Hi aspiring writers! Writing coach
Stefanie Newell and this is The Life Of A Writer channel. Today’s video I will be
sharing five tools that will save you time, boost your confidence and improve
your writing! If you want to write a book that helps you to connect with readers
and sell more books, make sure to subscribe as I post new writing videos
every Tuesday! So when I first started writing my first book the only tool I
used was Microsoft Word. I didn’t even know that there were other tools
available that can assist writers on their writing journey. But as I started
to become more involved in writing communities on Facebook, blogs and forums,
I learned of different tools and have now started to incorporate those tools
for writing a book into my process. So what do these tools do? First off they
assist you in areas where you may not be as proficient. They also save you time by
helping you to do more complicated tasks a little easier. Or some tools even
provide you with databases of useful information that you can access
depending on your writing journey. So in this video I will highlight five tools
that will cover some of these areas and help you as a first-time writer to be
more productive which in turn will help you to boost your confidence. Now I’m
often asked how can I be a more confident writer? And the tools featured
in this video will help you to boost your confidence. One of the suggestions I
give to my clients is to make the process as simple as possible. By having
a simple process you’ll see your progress sooner and through that
progress you’ll boost your confidence. So the first tool that I’m gonna feature is
a website called wordcounter.net and it really is exactly what it sounds like
except for it gives you additional capabilities that maybe your writing
software is not able to give you. So the first thing you would do is paste your
text into this box and what I love about it is it gives you the reading level, the
reading time, as well as the speaking time for your document. It also gives you
information like keyword density. So if you’re using words a lot in a particular
document it will show you that and all of these features are really useful for
you know even your book, but also your blog, your website and helping you to
determine the text for your website. So I really love this website! So the word
counter tool will take you to another tool that I really love
if you notice down at the bottom of the screen it says your text might contain
writing issues check now and it’s gonna take you over to a website called
Grammarly. Now Grammarly is a tool that most of us can benefit from. If you’re
anything like me grammar is not my strong point. So a tool like Grammarly
allows me to write and then it comes back and corrects any grammatical errors
that I’ve made. So if you notice at the top of the screen it says, “We’ve found 14
writing issues in your text…” and if your text that you have copied into that
previous box, if that text was found someplace else on the Internet you will
get a detection of plagiarism noted at the top of your screen. So the one thing
I love about Grammarly is not only does it look at your grammar, but it also
looks at punctuation, spelling, enhancement and style. And all of those
areas once you start to use this program or tool you will get better in these
areas. So for example, let’s look at punctuation. So it says, “misuse of
semicolons, quotation marks, etc.” So what you’ll learn is how to better use
semicolons, quotation marks, as it starts to correct your punctuation errors. All
right, so here’s another really cool tool that I love and it is called Book Brush.
Now why I like Book Brush is I am NOT a graphic designer. I am creative. I am a
writer and I can definitely put images together for promotional use on my
Facebook or my Instagram or even my website. But it will take me a lot longer
to do so. So what I love about Book Brush it allows you to create promotional
images for your book so that you can promote it on these different social
media platforms. But it doesn’t take any type of skill which is gonna be perfect
for those of you who just want to get the writing done, but do from time to
time want to make promotional images for your book that doesn’t cost you money by
having to hire a graphic designer. So you can either use their custom creator or
their video creator. I happen to love their instant mock-ups which is what
you’re looking at right now on the screen. What this allows you to do is to
choose your book cover. So I’ve already imported my book covers into instant
mock-up. I’m gonna choose one of my book covers. So I’m gonna choose How To Write
Your First Book and then I’m gonna scroll through all of the images that
they have available for instant mock ups and choose one that makes the most
sense for the platform that I’m going to be posting to. So in this particular
instance I’m gonna just choose this graphic or this image right here. So I’m
gonna select it and once I’ve selected it, it’s gonna give me the option to
create the image. It’s gonna take a few seconds depending on your Internet speed
or how many images that you are downloading, because you can do more than
one at a time. And then it’ll pop up and allow you to download your images and
just like that you have a graphic that you can use on your social media
platforms. I’m telling you guys this is a time-saver and it also saves you money.
The limited plan is free with no credit card required. However if you do want the
Plus plan it is a subscription-based service but like I said as a first time
author you don’t want to spend a lot of time doing things that you’re not really
proficient in. So this is the graphic that I created I have several graphics
that I’ve created with this program. Here’s another one that I did earlier
today and I absolutely love it. Again these can be added to your social media
platforms.So I do have a coupon code to share with my audience the coupon code
is thelifeofawriter15. So what this discount is gonna do is gonna give you
15% off of upgrading to the Plus plan and that will be applied each year at
renewal, so it’s like a lifetime discount! So make sure you guys take advantage of
this. I have a subscription and I recommend that you get one too. Next up
is the plagiarism checker. Now we talked a little bit about plagiarism earlier
but this website specifically checks for plagiarism. So how this is going to be
helpful to you as a new writer, let’s say that you were on a website and you
copied information from that website to talk about a little bit later in your
manuscript. And you are writing your manuscript and you’ve forgotten that
that information was not written by you, by putting your text into this
plagiarism checker it will tell you whether or not that information was
plagiarized from another website so that you can go back and rewrite what you’ve
already written and make sure that it’s in your own words. This is also going to
be very useful for those of you who are incorporating a ghostwriter or someone
is helping you to write your book make sure that they’re not copying
information from another website or from another source. All right now, here’s an
awesome website for those of you who are going the traditional publishing route
and this website is called Agentquery.com. Now this website is for those of you
who are going the traditional publishing route. As you know you have to have a
literary agent first before you’re able to sign to a traditional publishing
company. So this website is a database of all of the literary agents that are
reputable within the industry. So one thing that I love about this database is
that you can break this down by literary agents that handle nonfiction or
literary agents that handle fiction. And then you can also even go deeper than
that and look for just ones that do romance or sci-fi or whatever genre
that you write. Now there are a lot of great resources on this website so as
you can see right here I’m scrolling through and I am looking at romance
literary agents. And as you go down you will see that there are different notes
about this particular literary agent. So this note says this agent accepts
queries. So that’s helpful so that you’re not sending your query letter to someone
that isn’t currently accepting query letters. So you want to make sure that
you check this for each of the agents that you send your query letter to. So
for example this particular agency says this agent does not currently accept
unsolicited queries. So if you were to send your query letter to this
particular agent it would really be in vain, because currently they are not
accepting any unsolicited queries. So this is a very useful website, not only
does it give you the person’s name, it also gives you their agency as well as
their email address and all of the different genres that they cover. Now
here’s a tip… make sure you are not sending your query letter to an agent
that does not handle your genre! That is really important because it’s almost
like a waste of time because they are telling you exactly what genre they are
interested in reading and interested in representing. So that is really important!
So this is a great website for those of you who are going the traditionally
published route. You want to start giving thought to the literary agents that
you’re going to query even if you are still writing your manuscript. This gives
you an idea of what you’re going to be including in your query letter, the
types of books that they are currently representing, and that way it can help
you to craft a better book. And if you’re enjoying these tools make sure to click
the like button and make sure to also check the description box. I’ve added a
link to my writing resources where I share all of the apps, softwares and
electronics I use personally to write my books. Let me know what you think of
these tools. If you want to write a book that helps you to connect with readers
and sell more books make sure to visit my website and howtowriteabookthatsells.com