Author Resource: Write a Book with a Markdown Text Editor novelWriter

novelWriter is a markdown-like text editor designed for writing novels and larger projects of many smaller plain text documents.

Markdown is a plain text formatting syntax that makes documents readable without tags ( text modifiers like lists, bold, italics, etc are used). We use Markdown in Facebook message, Skype, Slack, Trello etc.

Novelwriter can run on Linux, Windows and macOS, and users have tested it on other platforms too.

What Does novelWriter Help Writers With?

novelWriter allows for easy organization of text files and notes, with a meta data syntax for comments, synopsis, and cross-referencing between files. The plain text storage is suitable for version control software.  Version control software helps with ‘versioning’ of documents and helps keeps track of every modification to the doc so that we can go and see the last series of changes that were made.

Other features include:

  • View the doc you are editing and any other doc in a separate viewer panel
  • Write in Editor Focus Mode, focusing on text only
  • Assign tags to notes
  • Easy project overview
  • Docs can be dropped and dragged into folders
  • Overview of chapters and scenes
  • Syntax highlighting for the editor and syntax highlight themes
  • Autosave documents
  • Build and export
multiple screenshot
screenshot of novelWriter with default system theme
novelWriter with default system theme
novelWriter with Dark theme screenshot
novelWriter with dark theme

How is a Word Processing program like Scrivener different from an open-source app like novelWriter?

Opensource software essentially means that the underlying code that was used to produce the app is freely available to see or modify. Using open-source apps should not require more technical skills but in case of this app, not everyone is fluent in writing markdown and people are generally more comfortable with graphic interface to format a document.

There are people who find the markdown format easier and faster. So this leans toward that section of the audience.

Recommended or Not?

Sure, novelWriter is not a full-feature Markdown editor. It allows for a minimal, concentrated set of formatting needed for writing text documents for novels so it’s easy to use.
Looking for professional help to make your manuscript error-free and take it to next level? Check out our copy editing and proofreading services.



Author Resource: Master World Building Skills with Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator

Every fantasy novel has a fair share of world-building and maps are a great way to showcase new worlds.

Azgaar’s Fantasy Map Generator (FMG) is a free opensource tool you can use to generate highly customizable fantasy maps, either auto-generated ones or your own design. There are options to change default settings and even to draw maps from scratch using the paint brush option,

How to Build your Map

screengrab of Fantasy Map Generator

  • Check out the auto-generated map.
  • Customize parameters or create a new map.
  • Fashion your map according to layers of your choice- be it political, cultural, religious, etc.
  • You can give the map its own unique style and look.
  • Save the file.
Screengrab from
Map designed at
Map at

Check out this excellent resource to understand more about this map generator.

Recommended or Not?

Using this resource requires some patience and skill. I found it difficult to design a map on my own so it’s not something you can do in a hurry- there are communities on Reddit and Discord who can help.

You don’t need to install it on your computer and it’s completely free, so if you have the time and the vision, go for it!


Looking for professional help to make your manuscript error-free and take it to next level? Check out our copy editing and proofreading services.



Author Resource: Get More Creative Mileage With Milanote 🗒️

Milanote is used by creatives to jot down notes, ideas, inspirations, outlines and descriptions in a visual board kind of format. It resembles Evernote but is more suited to the artistic sensibility.

Milanote is geared towards creators. You even have a writing app software. Since writing isn’t linear, Milanote is a fun way to organize plot, provide character descriptions and do some world-building

How to use Milanote and Why Writers Need it

It’s easy. Go to Milanote and start creating. It’s free!

Milanote Landing Page

Here’s how writers can use Milanote: Writing App – Creative Writing Software – Milanote

Milanote Writing Software
This is where the action begins
Character profile at Milanote
You can create detailed character profiles at Milanote

Story Outline at Milanote

You can outline your story before you start writing down your magnum opus!Good enough reasons to use this app! All the information that you need about your characters, plot and setting can be dragged and dropped in one space. This helps writers connect more to their ideas and plot effectively.

Recommended or Not?

Yes! Milanote is a favorite for creatives across the board. Check it out.


Looking for professional help to make your manuscript error-free and take it to next level? Check out our copy editing and proofreading services.



Author Resource: Organize your Research Effectively with Weava 🗂️

While writing your fiction or non-fiction, you can often go down the research rabbit hole and uncover a whole lot of facts that can embellish your writing. But how do you keep track?

You can cut and paste tomes of material but after a  point, you may wonder how to put it altogether. What’s the point of highlighting a whole lot of text you are later going to lose track of?

Weava offers a solution- you can highlight, organize and save your research.

How to Use Weava and What Does it Offer

It’s pretty simple. Just download the Chrome extension and voila!

You are now ready to:

  • Highlight not just content on a website but PDFs as well. There are multiple color options.
  • Annotate with notes
  • Review articles and their sources at one place
  • Organize research into folders
  • Access what you know
  • Collaborate and share
sample grab of weava dashboard
Weava dashboard
screengrab of highlighting options
Highlighting options at Weava

Recommended or not

Definitely! The free version is a great tool for students, researchers, professionals and writers. It allows you to save a lot of time when it comes to using your research material effectively, creating citations, and sharing your work.


Looking for professional help to make your manuscript error-free and take it to next level? Check out our copy editing and proofreading services.

Author Resource: Focus on Writing with FocusWriter 🔍

There are so many apps that help writers but ironically the internet also throws up an equal number of distractions. The screen is usually cluttered with tabs and endless notifications pop up, so how does a writer write? FocusWriter is a free open source writing program that can provide some freedom from mass distractions.

How to Use FocusWriter

Go to

Focus Writer
Focus Writer Versions available

Download the version of your choice.

You arrive on a blank screen with a themed background that you can customize.

screengrab of themed background on Focuswriter
Space dreams theme at Focus Writer

FocusWriter Features:

  • FocusWriter can be windowed or fullscreen
  •  Described as a ‘cross between text editor and a word processor‘.
  • Provides TXT, basic RTF, and basic ODT file support
  • Customizable background themes
  • Allows you to set time goals and decide the number of words in advance.
  • Option for typewriter sound effects

Recommended or Not?

Yes, if you want a free program that allows you to write with zero distractions. Not great for non-fiction write-ups that need graphics like images or tables. Ideal if you are looking to meet writing goals.


Looking for professional help to make your manuscript error-free and take it to next level? Check out our copy editing and proofreading services.

Author Resource: Get Smart Audio Readings with Natural Reader 🎧

Text-to-speech applications are useful, especially in a world of excessive screen time.  Great for dyslexic learners, foreign language students and working professionals.

Writers can miss mistakes even after multiple edits. Reading out loud is a great way to pick up errors and that’s where an application like Natural Reader comes in.

How to Give your Documents a Voice with Natural Reader

Natural Reader is a fun and easy-to-use web application that converts text to audio so that you can listen to the sound of your words any time, anywhere. You can listen to the text in any accent (British or American) or language (including Spanish, Italian and Swedish)  that you want.

You can upload or drag and drop documents in multiple formats including PDF, DOC, RTF, EPUB, TXT.

Screengrab of Natural Reader page where you can drag and drop files to be read
Natural Reader- Drag and drop text here

Once you upload the text, you can choose the preferred accent, adjust the speed and convert the text to audio files.

Image of Kafka's Metamorphosis
Listen to the text being read in an accent of your choice

Recommended or Not?

Highly recommended. This application is free and is extremely user-friendly.  For instance, it ignores headers and footnotes, providing a seamless listening experience.


Looking for professional help to make your manuscript error-free and take it to next level? Check out our copy editing and proofreading services.

Author Resource: Get Creative And Productive With MindMeister📍

A mind map is an effective tool, especially for students and strategists.

All you need to create a mind map is paper, markers and color pencils. You can also doodle on your iPad and chart out your central goal, building your sub-goals around it.

Mind maps are great aids for product design, company planning and even meetings. They are great student aids, allowing young learners to organize thoughts and make the crucial connections that are so important to learning.

Writers mind map a great deal, especially while writing fiction, sequels and screenplays. The best part about a mindmap is that you can list items in no particular order and make colorful annotations. MindMeister is an interesting mind-mapping tool.

How to Use MindMeister?

MindMeister dashboard
A map designed using MindMeister
  • Login to MindMeister’s web app.
  • Click on + New Mind Map and select one of the templates from the list to get started.
  • Click on the plus sign to start the mapping process.
  • Once you double click you can add the first level idea and on pressing enter add subtopics.
  • There is a map limit of 3 maps for a Basic MindMeister user. For unlimited mind maps, you can switch to the paid plan.

Why Use MindMeister?

  • It’s user-friendly.
  • It offers fun formatting features.
  • The drag and drop feature helps you move ideas around.
  • Maps are instantly saved and so you don’t lose anything.
  • You can share your maps with friends and colleagues.

Recommended or not?

A fun tool. Try it.

Looking for professional help to make your manuscript error-free and take it to next level? Check out our copy editing and proofreading services.

Author Resource: Go Zen with Ommwriter

Writing is a peculiar profession. It is a job where you sit at a table a whole lot and stare at a white paper/screen. The mind needs to churn and create the beautiful images that will end up as chapters in your book. Many writers are distracted by the goings-on around them and are unable to be productive enough. Sometimes there is too much noise and sometimes the silence of being alone and writing can be deafening.

Enter Ommwriter.

Why Ommwriter?

This tool has been designed to keep the monkey minds of writers at bay. Ommwriter has a couple of features including:

  • Soothing audio tracks
  • Typewriter sounds when you key in your work
  • Natural backgrounds that will calm your eyes when you look at the screen
Ommwriter experience test
Ommwriter Experience Test- Best with Headphones

Recommended or Not?

Conceptually brilliant but no ipad/iphone versions available. Payment options are also limited.

Looking for professional help to make your manuscript error-free and take it to next level? Check out our copy editing and proofreading services.

Author Resource: Creative Bonanza for Free at Free Illustrations🎨

While writing a book/blog post or even while promoting a book/blog post on social media, you can not ignore the value of illustrated content. Visual impact is key in getting noticed and if you are in need of a quick drawing or two, there are several free illustration sites out there that help you get the kind of images that are relevant to your needs.

Free Illustrations is Fun to Use

Free Illustrations is a simple site to navigate. It’s a one-stop centre for a variety of illustration websites available online.

screengrab of freeillustations site where you can browse for different file types

Browsing through different available file typesAll you have to do is visit the website and pick from a wide range of illustrations, clipart, avatars, etc. Make sure to double check if acknowledgements need to be provided when using these illustrations.

You will have to visit the sites separately and sign in for free downloads.

If you are an illustrator and want to submit free illustrations, you can submit too!

Recommended or Not?

For sure!

Free illustration image


Looking for illustrations for your book? Check out our illustration services.

Author Resource: Make a Mark with the Free ISBN Barcode Generator 🦓

Okay, you have applied for an ISBN and got it. Is that the same as the barcode?

ISBN vs Barcode 😕

Barcode is simply a machine-readable version of some information, in case of books the information being the ISBN and/or MRP, so the question of a difference between the two does not arise.

Remember that you need to apply for an ISBN from an agency first and then create the barcode by entering this number into the barcode generator. Random numbers that are entered into a barcode generator won’t provide a valid ISBN.

Having a barcode is a must if the book is going to physical bookstores since this makes it easier for sellers to identify it. For books sold primarily online i.e. eBooks, it doesn’t play much of a role, so it is up to the author whether they need to add a barcode or not.

The barcode is typically placed on the right-hand side of the back cover of a paperback or hardcover.

How Do You Generate your Barcode?

It’s easy. There are multiple free barcode generators online. The Free Barcode Generator | Cognex is easy to use.

Just select the ISBN Code category.

screengrab of ISBN option selection
Select ISBN option

Fill out the 13-digit ISBN.

screengrab of how to download barcode ater entering ISBN
Enter the ISBN and download the barcode

Generate your barcode!

Free Barcode Generator: Recommended or Not?



Looking for a professional cover for your book? Check out our cover design services.