From The Writing Cooperative:
- 44% of writers regularly work on their novel on more than one device.
- 58% of writers still use Microsoft Word as a regular part of their writing toolkit.
- 34% of writers say they write Science Fiction or Fantasy.
- 6% of writers say they write Literary fiction.
- 20% or writers are part of an offline writers group.
- Private Facebook groups dominate online writing communities.
- Romance is the second most popular genre for writers.
. . . .
The first question, aimed at identifying the professional status of the writer, showed that 53% of respondents had published or self-published a novel or short story. A further question showed that over 85% of respondents were currently working on a novel or short story. The answers to these two questions highlight the fact that the writers surveyed were, for the most part, professionals rather than wannabe writers or dreamers — they were actively working on new novels and many had already reached the publishing stage at least once.
. . . .
Q4. Do you regularly work on your novel on more than one device?
Of all the questions asked in this survey, we consider this to be the most important for software developers like ourselves as we strive to build better products for writers. When PageFour was first built way back in 2005, much of the world was still struggling with dial up connections — broadband was making inroads but only slowly and storing personal data on the cloud was not even an idea. Almost everyone worked on a single PC or Mac and working on multiple devices was for pure techies.
We were expecting that a large majority of writers would be working on a single lap-top and that maybe 10% or so would be syncing across a second device — possibly a desktop / lap-top combination.
Yet 44% of respondents say they work regularly on their novel on more than one device. In a few years that figure could rise to 70% or even 80%. What then for single-platform software or software that does not automatically sync data with a central cloud repository?
Microsoft Word is cross-platform, comes with apps for iOS and Android and syncs with your own OneDrive account. Multi-platform, multi-device — everything a modern writer needs apart from the fact that it’s Word and not software designed for creative writers. Scrivener — the market leader for creative writing software — has Mac and Windows versions as well as an iOS app, but it does not store your novel in one location and it does not keep your novel in sync across devices — for this it relies on the user to configure and use Dropbox accounts separately — and carefully.
Our own new software, Atomic Scribbler, specifically warns against working on a project from within a cloud folder, as corruption of the project can happen easily in such an environment.
Food for thought here to be sure. The biggest stumbling block we see with building cross-platform software for writers that fully utilises central cloud storage is marrying the reluctance of consumers (writers) to pay a monthly or yearly fee for their software with the necessity of such recurring fees for the development of the cloud based software they seem to want.
Link to the rest at The Writing Cooperative and thanks to Bill for the tip.