by Christopher Acheson
In the fast-paced, digitally connected world we live in today, pen and paper have made room for keyboards and screens. If you are writing your own business book, you want to make the process as painless as possible by arming yourself with the right tools – we don’t need to be writing the hard way any more.
A question I get a lot as an editor is “What is the best software for writing a book?” – with the sheer number of options available, finding the best ones can feel overwhelming. As a company, Write Business Results is no stranger to making the best use of technology in our work.
In this blog, I’ll jump into five of our favourite tools – exploring the options that not only make the writing process more efficient, but also more enjoyable. This involves opportunities to “speak” your content, streamline collaboration, elevate your writing, and harness the power of technology in your writing.
Otter.ai – Speak, don’t write
One of the more stressful parts of writing is the anxiety of trying to find and form the perfect phrase or sentence – and let’s not get started on the nightmare of punctuation! Otter.ai is one of our favourite ways to overcome this issue by allowing you to speak your content rather than writing it.
Now, you might be thinking: “Why talk? I’m trying to write a book!” The benefit is the fact that spoken language is far more fluid and natural to us. When we switch from typing to talking, our ideas flow more freely, allowing us to bypass the mental roadblocks that come with the pressure of writing.
This lets you focus on the content itself, letting the ideas flow and leaving any fine-tuning for later. Once you’re done with talking, Otter.ai can leap into action – capturing and accurately transcribing every word.
This means you can revisit your verbal brainstorming sessions, paying attention to the nuances, emotions, and emphasis in your speech that can add a layer of depth and authenticity to your writing.
In the realm of business book writing, authenticity is key, and Otter.ai ensures that your unique voice doesn’t get lost in the writing process. Instead, it helps you bring your personal flair into your content, making your book stand out in a crowded market.
Google Docs – Simplicity, versatility, and collaboration
When you’re exploring the best software for writing a book, talking about word processing software is unavoidable. If we’re honest, this is a crowded field with the big names like Google Docs and Microsoft Word competing with some lesser-known names like LibreOffice Writer or Scrivener.
My personal favourite of the lot has to be Google Docs, hands down. Its convenience and flexibility make it difficult for others to compete!
Its main benefit is its simple and straightforward interface. Other word processors often are overwhelming with the amount of information you need to understand in order to create, edit, and save documents. Google Docs manages to make the process feel a lot more painless.
That everything is automatically saved and backed up to the cloud is even better – no author should have to worry about the heartache of accidentally losing an entire draft that wasn’t backed up properly!
Once you get to grips with it however, it becomes staggeringly customisable and versatile. With a range of plugins and options to automate formatting and navigating the document, it is deceptively powerful.
Writing doesn’t have to be a solitary process, and Google Docs lives by that rule. Its real-time collaboration feature allows multiple people to work on the same document at once, making it an ideal platform for co-authors, editors, or proofreaders to collaborate and provide instantaneous feedback. All changes are tracked and can be viewed by any contributor, ensuring transparency and effective communication throughout the writing process.
Furthermore, sharing your work is as simple as sending a link. You can even control the access level of your collaborators, choosing whether they can edit, comment on, or merely view the document.
Once you have started writing, the next question is how to polish what you’ve done. Two software tools that are designed to help you present your ideas in the most coherent, engaging, and grammatically correct way possible are Hemingway and Grammarly.
Hemingway: For clear and compelling prose
Ernest Hemingway was known for his distinctive writing style – simple, direct, and devoid of unnecessary complexity. The easier your book is to read, the more likely your audience is to retain the information you present.
As you draft your business book in Hemingway, the app highlights sentences that are hard to read, points out excessive use of adverbs or passive voice, and suggests simpler alternatives for complex phrases. This allows you to improve the readability of your content, ensuring that your audience can effortlessly comprehend your ideas.
While the Hemingway app won’t generate content for you, it provides invaluable feedback on your writing style, enabling you to sharpen your prose and create a more engaging read, making Hemingway an excellent tool for crafting effective business books.
Grammarly: Your personal grammar coach
Grammarly steps in where your traditional word processor’s spell check falls short. It’s more than just a grammar checker – it’s a comprehensive writing assistant that not only spots grammatical errors and spelling mistakes but also provides context-specific suggestions for improving your writing.
From misused words to punctuation errors to style improvements, Grammarly covers it all. Its sophisticated AI technology even provides feedback on tone, politeness, and formality level, ensuring that your writing resonates with your target audience.
Moreover, Grammarly integrates seamlessly with many platforms, including Google Docs and social media sites, allowing you to write confidently wherever you are on the web. It also offers a browser extension, a mobile keyboard, and a desktop app to cater to all your writing needs across devices.
ChatGPT – AI-powered writing assistance for defeating writer’s block
Now, some might say I have buried the lede a little by not starting with ChatGPT. This tool is the newest kid on the block and has absolutely taken the internet by storm! I have certainly been experimenting and playing with how to use ChatGPT and generative AI in what we do here at Write Business Results over the last few months.
At the start of May, Write Business Results released our white paper report into ChatGPT – in which I shared the results of my research into how it works. My main focus there was how to construct prompts which would allow us to transform Otter.ai transcripts into a usable first draft. However, ChatGPT has so much more to offer than just that.
Personally, my favourite application of ChatGPT is for idea forming and working out how to express a complex idea that I’m stuck on. In such cases, I can ask it for help expressing the concept, then refine its answer into something usable – even if it is entirely off-base, it helps me start moving again. It’s like a brainstorming partner that is available 24/7.
With ChatGPT in my arsenal, I don’t have to worry about that sinking feeling of staring at a blank page without a clue where to begin ever again!
Even the best technology in the world can’t really make up for human expertise, however. If you still need a helping hand to share your unique message and story with the world, our team of experts is here for you.
Book a Clarity Call today to find out more about how you can create a bestselling business book and become an author today.