As I’ve been slogging through the muck of editing, marketing research (most of which I’ll end up not having the time to use) and formatting my latest novel, “In The Absence of Famine,” I’ve come to realize that there are a lot of programs out there offering to help writers, edit their work cheaply and effectively, cram their blog posts full of keywords, write whole blogs for them, etc etc. Time for another look at what is, and is not, worth spending your money on I think.
It’s sad to say but almost any program that’s promising you the sun in the moon involving words is not worth your time or money to even consider. The reason is simple: when it comes to the nuances of language, computers are still pretty stupid. It’s a statement that’s easy enough to prove. Take a sentence, any old sentence and plug it into Google Translate. Ask the program to translate it into a language you don’t know at all. Then copy the text that it gives you, reverse the translation fields and plug what you copied back in.
I used:Computers are still relatively stupid when it comes to the nuances of language.
I got:The computer is still in the nuances of the language is relatively stupid.
Oh but it’s a free program, you say? Certainly one you’ve shelled out some of your hard earned money for would be more comprehensive? Indie authors, freelance writers, copy bloggers – do not do this to yourself. If you have a couple hundred dollars to explore your options in the software market, trust me, that’s money that could be better spent on paying for professional editing, or an intern to write your blog posts, or an actual translator.
If you absolutely must use a program, for something like keyword research, there are several top notch free keyword programs that are absolutely free (Google’s keyword tools, Traffic Travis, etc). Actually, for most quality programs that cost money, there’s an awesome free alternative or a great loophole that evens the playing field for those of us who’d rather put our money into growing our business. Unfortunately there are no free editing software programs out there, because the technology really isn’t ready yet (there aren’t any expensive programs I would recommend for the task either) so don’t waste your hard earned cash if you don’t have to!