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Best Apps for Authors

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

When it comes to writing and publishing children's books, there are tons of online tools out there to help you achieve your goals.

Apps for Authors | Write a Children's Book

In this blog post, we'll be exploring our favorite apps for authors that can help you write more effectively and market more efficiently.


Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links to products we enjoy using ourselves. Should you choose to use these links, At Home Author may earn affiliate commissions at no additional cost to you.


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Writing Tools & Apps



This is a free web-based word processing program that integrates easily with the rest of your Google Suite if you have it. The auto-save feature is my personal favorite but I also love how I can switch between the Google Docs app on my phone and my laptop, depending on where and when I'm writing. (It's a serious lifesaver for this toddler mom!)


It has a wide range of features, including collaboration tools and the ability to create tables and charts. It is also easy to use and share documents with others.


The biggest downside with Google Docs is that it's a bit of a pain to use offline. If you have spotty internet or you travel a lot, this might not be the best choice for your writing.


You can use Google Docs for free but for added storage and business features, look into Google Workspace.


Microsoft Word

Nothing like a classic! Microsoft Word is a long-standing application that is well-known for its extensive features and compatibility with various file types. It is easy to use and includes features such as page layout, proofing tools, and a range of formatting options. However, it can be costly and is only available on Windows and MacOS platforms.


Microsoft Office products are easy to use, plus they're simple to import into other platforms if needed. It does have an auto-save option but you have to enable it and now, they have an app so you can use Microsoft Word on the go. If your internet connection is a concern, this is the program I'd recommend.



This is an online word-processing program that makes keeping organized easy, but it is best for authors with longer books (i.e. children's chapter books, middle grade, etc). It can also easily be used for your blog posts, metadata research, or other long form content within your author business. If you're writing a longer document, I can't stress enough how much better this platform is compared to other word-processing programs. While there is a free 30-day trial, the cost after that starts at $59.99 for Mac and Windows devices.



This powerful web-based extension is a fantastic way to clean up your writing as you go. Not only does it detect spelling and grammatical errors, but it also gives you insights into your tone, conciseness, and style. It has a plagiarism checker too! Other spell checkers don't have as many features or they only work inside their own program. Grammarly works anywhere and everywhere, meaning it can also help you as you're sending emails or using any website.



That said, Grammarly is not a substitute for an actual professional editor. While it can reduce the number of errors in your writing, it cannot provide the developmental feedback that an experienced editor in your genre can. Plus, it's a computer. It's not foolproof, meaning some mistakes will still slip through.


Grammarly has both free and paid plans available that you can check out here. For most authors, the free plan is sufficient but for more advanced features like the plagiarism checker, tone suggestions, formatting and word choice suggestions, etc, you'll need the Premium or Business plan.



Marketing & Analytics



This tool was created by an author and it's a powerful analytics tool that gives you data on the keywords and categories on Amazon's platform. You can see how many people search specific keywords, how competitive they are, and find related keywords that may be a better fit for you to use in your metadata. It will help you discover new and low competition categories for your book and much, much more. Right now, it's a one-time fee for life but rumor has it, it will become a subscription soon. Click here to learn more about it.


For a sneak peek, check out this Publisher Rocket tutorial to see all the insights and benefits it can show you:



If you're using YouTube (which we recommend every children's book author does!) then this SEO tool will help you optimize your videos so that you get shown to as many people as possible. While they do have a few free features, they aren't as useful as their paid ones.


There aren't any contracts (you can cancel at any time) but I highly recommend the $5.99 per month for the Pro version at a minimum. Plus, if you have less than 1,000 YouTube subscribers, you can use code RISINGSTARBUDDY and get 50% off the Pro tier. I've used this tool myself and saw an instant increase in the number of people finding my readalouds.



Graphics & Design



Canva is an extremely user-friendly design program that is accessible to anyone. It is free, and though it does offer upgrade options, the basic version is quite robust.

Canva has a library of templates, fonts, and images that make it easy to create beautiful graphics quickly. On the downside, Canva is limited in the level of customization you can do and the more complex graphics you might want to create.


As an author, you can get away with the free version for quite a while but for access to more templates and helpful features, consider trying Canva Pro. You'll be able to upload your brand colors and fonts, organize graphics by folders, access 100x more stock photos and videos, get over 600,000+ template designs (the free version only lets you use about 100), use premium features like the Resizer tool or Background Remover, and much more. If you're on the fence, you can try Canva Pro FREE for 30 days.


Check out Canva in action in one of our latest YouTube tutorials:



Adobe, on the other hand, is a more complex, powerful program that requires a bit of a learning curve. It offers a much greater range of customization options, but it also requires a bit more time and effort to learn. Adobe also has a library of images, fonts, and templates, but it also offers more options for creating more complex graphics. The downside is that Adobe is not free and has a subscription cost.

Adobe offers a wide range of programs and features for creative professionals, businesses, and students. Some of their most popular programs include Adobe Photoshop for photo editing, Adobe Illustrator for vector illustrations, Adobe InDesign for page layout and design, Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing, Adobe After Effects for motion graphics, Adobe Dreamweaver for website and app development, Adobe Acrobat for PDF management, and Adobe Lightroom for photo management. You can take advantage of all of these apps with Creative Cloud, an all-in-one subscription service that provides access to all of their programs and features.


Canva and Adobe are two of the most popular design programs available today and both have their distinct advantages and disadvantages. For authors and marketers, both programs have the potential to create eye-catching graphics that can help promote books and businesses.

 

Have a favorite author app or tool? Comment it below!


Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links to products we enjoy using ourselves. Should you choose to use these links, At Home Author may earn affiliate commissions at no additional cost to you.

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