I have discovered two things I never knew I needed: Scrivener, and Adobe Publisher.
I downloaded the trial on each. For Scrivener, I inserted a short story I’m working on as a test. For those as unfamiliar as I was, Scrivener is a word processing program developed particularly for writers, I think generally on Mac computers. I stumbled upon it by accident and thought what the hell.
It takes a little time to navigate and learn its quirks, but my life would have been so much easier had I had this way long ago. Word is alll I’ve ever experienced, and the thought of changing processing programs really freaked me out. But, I have so many files of files of files in word. It’s like a family tree gone haywire with lots of overbreeding: cut chapters, cut phrases and sections, synopsises, querries, back of book blurbs; character descriptions; ideas- all things I deleted but am holding onto in the event I can recycle. I’ve swapped chapters while holding my breath and cut and pasting. Scrivener works where you make each chapter almost its own file on the left side of the screen within the whole document. There’s also a section with template for character descriptions. There’s also several different views: whole story, individual chapters, or a feature called a storyboard, where each chapter will show up as an index card on a cork-like background. Need to swap chapters? Move the cards! That’s it! So great.
You can write in either the short story, long story, or screenwriting template. I’m not a screenwriter so I didn’t play to see how that works, but think it’s very cool that it’s included.
Bonus is that it saves as a pdf automatically. For those of us formating for eReader publication, there you go! I’m thinking of transfering my novel into Scrivener for the formating, and will definitely start the next one in it instead of Word.
It’s $40 after the month’s trial, which is very doable. Another bonus is that iPAD is developing an app to make writing on the go easier. Yay! Hopefully it comes with some transferability back to your PC. For this, I’m seriously considering an iPAD for my wannaget tablet.
My other new love is Adobe Illustrator. I just drew my new logo entirely on the computer- with color. And it came out awesome! Their new membership, Creative Cloud, is a monthly thing with all their products: Illustrator, photoshop, along with a multitude of others, including web design. No more CD downloading. Plus, automatic updating and automatic add-ons without upgrading costs when new programs are made.
Downside for me is that I can’t see myself using this enough to quantify the $30-50/month fee. It’s also not wholly user friendly. I had to websearch everything before I could find how to do it. The end result is much like having kids though- you forget the pain that went into it the moment you see your final product. Once I’m official, in about a month should it go smoothly, I’ll share my imprint name and logo.
But, that’s what I’ve learned this last month!