Author Tools – Scrivener for iOS Means You Can Write Your Zombie Novel Anywhere

Author Tools – things to help you get your writing done

Hey Scrivener fans and owners of an iPhone or iPad, NanoWriMo is coming soon and the new release of Scrivener for iOS is great news!  Hopefully, there will be an android version soon – hint hint Keith Blount! You might be thinking that writing on your phone is crazy but I know that when I am in the midst of Nano I write everywhere I can, which means on my phone, cause every little word counts towards the 50K goal! Anyways, David Pierce has the scoop at Wired.

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Scrivener for iOS Means You Can Write Your Zombie Novel Anywhere

By David Pierce Gear   07.20.16


Every November for the last 17 years, thousands of people have participated in National Novel Writing Month, which is more commonly and less pronounceably known as NaNoWriMo. In 2015, 431,626 people signed up to try and write 50,000 words in a single month. One guy apparently wrote more than a million.

NaNoWriMo has been very good to Keith Blount. Blount is the creator and primary developer of Scrivener, an app made specifically for writers wrangling huge word counts. Scrivener’s first public launch came via the NaNoWriMo forums in 2005, and now Blount and his company, Literature and Latte, sponsor a camp for aspiring novelists every year. A huge group of writers, at all levels of acclaim and wealth and prolificness, rely on Scrivener to do their work on Macs and PCs. And today, after years of development and even more years of user requests, Scrivener’s also available for the iPhone and iPad.

Read the full post (and get the free worksheet!) on Wired

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Amazon Is An Evil Sith Lord, and Other Dumb Arguments Against Doing Business With Amazon

Wow, over on The Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder comes out swinging against The Writer’s Workshop article Darth Amazon  – or – Why Amazon Is An Evil Sith Lord, And Apple Is Luke Skywalker by David Lieder. You know what? Nate is correct.  Both Amazon and Apple are big companies and suffer from the issues that plague big companies. But every author I have ever worked with has had the same consistent results. They get the majority of their exposure and sales from Amazon, with the iBook store a far second. Not only that, but to even upload your manuscript to the iBook store you must own a mac, and not a cheap one. (Is there even such a thing as a cheap mac?) It is also very difficult to get exposure on the iBook store unless you are already a very well established author. What are your thoughts or experiences?

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Amazon Is An Evil Sith Lord, and Other Dumb Arguments Against Doing Business With Amazon

Posted on 24 January, 2016 by Nate Hoffelder

Industrial 3D LetterWith Authors United’s debate recitation coming up on Wednesday, this week promises to have an excess of “evil Amazon is evil” whining, and David Lieder is getting a head start on the competition.

Writing over at The Writer’s Workshop, this David Streitfeld wannabe reaches into the depths of his ADS* to argue that authors should not not deal directly with Amazon.

So I want to argue that authors should avoid Amazon Kindle, ACX and Create Space, and explain why I recommend that authors use other distributors, except for allowing your books to trickle back onto the Amazon platform after the fact (from another propagator, such as Smashwords, Ingram-Spark, even Book Baby). I want to explain why I teach authors to boycott Amazon ACX (audiobook production) and to replace Create Space with the much better choice of Ingram-Spark (which has print books available to authors at about half the price of Create Space).

Apparently Lieder is a believer in what I am calling the condom theory, which goes something like this: So long as you wear a condom, you’re not technically having sex with your partner. (Yes, it is a dumb theory, but it’s his theory and his arguments, not mine).

To put it another way, this pint-sized Melville House thinks it is okay to do business with what he sees as evil so long as you have an intermediary in between. In his mind, you’re not dealing with the devil if you use a distributor who deals with the devil on your behalf.

I could explain why Lieder’s arguments are wrong, and point out the factual errors, half-truths, and errant nonsense in his piece, but I have already lost several brain cells reading that piece and I do not wish to expend any additional brain cells arguing the point.

So let me simply list a few:

Read the full post on The Digital Reader

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Whose Game Are You Playing?

This post by John Pettigrew originally appeared on Future Proofs on 5/4/15.

We hear a lot about Amazon, the new giant in the playground. But Amazon may actually be the least of the industry’s problems, because they at least play by rules we recognise. There are plenty of other giants out there who are playing entirely different games – but who may still stomp all over our playground. The question is, what do we do about them?

The publishing industry feels under threat from a lot of places these days. And the most commonly mentioned cause of this fear is surely Amazon. Starting off as just another book retailer, Amazon has grown hugely and very cleverly to become a true global giant.

Amazon seems to be the kid everyone’s afraid of – bigger, stronger, and not afraid to use its muscle to get what it wants!

Playing by the rules
However, Amazon is still playing in our playground, basically working with the same rules publishing companies are used to – getting books to customers more effectively and more cheaply than ever before. This is a game that publishers understand and play all the time. And we can see this by the way that publishers and Amazon are always talking about this or that, arguing about a particular situation and coming to new agreements.

The problem, it seems to me, is that Amazon isn’t actually what publishers should be most worried about. We fear Amazon, I think, because we understand it pretty well and so can predict clearly what effect its actions are going to have on us.


A different game
The true danger may not be Amazon but other giants who are playing entirely different games. Companies like Google and Facebook, who use content (including content from publishers) as part of their business but who don’t really care much about that content because their real business is selling advertising.


Read the full post on Future Proofs.


Europe Says No To Proprietary eBook Formats

This post by Mike Cane originally appeared on his Mike Cane’s xBlog on 4/1/14.

L’Europe va mettre fin aux formats propriétaires pour les livres numériques

Europe will put an end to proprietary formats for digital books

While the European Parliament will be renewed in May, the European Commission, which will also be fully reconstructed by the end of the year, embarks on a surprising activism: she finally grabs the file interoperability digital books, with the aim of forcing retailers using proprietary formats to end these systems.

Amazon and Apple, the two market leaders, are directly targeted. Currently, a digital book bought on can only be read on the Kindle, the e-tailer reading lamp, or one of its applications. Reading lamp which does not accept the open format ePub. It is the same with the iBook Store, Apple’s digital library, which does not allow the reading on the terminals of the Apple brand.

Assuming this isn’t an April Fool’s item, what will happen?


After Amazon and Apple fail with their bribes lobbying, I think:


Click here to read the rest of the post on Mike Cane’s xBlog.


Book Publishing May Not Remain A Stand-Alone Industry And Book Retailing Will Demonstrate That First

This post by Mike Shatzkin originally appeared on his The Shatzkin Files blog on 1/29/14.

You are missing some good fun if you don’t know those AT&T commercials where the grown-up sits around a table with a bunch of really little kids and asks them questions like “what’s better: faster or slower?” There always seems to be an obvious “correct” answer. Those kids could answer some important questions about ebook retailing in the future like these:

“What’s better? Selling just ebooks or selling ebooks and print books?”

“What’s better? Selling in just one country or in all countries?”

“What’s better? Selling just books or selling books and lots of other things too?”

“What’s better? Having one way to get revenue, like selling books with or without other stuff, or having lots of ways to get revenue so that books are only a part of the opportunity?”

And the answers to those simple questions, so obvious that a 5-year old would get them right, explain a lot about the evolving ebook marketplace and, ultimately, about the entire world of book publishing.

Book retailing on the Internet, let alone an offer that is ebooks only, hardly cuts it as a stand-alone business anymore. The three companies most likely to be in the game and selling ebooks ten years from now are Amazon, Apple, and Google. The ebook business will not be material to any of them — it is only really close to material for Amazon now — which is why we can be sure they will see no need to abandon it. It is a strategic component of a larger ecosystem, not dependent on the margin or profit it itself produces. And the rest of their substantial businesses assure they’ll still be around as a company to run that ebook business.


Click here to read the full post on The Shatzkin Files.