Ha! More resources for authors!

I have written earlier about resources for authors tools, some more tools, yet more tools and even more tools; I try to keep tabs on tools that could be profitably used—by authors most of all—and I now have a new bunch of them for you to consider.

I must say something about these posts: not every reader will need every tool and not every tool will suit every reader who tries it out. I just hope each reader finds, on an average, at least one tool that makes him or her happy about having wasted time on my blog post.

Let’s get going.


If you are not using audio to help you whenever you are totally unable to rock that keyboard, you should be. And if you are, you should be trying out the oTranscribe site to transcribe your words (or any other recorded audio).



The big advantage oTranscribe offers you is that you don’t have to keep hopping between your audio player and your word processor when you transcribe. You can upload your audio/ video file and use one interface for both the audio functions (play, pause, rewind, fast forward) and the typing.

The tool bar at the top also has a “Speed” function that allows you to set the speed of replay.

The text space is just below and is totally functional. This site is among the more useful resources for authors in this post.


Ilys is a writing software that keeps you from editing while writing, up to a predetermined word count. If you set 2,000 words as the target for a session, you darn well aren’t going to be doing any editing till the meter says 2,000.

There are free and paid versions. The free version allows a maximum target of 10,000 words per session. That is a lot, actually, when you come to think about it. Makes the paid version seem unnecessary.

And here’s an interesting screenshot from the site:



You may or may not be into NaNoWriMo, but that screenshot does give you ideas, I hope.

Let’s now consider two similar and very focussed resources for authors.

Quick reference 1

A rather neat site; a quick reference destination for all things English. A joint effort of The Guardian and The Observer.



For example, is it better to say actor or actress for a female role player? Bail out or bale out from an aircraft? When do we use N-dashes and when do we use M-dashes? Find out here, plus a ton of other things. Incidentally, the site’s take on N- and M- dashes is rather surprising.

Quick Reference 2

Another site for all things English. This site belongs to The Economist. The first paragraph of the home page says it all:

The first requirement of The Economist is that it should be readily understandable. Clarity of writing usually follows clarity of thought. So think what you want to say, then say it as simply as possible.




You may or may not have design skills, but that should not stop you from experimenting with images and fonts. You can use the tons of font styles in this site to determine the styles that may work best on your latest book cover. In other words, get your concept right before you talk to your designer.

The site gives you access to several categories of fonts.



A true image of each font helps you visualize.

Editing, proofreading symbols

Ever been confused by all the weird symbols your editor has marked your manuscript with? Not quite calligraphy, not quite hieroglyphics, not quite Sumerian.

You are not going to get very far in redoing your manuscript unless you understand those strange squiggles. They are known as editor’s marks.

The PDF you get at this site will help you make some sense of your editor’s efforts to communicate.

Online reference

This site is one you should keep in mind at all times. It contains some superb reference material in the form of online courses. There’s tons of stuff for authors. Odds are that whatever your genre, you will find something here to improve your knowledge base. Among the top resources for authors.



De-unhinging yourself

Even the calmest of authors can come unhinged once in a while, right? Every now and then, especially on a bad day when the computer monitor has gone on the blink and the mother-in-law has dropped in? The next time you feel like monitorslaughter or motherinlawslaughter, you could take count a slow five and turn to this site. It has a menu of flowing images and coolant music that should help cool you down.

A decidedly superior option to the sight and sound of your monitor getting crunched. Or your mother-in-law.

Any resources for authors you would like your fellow readers to know about? Please let them know in the comments.

Ha! More resources for authors!

by Venkatesh Iyer time to read: 3 min