Money. Writing has become something of a commodity these days and while there are more places to publish, there’s less opportunity to get paid for the effort. That issue aside, here’s a package deal for writers; a Mac writing tool that’s also a publishing tool.
The app is called Author and it’s also a publishing platform but not one that easily makes you money for your writing effort. In fact, if you want to publish anything beyond a few pages with Author you have to pay for the privilege. Every month. So, allow me to skip right over the capitalism part and focus on Author as a writing tool.
Author is a simple HTML-like WYSIWYG document creator and document manager.
What you see is what you get and since you’re creating and publishing simple documents, the tools used to write are simple and the tools used to manage documents are equally straightforward.
Author, like Pages on your Mac, starts with a bunch of document templates and professional looking typography options. Grab a template and start writing. Or, if you have plenty of documents created elsewhere, Author also imports Markdown and Microsoft Word documents.
That means you can use Author to write stories, research papers, personal prose, missives, or anything else that strikes your fancy and get it published online with just a click or two.
The Author app is free but you have to setup an account first. You’re also free to publish up to three documents and create one collection, but there’s a level of what is called ‘author branding’ provided, too. That might be nothing more than the photo that’s required to setup the account.
The Publisher option lets you upload and publish and unlimited number of documents, create all the collections you want, get a custom subdomain pointed to your documents, and options to export documents to Word, Markdown, or PDF.
If you don’t mind the limitations or the price tag, Author becomes a simple and straightforward way to get published online. Use Author to create a format rich document which links, photo upload options, and even statistics for time, character, word, and more– with an option to drop in YouTube or Vimeo videos.
Files you create are stored on your Mac wherever you want (I chose iCloud). Once you publish a document, story, or paper, Author gives you a link you can share with others. Despite the odd business model, Author works quite well, has just enough writing features to be useful but not overbearing, and the learning curve, well, doesn’t really exist.
The only issue I see is that there are so many places to publish online these days, free to nearly free, but if you want control over everything, Author works.