Frustrated with Microsoft Word? Consider using creative writing software on your next book

For many 03writers who use Microsoft Word, the software program often feels like a glorified typewriter. Its page numbering, complex header and footer functions, lack of vertical alignment, and more often aren’t just an annoyance when writing books. If that sounds like your feelings about MS Word, then novel-writing software might be the answer.

Sometimes referred to as creative writing software or book writing software, a variety of such programs exist. Among them are Scrivener, Squibler, ProWritingAide and AutoCrit, just to name a few.

There are many advantages to these various alternatives to MS Word. Primary among them is that they are designed specifically for creative writing. Both Scrivener and Squibler, for example, allow you to drag and drop parts of the story to where you want them. MS Word is a more general word processing program, and often Microsoft’s improvements of the program are geared toward businesses, such as its Track Changes, which allows you to share and approve comments among multiple users.

Another advantage of creative writing software is that some have customizable word count tools. Such is the case with NovelPad, which can track your word count as you write and over time so you can see how many words you’ve written each day. Many writers who have other jobs or who are on a deadline aim to write a specific number of words per day to ensure they are closing on completion of their book. MS Word offers a word count tool but not of this sophistication.

In addition, some creative writing software offers formatting for epub and .mobi files. Sometimes this needs to be done before uploading a book to specific print on demand house or can help you sell your own ebooks without going through a self-publishing company. Calibre and Vellum both do this. MS Word doesn’t, though there are free online sites that will make the conversion for you, and most self-publishing companies already have online setups that do so.

Of course, with any advantage there are downsides. For most writers who already know and have long used MS Word, there is the problem of having to learn a new program. Once you’ve already taken the time – which sometimes has been years – to learn MS Word, picking up a new program is a hassle. And, of course, there’s really no need to switch for most writers, as MS Word, despite its annoyances, does just about everything that creative writing software can. For example, notetaking can be placed in the reviewing pane on MS Word.

A second downside to using creative writing software is that you have to transfer manuscripts between software if using multiple programs. For example, one writer I know uses Scrivener for writing, Evernote for note taking, and Google Docs for sharing the manuscript. Ugh – that sounds way more complicated than just working around or putting up with MS Word’s failings.

A final downside is that MS Word, for better or for worse, is the industry standard. Editors are certain to have and be familiar with MS Word but not all of the various creative writing programs out there. Usually self-publishing houses let you simply upload your formatted MS Word manuscript, especially if it’s for an ebook.

Still, if you’re fed up with MS Word and want to see what else is available, then check out some of the creative writing software programs out there. Usually you can try out programs free for a week up to a month. Should you decide to stick with MS Word, you always can copy and paste what was done in the creative writing program into a notetaking program on your computer or to Google Docs and then transfer it back to your Word program.

Need an editor? Having your book, business document or academic paper proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


Add page breaks to mark ebook’s chapters

Readers of Amazon-157609_640paper books have come to expect that a new chapter begins on a new page, even if that means blank white space at the bottom of the page where the last chapter ended. As all of us live in an era where paper books still are part of our education and recreation, we want to emulate this nonverbal signal to readers when designing ebooks.

Accomplishing this is easy when developing an ebook in MS Word. Simply place a page break between the end of a chapter and the start of a new chapter.

To do that, in your ebook manuscript, place the curser one line below the last line at the end of a chapter. In the ribbon at the top of the document, click Insert. On the left side in the Pages section of the ribbon, click Page Break. When you do this, the curser will jump to the top of the next page in your document. You can delete any extra lines up to the top of that next page, but if you keep deleting onto the page where you were, you risk deleting the page break. Save the file, and you’re good to go.

The result is that wherever the last page ended, white space will appear below on it the ereader or app where the ebook is being viewed. The next page starts in the ebook at the top of the next screen that the reader toggles to.

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.



6 Tips on Releasing Your Books

00h

Aim to simultaneously publish paperback, ebook
Why you must publish your book digitally
Distribute ebook on variety of ereaders, tablets
Audio book
Bundle ebooks to boost your online sales 
When is best time of the year to release a book? 
• BONUS: 5 Great Quotations about Self-Publishing 

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.



25 Golden Rules of Self-Editing

00h

How to self-edit and revise your fiction story 
12 tips for revising your own manuscript
Set your story aside
Revise by deconstructing 
How to use Track Changes on your manuscript
Six useful tips for self-editing your book
How to get rid of MS Word's proofreading marks
Missing typos? Try editing old-fashioned way
Don't trust spellcheck, your junior high-aged editor
• BONUS: “Young or old, good or bad, I don’t think anything dies as slow and as hard as a writer.”

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.



5 Elements of an Infographic

5 Elements of an Infographic

Learn More About Self-Publishing:
Whether writing a novel or nonfiction, whether planning to print a paperback or an ebook, 7 Minutes a Day to a Self-Published Book guides you through the self-publishing process, from the title page to the index, from designing a cover to formatting your text.


4 Microsoft Word Tips All Authors Need to Know

Employee-3005501

How to use Track Changes on your manuscript
How to get rid of MS Word's proofreading marks
Getting rid of a line of dots that won't go away
How to make copyright, trademark symbols 
• BONUS: Should you switch to creative writing software?

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.



21 Awesome Tips on Formatting Paper Books

028
Wait to format text until editing is done 
How to determine your book's trim size
How to determine your book's margins
How your text should appear in a formatted book 
Formatting main text for your book
Select best typeface for your book
Select different fonts for paperback, ebook
Use consistent quotation mark, apostrophe style
Use consistent style on chapter, header titles
Avoid introducing wrong styles into your text 
Consider adding artwork to interior of your book
How to place photos in your paperback
How to handle page numbers, running headers 
How to line up page numbers in table of contents 
Make tables readable in your nonfiction book
Don't commit these five book design sins
Pay attention to your author's bio pic 
Selecting paper quality when self-publishing
How to embed fonts in a pdf of your manuscript 
Always review proof your book before okaying it
Do I need to buy a barcode when self-publishing? 
• BONUS: "A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down..." 

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.


Great Ebook Formatting Tips - FREE 9-Part Series

00j

Part I
Part II
Part III 
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part VIII
Part IX
• BONUS: "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing." – Benjamin Franklin 

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.



22 Awesome Tips on Formatting Ebooks

00m

Will you take advantage of ebook's opportunity for innovative storytelling, content presentation?
Consider differences between paper, ebooks
Basic guidelines for self-publishing ebooks
Four main ways exist to present your ebook
Getting started with formatting your ebook
Know parts of an ebook when creating one 
Select different fonts for paperback, ebook 
How to format line spacing for an ebook
Use consistent quotation mark, apostrophe style
Use consistent style on chapter, header titles
Avoid introducing wrong styles into your text
If using MS Word, don't place tabs in your ebooks 
Skip headers, footers, page numbers in ebook
How to create bulleted lists in ebooks 
How to format drop caps into your ebook
Consider adding artwork to interior of your book
Great tips for placing photos in your ebook
How to link your ebook's table of contents
How to create page breaks in your ebook 
Ask at end of your book for a review 
Add social sharing links to your ebook 
Consider exercising ‘nuclear option' on ebook
Do Kindle DP pre-orders help or hinder sales?
Sell more ebooks by writing shorter ones 
Guidelines for creating an ebook cover 
DRM: To enable or not to enable
How to write an author's bio 
Pay attention to your author's bio pic 
What is a "text-to-speech" ebook? 
What is the X-Ray function in an ebook? 
Pros and cons of using Smashwords for ebooks 
Common questions about publishing ebooks
• BONUS: “We do not write because we want to; we write because we have to.” – Somerset Maugham 

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.



10 Tips on Creating a Cover for Your Ebook

00s

Does your book cover design matter for ebooks?
Guidelines for creating an ebook cover 
Design your book cover to attract attention
Selecting artwork for your book cover
Five tips for taking a book cover photo
Use stock art to create cover inexpensively
Attract attention by adding shout line to cover 
Add tagline to boost interest in your book 
Market your book with endorsements
When are you a "bestselling author"?
• BONUS: “There is no mistaking the dismay...of a writer who has just heard that his brain child is a deformed idiot.” 

Professional Book Editor: Having your novel, short story or nonfiction manuscript proofread or edited before submitting it can prove invaluable. In an economic climate where you face heavy competition, your writing needs a second eye to give you the edge. I can provide that second eye.