5 Apps & Websites That Bestselling Authors Can’t Live Without

Filed in Writing Tips by on May 6, 2016 8 Comments

best apps and websites for writersDo you need help finding that perfect word, simplifying your sentences, or discovering inspiration? There is a website or desktop app to help, and they aren’t just for those tech-savvy friends who are always glued to their e-readers.Website and app developers have built some wonderfully helpful resources for you to be a better, faster, cleaner writer. It’s all the same information & research that an old-school, bestselling author relies on—right at your fingertips, in an instant, via the best apps and websites for writers. Whether you prefer a Ticonderoga or a stylus, you’ll love these new-school writing resources!


1.) Hemingway App 

This website is a tool for analyzing your writing to make it bolder, clearer, and more concise. With color-coded highlighting, it shows you which sentences are too long, which are too dense, and which words you should replace with more effective synonyms. It shows you where you use the dreaded passive voice, and even tells you your writing’s readability according to grade level. Hemingway is a paid desktop app ($9.99), so if you don’t want to shell out the money you can try a free beta version of a similar concept called Expresso.


2.) Word Hippo

Did I wish this website into existence while writing during college? Basically an amazing thesaurus and dictionary in one, Word Hippo can tell you the word you just can’t think of. With options to find a specific word as used in a sentence, translations of words to and from English, and of course every form of part of speech, this will be your new best friend when that word is on the tip of your tongue.


3.) Title Capitalization 

This one is pretty simple: type your title into the bar, and see exactly how it should be capitalized. You can choose between determining capitalization according to AP style, Chicago Manual of Style, or the length of the word.


4.) US Official Social Security Baby Names

Are you writing a fictional story and just can’t think of some period-specific names? Maybe you are writing nonfiction, but need to protect your subjects’ identities with replacement names that will speak to the area in which they live. The Social Security website offers a list of the most popular baby names sorted by decade, territory, or state, and even has master lists of the most popular names over the past one hundred years. This is a fun place to find character and setting inspiration.


5.) Natural Reader

Everyone knows that hearing your writing is a completely different experience from reading it in your own head. Errors in wording are more obvious, characters’ voices are clearer, and rhythm is easier to hear. Natural Reader is a text to speech website that offers options like different speakers and even varied reading speeds so you can have a dedicated reader any time you want.


We writers can be creatures of habit, but you will be pleasantly surprised at how much you can gain by branching out and adding some new writing tools to your box of old regulars. What new technologies are you using to keep your writing on track?


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About the Author ()

With experience as an English literature teacher and freelance writer, Elaine brings her knack for revision to the editorial team. She started at the University of Central Florida in 2005, and she holds degrees in English Literature and Language Arts Education with an additional minor in writing. As a parenting blogger, she enjoys writing about her adventures with her toddler daughter and husband as they take advantage of living where the rest of the world vacations.

Comments (8)

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  1. avatar Hallie Agar says:

    Awesome information! Thank you!

    • avatar Elaine Retty says:

      You are welcome! I am happy you found it helpful.

    • Wow! Even I didn’t know this and I been writing over 40 years. Thank you so very much for your helping me become the best I can be and I’m 54. Never too old ! I enrolled in college a almost a year ago. Could I share with you some of my writings and tell me what you think. I write short stories, poetry , songs mostly Christian. I’m currently working on my first novel. Once again thanks. Have a blessed day!

  2. avatar Frances says:

    As a new and up and coming author, I found these suggested sites very helpful. Thank you.

  3. avatar TaVon says:

    Great information! Thanks for sharing.

  4. avatar Lynn Mook says:

    I cannot thank you enough for sharing this information! God bless!

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