Developers are constantly creating new apps, and many of them are a great help to authors. Every little bit of edge you can grab can mean one more page written, or more bit of book marketing done. In a long game like creating a writing career, every little bit helps, and having the right app can give your days the added push you need. Here are five of the most useful new ones to come out this year, plus one that's just simply fun for authors to use.
Dragon Naturally Speaking is taking the author world by storm. This leading-edge company produces most of the world's dictation software, and authors are finding it a great help in producing more books, faster. The Dragon Dictation app is a tie-in that allows you to use your smart phone to dictate anywhere. Use a bluetooth headset to write in the car, at a soccer game, or while you're getting your steps in on your morning walk. This app frees you from your desk and allows you to write on the fly.
Beta readers are the key to getting past that first draft and beginning your book edits. If you're having problems finding beta readers, this online program is the place to find them. Post a snippet of your work and readers will let you know if they want to read more. Post your finished first draft and you'll have dozens of willing beta readers, waiting to give their opinion on your work.
If you're a visual planner, this app is for you. It's a virtual corkboard for your phone or tablet, allowing you to fill out virtual index cards and post them onto the board. Plot every scene and rearrange them on the board until you have a complete plot in storyboard form.
Another plotting app, this one allows you to create characters, scenes, ideas and plots, and link them all together into one logical form. Linking the different parts together allows you to visualize your story in a unique way, giving you another viewpoint on your work.
One of the most beautiful and versatile mind-mapping tools around, Coggle allows you to plot your book using the Snowflake Method, or just play with ideas until a coherent plot begins to form. Got a beginning and don't know where to take it? Use this mind-mapping too to take those ideas and turn them into plots.
Created by actor Tom Hanks, the Hanx Writer is a fun ode to the old-fashioned typewriter. It turns your iPad into an old-school manual machine. Long for the days of hearing that clack, clack of the keys? Love that ding, fwip that happens at the end of every line? This app will give you all that, and more. Take your iPad to a coffee house and be really obnoxious, or just revel in the retro sound and feel of an old Smith Corona Skywriter. Perfect for those writing noir murder mysteries, or just for people who like a little fun in their work day.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!