Thursday, June 13, 2013

Data Crunching, Converting, Counting, and More

This week I'll present some free online utilities that can help you analyze, count, data crunch, and convert your text.  Although the tools I'll discuss don't address grammar, spelling, etc., these handy utilities are still useful to a self-publisher.

Character and Word Counter with Frequency Statistics Calculator

This webpage offers a clever tool for calculating the number individual words in your writing (not just total words--a total for each word). It allowed me to paste my entire first draft of Mirrors & Mist into it (73,000 words), and found I used the word "was" 589 times! Ouch! It also has sort functions and some other data-crunching tools that let you analyze your writing based on the words you've written.

EPUB Validator

If you're self-publishing through a service like Smashwords, et al, you may not need EPUB Validator; however, it's a good quality control tool to have at your disposal, especially if you create your own EPUB files, or are having problems with one of your EPUBs.  The tool is simple to use--just choose your EPUB file from your hard drive and click validate (and hope for no errors)!

Readability Index Calculator

This website allows you to paste your text and then provides you a readability score (Flesch-Kincaid) for English text (Spanish, French, Dutch, Danish, and Swedish language versions are also available via a drop-down menu).  Why would you want to do this?  A readability score can give you an indication of how complex (or simple) your writing is to read based on a standardized scale.

Convert Number of Words to Number of Pages

This website may not be relevant to eBook publishers, but it's a handy little tool if you're looking for a quick answer.  This utility allows you to specify the font, font size, and line spacing for a given quantity of words and then calculates how many text pages this amount of words is equivalent to.

Cute PDF Editor

If you don't have pdf editing software (aka Adobe Acrobat) on your computer, this is a great free online utility that lets you edit pdf files.  No need to download and install a program, the cloud-based Cute PDF Editor lets you  re-size, rotate, crop, delete, duplicate, extract, reorder, insert, merge, add headers & footers, and more.

Hopefully some of these websites are new to you and come in handy at some point in the future.

Author Update:  The first draft of Mirrors & Mist has now morphed into the second draft and I'm working on the text daily.  I still have much to do, but progress is being made toward a late 2013 release.  I also bit the bullet and signed up for a Twitter account.  If you can't get enough of me here, you can find me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/cmskiera.



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