return. And we’re talking about first-time authors for the most part!

About fifteen years ago, the self-publishing movement started to answer the call of authors frustrated with the traditional publishing industry. Some self-published authors have thrived in that environment, but it’s not for everyone. To be a successful self-published author, you not only have to have a great book, but you have to have business acumen, design and sales experience, money to pay an editor or a knowledge of copyediting and proofreading, experience with events planning, marketing, distribution, and more. In short, you have to be either: a superhero, have deep enough pockets to hire someone every step of the way, or be really, really lucky. It’s not a bad thing to admit you need help and the benefit of professional expertise to make your book happen. It’s logical. And the publishers and agents are in the same boat. They need you, too. And they want to find you. And we want to help.  

Real Summer Reads, Or: How Reading Affects Your Sex Life

Real Summer Reads, or: How Reading Affects Your Sex Life

SURVEY STATSAt the approach of summer, we did a fun poll among readers. We wanted to know what books people were really reading on their summer vacations.  Like a good elementary student, I built my hypothesis:

  • Summer/beach reads tend to be lighter than regular reading
  • People read more on vacation

Wrong and wrong. Turns out that people generally make the same choices of book genres during vacation as they do during the rest of the year. Well, what about train reading? Same choice. What about nighttime reading? Same choice.  We read what we want to read.

My second assumption was based on my own preferences—I dream of leisurely reading the latest and greatest. My book club friends talk about reading at night before falling asleep or relaxing on Sundays with a good book. Conversely, my only chance to read is on vacation. As it happens, I am   very much an outlier in this sense. 99% of respondents read for pleasure, but almost 10% don’t read on vacation.  

Furthermore, 51% said they either read every week or every day for pleasure. But only half of those say they always read on vacation.The people who answered sometimes to both questions were pretty close, at 35% for pleasure 40% on vacation. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Paperback beat out ebooks, hardbooks and audio on vacation, with 52% of readers preferring a soft-cover title to a hefty hardcover (17%) or less-than-water-resistant ebook (29%) and audiobook (2%).

Be warned that there are ramifications for reading on vacation. 41% report that they stay up late to read. Perhaps more dangerous is the 25% who reported sitting out in the sun too long because they were engrossed in a book. Good news?  Only 11% report ignoring their significant other on vacation because of a book.

That made me wonder what  impact books have in the bedroom — so we asked. According to our survey, 7% said that reading a book in bed affects their sex life, and (thankfully) the majority says it improves their sex drive. Whew. We can all keep reading.

So what do people read on vacation? By genre: Mystery, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, were at the top, followed by Thriller and Literary Fiction.

The shocker? People have the same preferences whether they are reading for fun, reading before bedtime, or reading on vacation. This is against everything the book industry believes—that people are looking for fun beach reads in the summer. Turns out we want our fun books all the time!

In all reading situations on this poll:

  • Romance, Biographies, and True Crime were in the middle.
  • Inspirational, business, and self-help were at the bottom.

I don’t have an explanation for why this doesn’t exactly reflect the market size. Maybe it’s the season. Maybe it’s the weather — who knows!

The 12 Apps You Need To Increase Productivty

The 12 Apps You Need to Increase Productivty

https-%2F%2Fcdn.evbuc.com%2Fimages%2F20775902%2F174572866457%2F1%2ForiginalAUTHORS.me teams up with Womens Media Group in New York City to swap the best productivity tips

One of the few things we all have in common is limited time. No matter who you are, what you do or where you go, we all only still only get the same 24 hours per day–and some of that is hopefully spent sleeping.  My time was well-spent in New York last week when AUTHORS.me teamed up with the local Womens Media Group for Appy Hour: Productivity Edition for a night of networking and app sharing–and we want to share them with you! We compiled the 12 apps that were universally agreed to be essential for productivity, and included another 30+ that were crowd favorites across different modes. 

I could not believe the amazing conversations we had! For one night only, a delightfully diverse group of publishing professionals and industry folk descended upon the downtown manhattan space in pursuit of the same thing: the hope to find the next app or tool for their arsenal in the battle against time and its attention-diverting minions. 

Together, we shared the tools that make bits of our chaotic lives a little more manageable, from email and project management tools to web conferences and list making apps and more. This list of apps curated by publishing and tech professionals will help you get everything in order.

Over a veritable (but reputable) technological bacchanalia and loads of conversations, we learned about new apps and some member favorites that I just could not wait to share.

Up first I’ve compiled a list of the Favorite Apps that those in attendance mentioned. At the bottom of the page you’ll find the full selection of apps and tools mentioned throughout the evening. And if I’ve missed one of your favorite apps, please share!

Since the common theme at the end was that it was such a “fun and informative event,” we’ll be doing a follow-up sometime soon so stay tuned.

EVENT PHOTOS
IMG 6807
FAVORITE APPS

Zoom — the Number One web conferencing app is the top dog for a reason. Powerful (paid) tool featuring full cloud-based collaboration tools, screen sharing, HD streaming, dial-in options and more. 

Doodle  — allows you to send attendees a poll of what times you’re free to eliminate all the usual back and forth.

Sococo — complete with virtual “rooms,” your remote team members can be in one place and visualized, complete with screen sharing and options for voice, audio, and video sharing.

 Trello — a visual project management tool that uses cards to organize projects. “Trello’s boards, lists and cards enable your whole team to prioritize projects in a fun, flexible, and rewarding way.”

Asana — a great tool to use for collaborative projects or solo ones. Includes timelines, notes, tags, categories, ability to upload files and various third party app integrations. 

 Flow — Similar to Asana, flow is a highly organized, visual took optimized for collaboration. “Flow is a team task manager that makes it easy to delegate tasks, prioritize to-do lists, and make sure nothing gets missed.”

Evernote — Workhorse note keeping. Has multiple levels of use (paid and free) that allow for in-depth note taking including images, to-do lists and more. 

Google’s Keep — If you use other Google products often, then this is the app for you. Includes a Chrome extension (of course!)

Cozi — Cozi is also a great way to share notes, lists, and calendars with family (e.g., shared grocery list).

Google’s Inbox —  allows you to easily organize and group messages, as well as schedule reminders.

MixMax  — allows you to schedule emails to be sent later, to see when your messages are opened, and to include polls and more within your message.

Gmelius — fully customize the look of your inbox to help you increase productivity and efficiency. Schedule emails, take notes, avoid phishing and more with this gmail extension.  

Honorable Mentions
What An Incredible Month

What an Incredible Month

What an incredible few months it has been for AUTHORS.me. When I say everything’s going according to plan, I don’t mean the boring plan on the spreadsheet, I mean the inspiring visionary plan that motivates and fuels all of us daily. Starting a new company is hard enough, but watching it take shape and grow like a newborn child is exhilarating and full of rewards. Here‘s the latest.

CUSTOMER FEEDBACK

We held our breath a few weeks ago as we sent out the well-known NPS (Net Promoter Score) question to our agents and publishers, “How likely are you to recommend us to your friends and colleagues.” The NPS is used by many large companies. (More about the scoring system here) Apple’s computers and iPhones have a great score around 75%, as do stores like Nordstrom and Dillards.

50% of our publishers replied to the question and awarded AUTHORS with a perfect 10. That’s an NPS score of 100%. We couldn’t be happier. Partly, that is a reflection on choosing good partners for our launch, but for us, it feels good to know that we can make a difference and deliver a product that supports these publishers.

AUTHORS knows that by delivering a strong product for publishers, we will also deliver the kind of experience writers want.

SIGNED BOOK DEALS

Another exciting moment was when we went online to see if there were any signed book deals during the few months following AUTHORS’ soft launch. It turns out, YES! Nine book deals were signed last month. Nine! It shouldn’t be a surprise to know that the average time from submission to signature was faster than the industry’s average of 180 days. That’s the total front list for some boutique publishers for an entire year!

NEW YORK

I spent last week in New York talking to the biggest publishers and agents (the photo above is from the Penguin Random House lobby). I’m going to avoid name-dropping, but the goal was to understand what are the must-have features we need to reach the highest echelons in the publishing industry. Because, let’s face it, that is the exposure most of our writers want.

The week was truly a confirmation of why we want to be in this crazy book business. In every meeting, I was surrounded by bookshelves with books I knew and loved. At the end of the meeting, a few of the agents and publishers pressed books into my hands when I didn’t recognize a title they themselves loved and represented.

The agents and publishers were welcoming and generous with their time, and I now have an even deeper understanding of the nuances in the acquisitions process for the big houses and literary agencies.

Best of all, in New York I was able to meet the woman I had been interviewing over the phone for a new position at AUTHORS. She is incredibly talented and a great find for AUTHORS, but this story deserves a post of its own.

AUTHORS will continue to grow and make an impact in the publishing world. I invite you to grow with us, talk with us, and share our vision with fellow writers and publishing professionals. As we succeed, the book lovers of the world succeed.

The Right Team. The Right Time.

The Right Team. The Right Time.

Sometimes all it takes to calm your fears are a few words.

I couldn’t have done this without you,” someone says.

“This is a dream come true!”

I never even imagined something this good.”

These are just some of the messages we’ve received from writers and publishers since we introduced AUTHORS.me in a limited roll out a few months ago. When I spent sleepless nights worrying, “Are they really going to like this?” These phone calls and emails have sustained me through the months of building that can so often feel like an echo chamber of ideas.

We saw two sides of the book industry treating each other like adversaries and wanted to change that. We believe the solution is one which helps everyone. That seems almost too obvious, but up until now, it just hasn’t happened. Ultimately, there are not two opposite sides — writer versus agent–or–writer versus publisher–though it sometimes feels that way. Any solution that truly helps both sides is good for everyone, and that’s our goal for AUTHORS.

It takes all sorts of skills to create, launch, and run a successful company. Beyond skills and experience, there’s another crucial ingredient- and it’s this ingredient that ultimately makes or breaks a business. And that’s passion.

The passion that we have at AUTHORS.me is two-fold: a love of technology, and a love of stories. Tying this all together is a strong desire to help the people that create amazing books that we all enjoy.

When we first thought about this idea, we looked through the landscape of companies and support for writers, agents, and publishers. There is a lot of help available! Writers need that help, because finding an agent or publisher is a hurdle so high that few writers actually clear it.

But this helpful landscape is so often one-sided. We saw frameworks and training for writers and form-builders for agents and publishers. We found hundreds of blogs giving great advice and plenty of self-help books. But we wanted to approach this differently, and develop a panacea for the whole process, not just create another Advil or Band-Aid for one small part of it.

We believe in our company. With a team built of knowledgeable programmers, writers, publishers, marketers and more, we’re uniquely positioned to deliver on this promise. Together, we have a thorough knowledge of complex technology and matching algorithms, as well as a business sense of what writers, agents, and publishers need to take a manuscript to production.

Most of all, we have you, our users, who have been our biggest inspiration and encouragement.

And here we are—ready to step out into the world. So with excitement and a little trepidation, we launch our new site and welcome our first agent and publisher relationships.

Keep the emails and conversation going!

Unblocking The Mind

Unblocking the Mind

Nothing frustrates the creative person more than the inability to create one single line, one small image or even a fragment of an idea when needed. Commonly called Writer’s Block, it should be called Writer’s Torture, Brain Snarl or Word Vacuum. Whether the infliction disables a person for a moment or incapacitates them for years, as it did for F. Scott Fitzgerald, it is something we all wrestle with. Or is it?

I personally don’t believe in Writer’s Block. I’m more of a believer in psychological repression triggered by latent thoughts of turbulent bouts with inner demons bent on the destruction of everything creative in my fantastical psyche, disabling my god complexes and my idea generating machine. It’s usually that or my pen is out of ink. What I mean by this nonsense is, I don’t give Writer’s Block it’s due. Then why do you italicize it, David?

Too many writers romanticize Writer’s Block as if it gives them credibility or appeal. I get it. Writing is a very painful process to those of us who are honest about it. So, why not add to your artist’s emotional palette of pain the color of empty thought? Don’t. I’m here to help.

I am going to give you some unconventional ways to break the grip of blank pages. There will be no advice here like: walk away from the computer, do jumping jacks, eliminate distractions or write in the park. You’ve already tried those. I’m going for ‘different’. Therefore, if my ideas work for you, please send a self-address stamped envelope and $25 to – no, just kidding. If they work, great. If they don’t, blame the imaginary voices that stopped talking to you and got you into this predicament in the first place.

Step 1. Acceptance

First step to every problem is accepting you have a problem and, more importantly, accept that every problem has a solution (except some of the calculus problems I was given in high school). Writer’s Block is no different. Do we think we’ll never eat again when we get indigestion? Do we give up hope of ever getting home if we get lost on the streets of New York? (Speaking of that, why was Home Alone 2 subtitled Lost in New York? The streets are numbered for Pete’s sake.) Sh*t happens. Writer’s block happens. Deal with it as being real and move to Step 2.

 Step Two. Fill The Tank

Writing something new every day is difficult. When I published a cartoon strip and political cartoon simultaneously, I needed 8 publishable ideas a week, every week. Talk about pressure. The secret I discovered in avoiding the ‘blocks’ or dry periods was to produce more ideas than I needed. I keep numerous notebooks for ideas in my studio. Some for my novels and screenplays. Some for business ideas. Some for my fantasy baseball team. These notebooks are not labeled. Please, don’t get trapped in trying to catalog ideas. Waste of time. Capture every thought and jot them down, especially the ones that have nothing to do with your current project. Even if an idea comes to you when you’re on the john, write on toilet paper if you must, after all, it is paper. Be vigilant in this or resign yourself to miserable days of barrenness and single-purpose toilet paper.

 Part C. Enough With Being Original

You may vehemently disagree with me or spit in my face (only to wipe it off your computer screen), but original ideas are as rare as visitations from Mount Olympus. There are no original ideas, only new ways of presenting them. In truth, we are an amalgamation of other ideas and thoughts that have invaded our minds over our lifetime. So no matter how original you think your story is, I can find another one very similar given enough time. Was it Carl Jung who said there are only seven plot lines in all of writing? Gee, and I thought I came up with number eight today. I mention all this because we tend to freeze our brains trying to come up with an ‘original’ line or plot that has never been done. Trust me, it has. Just write and tweak it in the rewrites. Get words on the page. You can’t rewrite blank pages. I’d tell you to quote me on that, but I can guarantee someone else has said that before me.

 Step 4. Attack!

You have Writer’s Block? Write about it. Write about what it is doing to you. Turn it into a brain-eating monster under your desk threatening the lives of all the writers on the planet. Make it a villain and you the hero. Write badly. Write with your toes. Go mad if you must. Beat the crap out of it with your words. Duel until dawn with it. Trust me, you will win. It sure beats the heck out of head in hands and gnawed up pencils.

 Step 5. Miss Alaneous

If the aforementioned (or is that four mentioned?) ideas don’t work, then it’s time to pull out the stops by trying one or more of the following. Good luck.

Here are some great websites that aim to solve these problems. We grouped them into a category called “brainstorming” and another “getting started.”

Get a talking dog.

Dust off a genie bottle.

Take long walks to Jupiter.

Kidnap J. J. Abrams and bleed him dry for every idea he has.

Write.

Whatever you do, don’t give Writer’s Block a toothbrush and a place to sleep. Ignore it. Write about it. Fight it. Defeat it. Just don’t live with it.

Happy writing.

 

 

Writer Apps

Writer Apps

TECHNOLOGY and the WRITER

Apps for the every day writer

Technology has changed our lives. It is no different with our writing. Not every application fits the needs or personality of every writer. It will take some investigation to see what works for you. Hopefully this list helps.

If there is an app that helps your writing that is not listed here, please contact us and let us know and we will add it.

Blogging
Blogo Paid Easiest & fastest way to write, publish & manage blogs. Blogo is a Mac only application. OS X Mountain Lion or later is required.
Ghost Free Blogging and Publishing. Free. Open. Simple.

Brainstorming
Contour Paid The award-winning, proven story development writing software that streamlines the process of turning your movie ideas from first glimmer to full outline available for iOS, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Wherever you go with your mobile device, your screenwriting ideas can come with you.
Dramatica Pro Paid The next chapter in story development. Dramatica helps plug plot holes, solidifies character interactions and helps complete your story. For Mac and Windows.
Master Storyteller Paid Every story can be improved by the skills of a Master Storyteller. Now you can develop those skills in yourself with Master Storyteller software. Over 100 interactive Story Cards present nearly a thousand tips, tricks, and insights through Exercises, Essays, and Story Development Templates
Master Writer Paid Aids creative writiers and songwriters. A comprehensive collection of descriptive words, phrases, rhymes, synonyms, alliterations and more. People, places and things that make up the world we live in. Tools to organize, access, review and edit songs and projects. Access word processing alongside the dictionaries and tools in MasterWriter.
Power Structure Paid Power Structure is story development and outlining software for Mac or Windows that turns all your random thoughts, ideas, and notes into a carefully structured story or script. Use it to create characters, outline your plot, structure your story by scene or chapter, and visually track each character’s journey through obstacles and conflict.
Story Weaver Paid Design Your Characters, Plot, Theme & Genre Step by Step! Here’s how… 200 Step by Step Interactive Story Cards. StoryWeaver is built around more than 200 Story Cards – each an interactive screen designed to help you develop a single dramatic element of your story
Write for Android Free In addition to all the usual features of a vector drawing application, Write provides a unique set of tools for editing and navigating handwritten documents. Write is Write is perfect for note-taking, brainstorming, and drawing. Write is available for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Distraction Free
CreaWriter Free A Windows program designed to boost your productivity and creativity. Its full screen, minimalistic interface provides a distraction-free environment. Indulge yourself in a relaxed and calm atmosphere and achieve a whole new level of concentration! Inspired by OmmWriter, a Mac OS X only application, CreaWriter allows you to customize both background image and ambient sound. Donors have greater access to services.
FocusWriter Free FocusWriter is a lightweight, portable, and feature rich word processor with an emphasis on distraction-free writing. It utilizes a hide-away interface that you access by moving your mouse to the edges of the screen. Available for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, and has been translated into many different languages.
IA Writer Pro Paid iA Writer effortlessly syncs your documents over iCloud and Dropbox. It is the quintessential writing machine for iOS, Mac, and Android.
Ommwriter Paid A tranquil, no-hassle writing experience. Ommwriter is a tool for writers that helps avoid distractions that often come with technology and the internet. It is a minimalist text editing tool that opens exclusively in full screen mode. Its primary aim is to reduce writing distractions, as well as give you a relaxing writing experience.
WriteMonkey Free Software for full screen distraction free creative writing. No whistles and bells, just empty screen, you and your words. WriteMonkey is light, fast, with an array of innovative tools under the hood and full Markdown support, it helps you write better.
WriteRoom (Mac) Paid WriteRoom, free download. WriteRoom 2.3.7: Distraction-free writing environment. It’s hard to even imagine the days when writing was restricted to either a pen. WriteRoom is for all those that hark back to the good old days and want a writing environment that¡s ultra-retro and free of distractions. The program’s novel design means that elements such as the Dock, Growler alerts and email pop-ups stay well hidden. Don’t come looking for fancy features though – WriteRoom is a bare-bones word processor that puts the importance of writing to the fore
ZenPen Free A minimalist writing zone where you can block out distractions.

Editing
Editorial (IOS) Paid Editorial. Powerful Markdown Editing and Workflow Automation for iOS. Editorial is a plain text editor for iPad and iPhone with powerful automation tools and saves or restores a backup of all Editorial workflows, snippets, bookmarks, and local documents as a zip file in Dropbox (this requires the Dropbox account to be linked).
Grammerly Paid Strengthen your writing with a personal grammar coach. Better Writing Made Easy. Grammarly makes you a better writer by finding and correcting up to 10× more mistakes than your word processor. K-12 and Higher Education Pricing; starting at $650.00 to $1,500.00 based on group size.
Hemingway Paid Proofreading tools are an easy way to help you see and fix potential problem areas in your writing. Recently, I discovered the Hemingway app, created by Adam and Ben Long. It’s a standalone program that costs $7 US, and you can download it to a PC or a Mac computer.
WriteSpace Free Write Space is a customizable full-screen text-editor that lives in your web-browser. It is designed to minimize the distractions that come between you and your writing. One advantage of Writespace is the built in spellcheck support (English, French, Spanish and German).

Getting Started
750 Words Free Created by Seattle entrepreneur Buster Benson, 750 Words is essentially a ‘brain dump’ for you to write — you guessed it — 750 words daily. Online and Private. Tracks your word count. Clean slate each month, point system and graph to track your activity, provides individual stats.
BlankPage Paid Writing is hard, BlankPage is here to help. Write every day, create an outline, edit & reorder, publish how you like.
Prompts Paid Build a better writing habit. Creative writing prompts on your iPhone or iPad, and is the only app that provides creative and intelligent prompt suggestions as you free write. Plus much more.
Word Keeper Alpha Free WordKeeperAlpha is a motivational tool that will let you set writing goals, create projects and track your word count. Writing is hard. Whether you’re writing a novel, a short story or a blog you need to keep on task or it’ll never get done. That’s what WordKeeperAlpha is all about: setting goals and keeping them.
WorkFlowy Free WorkFlowy is the world’s best tool for taking notes and making lists. An Android app made by lazy developers The web app is awesome, but android app is a bit limited. It is a to-do list app that’s been crossed with an outlining tool, creating a freestyle planner for those who want flexibility with simplicity.

Instructional
Advanced Fiction Writing Paid Learn Randy Ingermarson’s methods via $100.00 Snowflake Pro Software. Plus, Strat Plng, $51; Fiction 101, $80; Writer’s Conf Survivial Guide, $15; Promote Writing by Speaking, $50.
Be A Better Writer Paid Pursue your creative writing with Pearl Luke; how to write better & get published. The Novel Immersion Program ($225/mo) guides individuals, or occasionally small group of writers, through a novel, from start to finish as they study lessons, write on a regular schedule, and receive valuable feedback. Read to Write Course; $295. Point of View Simplified Course; $395.
Blog Topic Generator Free Generate blog, post ideas, or play mad libs. Brainstorm articles, press releases, blogs & create ideas to attract more visitors to your website & get inquiries to your product.
Creative Writing Now Paid Creative writing courses, ideas, prompts, free online classes, guides to writing fiction, poetry, & drama.
WriterKata Free It helps improve the craftsmanship of your writing through simple, repetitive exercises (or katas). The kata cycle is a collection of random exercises divided into four stages: sentence, paragraph, sketch, and story. Upon completion of the kata cycle you will earn experience points and may begin another cycle.

Organizing
Draftback Free Finds the hidden history of your Google doc epics. Since it is a Chrome extension, your Docs data never leaves your own computer, and, unless you explicitly publish an excerpt, the extension never communicates any sensitive data with any server—it just fetches it over a secure connection from Google.
Drafts Paid Drafts 4 by Agile Tortoise, where text starts on iOS. Quickly capture text and send it almost anywhere! Drafts can send email, messages, create reminders & events, post to Twitter, Facebook and so much more. Even create, append and prepend to files/notes in Dropbox, Evernote & Google Drive.
Evernote Paid Sync across phones and computers, access notes when you’re offline, add passcode lock on mobile apps, save emails into Evernote, search in Office docs & attachments, turn notes into presentations, annotate attached PDFs, scan and digitize business cards, view previous versions of notes. 18,000 companies use it.
Google Docs Free Create and edit web-based documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Store documents online and access them from any computer.
MindMap Paid The simple way to create mind maps online. Mind maps are a great way of organizing your thoughts. To encourage the use of mind mapping, Text 2 Mind Map has provided a free and simple mind mapping tool online since 2008.
OneNote Free Use OneNote Online (formerly OneNote Web App) to take notes online in a OneNote notebook that you can add to from anywhere and easily share with others. All Office 365 customers can view and lightly edit Office files using Office Online.
Quip Paid Quip is the productivity suite for the mobile generation. It combines chat, docs, task lists, and spreadsheets in one app — making collaboration fast and easy
Simplenote Free The simplest way to keep notes. Light, clean, and free. Simplenote is now available for iOS, Android, Mac, and the web. Download for iOS, Android, MAC, Kindle.
Trello Free Infinitely flexible. Incredibly easy to use. Great mobile apps; upload files from your computer, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and OneDrive. It keeps track of everything, from the big picture to the minute details. It is the free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone. Drop the lengthy email threads, out-of-date spreadsheets, no-longer-so-sticky notes, and clunky software for managing your projects. Trello lets you see everything about your project in a single glance.
Write Paid A beautiful home for all your notes for Mac, iPhone, iPad with sharing options.ull screen writing allows you to concentrate on what matters most – Writing! Write supports unlimited custom URL based Actions. Full tag, passcode lock, customize, browse your entire Dropbox and edit any text file.
Write Track Paid Write Track allows you to keep track of your word count on all your writing projects. Fiction, essays, reports, master theses, Write Track helps keep you on …

Promoting
Hootsuite Paid Enhance your social media management with Hootsuite, the leading social media dashboard. Manage multiple networks and profiles and measure your outreach. 4 pay levels: Free Personal Use/Casual; Pro Social Media Power Users, $9.99/mo 30-day free trial; Small Business Media Prof. $69.00/mo; Business, Org., Agencies, Governments, custom pricing.
Ritetag Paid RiteTag provides you a set of tools to maximize your return on hashtags and their relations to allow you to ride the wave in the right moment. Win the battle for attention in social media.

Screenwriting
Celtix Plus (online) Paid Create scripts, storyboards, scene layouts, breakdowns, schedules, budgets, and cast & crew reports for your production. 3,000,000+ people use Celtix.
Fade In Paid From formatting and editing to powerful organization and revision tools, find out just what makes Fade In Professional Screenwriting Software the best there is, and is a complete application for writing motion picture screenplays, including tools for outlining, organizing, and navigating, plus extensive screenplay formatting and robust tools for managing rewrites and revisions.
Final Draft Paid Automatically formats and paginates screenplays and teleplays to entertainment industry standards. The Industry’s #1 screenwriting software source for over 30 years. Now explore our iPad and iPhone apps.
Movie Magic Screenwriter Paid Version 6: Full-featured award-winning screenwriting software designed specifically for script writing. Formats movies, television, novels, stage plays and even comic book scripts. Collaborate with a writing partner over the internet using i-Partner or send PDF files.
Movie Outine Paid Get Writing In Minutes; Plan Story & Rewrites; Effortless Script Formatting; Manage Ideas & Notes; Develop Characters & Arcs; Color-Code Your Structure; For Novice & Professional Writers.
Screenwriting Pro Paid Screenwriting Pro is online screenplay formatting software for feature films, television and stage plays. Becaus it is web-based, you can access your script from any Internet-connected computer, anywhere in the world. Your work is always automatically backed-up and completely secure in your password-protected account.
Scripts Pro Paid Mobile Screenwriting On Tab. Scripts Pro, the number-one selling screenwriting app designed specifically for screenwriters to provide industry standard formatting and editing capabilities.
Slugline (Mac App) Paid Slugline is a simple, elegant Mac app for writing screenplays. It uses Fountain, a plain-text screenwriting format. No buttons, no settings. Just writing. It automatically formats your writing to precise industry standards. It’s everything you need to create a submission-quality screenplay, and nothing you don’t.

Social
Story Wars Free Writing stories together. Plus, read a story, write the next chapter. Create your own story or continue on someone else’s. After two drafts have been added for a chapter, a countdown starts. This is the remaining time when other people can add new drafts for the chapter. When the countdown has reached to zero, a voting round will start, featuring all the drafts that had been added. All user-created content on Story Wars is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Watt Pad Free Read, write, and share stories on Wattpad app. Whatever you’re into, it’s all free on Wattpad: the world’s largest community for readers and writers. Join millions who love Wattpad – the world’s unlimited, ever growing library of FREE stories, books, e-books.
Write To Done Paid Writer’s chance to share & discuss articles, poems, blogs, or a script.  Gives ways to boost writing confidence & promote a book. Free Editorial Contests. Blog posts for professional critique; $47.00 for under 500 words, $97.00 for up to 1,500 words.
Writers Cafe Free Online writing community where writers can post work, get reviews, befriend other writers and more. Post your poetry, short stories, novels, scripts, and screenplays. Get reviews and advice from thousands of other writers. Enter hundreds of free writing contests. Join writing groups or start your own. Take and subscribe to free online writing courses. Search publishers, literary agents, and literary magazines.
Writers Network Free Free creative writing community since 2004, providing a place for writers & poets to share, get constructive feedback, & interact with other poets.
Writers.net Free Discussion forum bringing writers, editors, agents & publishers together to share experiences.
Writing.com Paid Online community dedicated to fosterine writing skills.  With membership anyone may read, write, create, & review works.  Free & paid options.

Tools & Resources
Every Writers Resource Free Site of literary markets, publishers, literary magazines, poetry, short stories, articles, & resources on writing.Every Writer is Richard Edwards. He holds degrees in Creative Writing, Journalism, and Education. He lives, teaches, writes, and edits EWR in Ohio. He is the owner/editor/developer of EWR.
Freelance Writing Free Helping freelance writers succeed since 1997; jobs, articles, tutorals, contests, and publishers.
Freelance Writing Gigs Free Latest job listings, resources, tips & tricks for writers, & latest writing-related articles from around the web. Purchased by Splashpress Media from Deb Ng, who spent five years developing one of the leading websites for freelance writers to learn, grow, and discuss issues, questions, and more.
Lets Write A Short Story Paid An Ebook on process of writing & publishing short stories; guides you through researching, writing, editing, & submitting to lit. magazines.
Make A Living Writing Free Practical help for hungry writers. 2014 was named to Writer’s Digest’s 101 Best Websites for Writers. Subscribe, blog, read, get paid to post.
Rhymer’s Block Free In-line rhyming dictionary for hip hop & poetry lyrics. Rhymer’s Block is a unique app that allows you to quickly and easily capture your words of inspiration anywhere your life takes you. Rhymer’s Block – Rap / Poetry Writer and Rhyme Engine – Dictionary, Lyrics, Community, Slam, Notepad, Music, Poem, Bars, Genius.
The Write Life Free Helping writers create, connect & earn.  Daily blog of news & advice writers need now. One-stop shop, covering everything from fiction to productivity to promotion.
The Write Practice Free Kick-start your writing practice, plus practical tutorals, and publishing info. The Write Practice is where procrastination goes to die. Practicing creative writing fifteen minutes a day. This is the best writing workbook on the internet.
Winning Writers Free Best resources for poets & writers.  Free literary contests.
Write Kata iDroid S Write Free Convert Any File to a PDF – Word, Jpeg, Gif, Rtf – Free Download!
Writefull Paid An application for feedback on your writing. Select a piece of text in any writing tool (Microsoft Word to Gmail) & a small popover will appear above your selected text. This popover offers five options to assess & improve your selection with the use of Google Books database.
Writer Beware Paid Concerned with issues affecting professional authors, & problems/pitfalls facing aspiring writers.  Sponsored by SFWA, MWA, HWA, & ASJA, but efforts not limited to country, genre, or publication history. Memberships (see qualifications on site): Active $90.00/yr, Assoc. $80/yr, Affiliate $70.00/yr, Institutional $110.00/yr, Estate $80.00/yr, Family $130/yr for 2 + $60.00 each additional.
Writer.org Paid Home for literary arts in Washington D.C.; share literature, create, hold writing workshops, & events.
WriteRack Free Break from 140 character limit.  Tweetstorm like@pmarca. Directly copy and paste, autoformat, and more. WriteRack is a Fonebase Labs product and it has an Android app.
Writers Digest Paid First resource for writers; write better, get published, be creative.  Community forum, editor blogs, competitions, eduction, chaching, self-publishing, & publisher lists.
Writing Forward Paid A creative writing blog packed with tips and ideas that will inspire and inform your writing projects. You’ll find posts on grammar, good writing habits and practices, plus tons of writing prompts and exercises to keep your pen moving. Enables ways to improve your writing with ideas, prompts, resources, self-publishing & publishing tips. Get a quote for the following services for writers who are serious about their craft: Editorial Services, Blog Coaching, Writing Coach.
Liberio Free Simple eBook creation & publishing right from Google Drive.

Writing
Byword Paid Designed to make writing more enjoyable with Markdown. All the tools you need to write effectively, with keyboard shortcuts, word counters with live update, and more. SYNC all your documents, on all your devices. With iCloud and Dropbox. Also, export and publish to WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Scriptogram blogs and Evernote notebooks directly from Byword. Requires a one-time in-app purchase for each version (Mac and iOS).
Draft Paid Better writing software. Easy version control & collaboration for writers. When you share your document using Draft, any changes your collaborator makes are on their own copy of the document, and you get to accept or ignore each individual change they make. Publish easily to WordPress, Tumblr, Ghost, Svbtle, Blogger, Twitter, LinkedIn, Basecamp and even Mailchimp from inside Draft.
My Writing Spot Paid Provides a simple, uncluttered writing workspace. However, uncluttered doesn’t mean feature-poor. Whether you’re writing a novel or jotting down quick notes, all the essential features are there. Such as: Screenshot of My Writing Spot web app, Autosave, Word Count, Dictionary/Thesaurus lookup, Document Groups, Send to Email, Download to Computer.
Novel in 30 Paid Become a novelist on your iPad. Novel in 30 will help you achieve your goal of writing a novel. Not only does it provide a distraction-free writing environment, it offers encouragement along the way. And by holding you to a deadline, it might just give you the kick in the rear that you need to get that novel out of your head and onto the page. The dashboard provides a heads-up display for your writing project. All the essential information is available at a glance.
Pages Paid Pages for iOS, the last word in word processing. It is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And read beautifully. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices. And even work effortlessly with people who use Microsoft Word.
Penflip Paid A social writing platform; write, collaborate, & publish.  Basic public share is free, subscriptions for higher functionality are $8, or $22 per month paid annually. Write better with a simple markdown editor, version control and easy collaboration tools, ambitious attempt to reinvent git for writing.
Power Writer Paid Word Processing software for creating writers with integrated Outlining, Story Development and Research Tools. It allows you to jump from outline to manuscript, from research to character development then back to your manuscript again all without ever losing a beat. Purchase download includes installation it on three computers at once. You get free technical support for life. And you get six hours of free bonus writing audio courses instantly.
Scrivener Paid Software for writers of all kinds. Outline. Edit. Storyboard. Write. Powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.
Storybase Paid Write novels, screenplays and more. Storybase 2.0 offers a more robust feature set and convenient offline. Quickly create customized Character Sets that contain the names of your characters. Achieve focused brainstorming by filtering the database with combinations of up to three Mindsets and three Thrust/Action values. View suggested Lead-ins and Lead-outs – and build your story both forward and backward. Easily export or paste the Situations from Storybase 2.0 into your favorite word processor, visual outliner or screenplay formatter.
Storybird Free Visual storytelling & poetry writing. Books you’ll always remember. Your words. Our art. Amazing stories. Simple tools help you build books in minutes. Let the art inspire and surprise you as you write. Readers will encourage you along the way. Write, share, publish.
Storyboard That Paid At the heart of Storyboard is our incredibly powerful, yet easy to use storyboard creator. Extensive image library, posable characters and scenes. Flexible layouts. Optional title and descriptions. 6 Layout Choices: Classic, T-Charts, Grids, Frayer Models, Spider Maps & Timelines. Intuitive and simple.
Storyist Paid A powerful writing environment for novelists and screenwriters. Do you have a story to tell? Unlike conventional word processors, Storyist helps you track your plot characters, and settings, and keeps all of your writing organized and accessible—so you can focus on telling your story.Storyist 3 for Mac – $59.00, requires OS X 10.9 Mavericks or OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Storyist 3 for Mac Upgrade – $29.00, if you are upgrading from Storyist 2.x.
Typewrite Free Real-time collaborative writing.Markdown Formatting. Style text as you type without taking your hands off the keyboard. Real-time Editing. Collaborate with others on documents in real-time. Write and edit together. Save versions of your work as you go. Compare and revert to previous versions at any time. Sync with Dropbox. Use your favourite text editors on your phone, tablet, or computer.
Ulysses Paid Ulysses lets you focus when you need to concentrate. It keeps all your texts neatly stuffed in its intuitive library. With a few clicks, it create beautiful documents from your manuscripts: PDFs, web pages, even iBooks-ready ePubs. Its simple, clutter-free interface, will turn work hours into fun time. And mere thoughts into powerful stories. If you love to write, and write a lot, Ulysses is made for your MAC, iPad, iPhone, iCloud.
Word Paid The familiar Word program lets you create, edit, and share work quickly and easily. Most people can open and work with a document in Word. Version 2013 ranges $79.99 to $109.99 in price.
Word for iPad Free Download Microsoft Word and enjoy it on your iPhone, iPad, and … Word for iPad was among the App Store Best of 2014 in twelve countries!
WriteItNow Paid Write novels, generate characters, ideas, titles and names. Use our free add-ons to generate characters. Re-arrange chapters and scenes with the storyboard. Check who does what, where and when with the storyline editor. Use the thesaurus, spelling checker, readability checker and cliche finder. Runs on PCs Windows and Macs with OS X.
Writer’s Blocks Paid Software that makes you a faster, more effective writer. What if there was an easier way to keep track of what you were writing? Writer’s Blocks frees you from working in a constricted, linear way. When you write with a word processor, you end up constantly scrolling through page after page to see if what you have written is coherent. Writer’s Blocks gives you a truly visual way to view your written material.
Writeway Pro Paid Novel-writing software in Pro and Standard editions. Supports RTF, HTML, PDF, .doc and .docx file formats and exports for Kindle and Nook. Get the tools you need to take your story ideas from initial concept and characters through completed manuscript — all in one powerful, easy-to-use product!
yWriter Free yWriter is a powerful writing program which is free to download and use. It is a word processor which breaks your novel into chapters and scenes. Good alternative text editor for writers. When you’re trying to work on a novel or another type of large writing project, basic word editing programs just don’t cut it. It allows you to create separate folders for your individual projects. From there, you can take organization one step further and divide each project into separate chapters. Store notes about characters, locations, items and scenes. In addition, yWriter will keep a tally of the number of words you’ve written in your entire project, as well in separate chapters or scenes. Also, it offers a project wizard, and weekly checks.