Tools and Resources
If you’re writing a novel on a Mac or PC then I highly recommend you use Scrivener. Way back in 2014, I moved from writing my novels in MS Word to Scrivener and I’m glad I made the move. Check out the writing tool I use and recommend*.
Because I realise that not everyone uses a Mac on a daily basis, I highly recommend Atticus for writing and formatting. Before I interviewed Dave Chesson on the podcast, I purchased and dabbled with Atticus, and it was quite fun. On top of it being a writing and formatting tool, it’s a progressive web app, so you can use it on any device without downloading an app from a store. Currently, it retails for a one-time payment of US$147.00 for ebooks and print.
As a blogger, podcast host, and amateur sleuth mystery author, I have used Grammarly Premium, in every step of my author business, from editing blog posts to scenes in my stories. Yes, I use Grammarly for fiction as well. The premium edition costs US$139.95 per year.
Pro Writing Aid
After I use Grammarly to edit my scenes, I then open up Pro Writing Aid* and run my scenes through all their various reports, my favourite reports are Overused, Readability, and Sticky. I contribute the use of this product, along with the previous one, to the clean drafts that my editor loves—her words, not mine. The premium edition of Pro Writing Aid has no limits and costs £30 per month, or you can save 67% by buying the annual plan for £120.00 or even more by purchasing the lifetime plan, which is a one-time fee of £399.00.
Authors.ai* is a tool that analyses your manuscript against other best sellers in your genre and creates a report sharing insights into your work. Each report is $45.00, or they have a plan where you can get two reports per month for $199.00.
Way back in 2013, I first dipped my toe into the wonderful world of email marketing, but I signed up with another provider who changed the rules and their pricing in 2019. So, I switched to MailerLite* and haven’t looked back since; while it’s far from perfect, the price is affordable, they have automation queues, and my open rates have stayed and, in some places, improved since the switch. Also, the email templates are responsive, and you can filter content within emails so a certain group only sees a particular piece of content—that’s something I couldn’t do with my other provider. The annual plan for lists under 1,000 subscribers starts from €76.00.
Since the beginning of September 2015, I switched from using a free theme to using the Divi Theme* by Elegant Themes with wordpress.org. The theme is beautiful, highly responsive to different types of devices and, most importantly, highly versatile and has a load of tutorials to help you customise it to your liking. Honestly, I’m never going back to anything else. But the theme doesn’t come cheap—it’s US$89 per year or a once-off payment of US$249 for lifetime use.
In January 2021, I finally pulled the plug and moved web hosts from BlueHost to SiteGround due to page loading and speed issues. Even though the move was tough, I’m glad I did it, and I understand why Elegant Themes recommend you host a DIVI theme WordPress website with SiteGround. I highly recommend you purchase their WordPress Hosting package. I won’t list the prices here because they have deals and discounts going regularly, so check out the web host I use and recommend*.