Monthly Archives: September 2010

Manuscript for iPad

I had such high hopes for this app. It seemed promising. The feature set came across so impressive and useful that I bought it immediately.

Silly me.

The reality is, this is a toy for would-be writers so that they can pretend they’re writing something. Two clues that it’s not actually for professional use:

  1. It gives you a choice of parchment background styles for you to write on.
  2. It presents your manuscript to you as if it’s already published in a hardbound book.

Ergo, this is a wish-fulfillment app, not an actual writing tool.

It could be saved, though. Add the ability to format your text, and improve the export feature so that it gives you a professionally formatted manuscript, and it would actually be useful. I mean, I don’t really have anything against it being on a parchment background, or looking like it’s already hardbound. What does piss me off is that I spent money on it without realizing it won’t do simple — and I mean basic — things like indent your paragraphs and underline words.

For you aspiring writers out there, here’s an important tip: professional publishers like to see their manuscript submissions in a specific format. This app claims to enable you to produce a submittable manuscript within the confines of the app itself, and that is not true.

Until Black Mana Studios fixes at least this basic flaw, there’s no way I can recommend this to anyone who is serious about creating a manuscript on the iPad. Take your money and instead buy Apple’s Pages. It may not come with all the plotting tools, but at least it gives you all the standard, necessary formatting features you’ll need to produce a professional manuscript.