Sharing your novel – inviting collaborators

Lots of you users have asked for the option to allow collaborators to work on the same novel, or to be able to invite someone to edit your novel, or to just let other people read it.

This feature is the place to put down your ideas for what sort of collaboration or sharing functionality. Tell us what you need.

Status

This feature was proposed by a user!

TELL US IF YOU WANT THIS FEATURE:

220+
46 replies
  1. Jennifer says:

    It would be great to have a way for other people (I.e. members of a writer’s group) to be able to read and leave critique ahead of, or between meetings. Can they leave notes/highlights? And to be able to have any notes left by other readers collect into a summary page with document location noted. For example, if I have put a chapter up for the group to read, and Angela leaves 8 notes, Mark leaves 5 and Mary leaves 10, it would be great to be able to see these notes in place (click on them and be able to read them while reading the document) but also to see/print a summary page, that has all of the comments printed. In utopia, it would be cool to be able to sort by either document location or by commenter. So, if Mary’s critiques typically focus on one particular issue, I could just see hers to get a feel for the overall feedback. If I wanted to see everyone, I could see everyone’s comments – or two people”s etc. For example: Select commenters you wish to see: All, Mary Mark Angela, then Select 1. See in document or 2. synopsis. And be able to print them. In document could just show up as a comment box.

    Reply
  2. Rebekah says:

    This is a great idea! It’s always nice to receive other authors input, advice, and helps a writer to know if they are on the right track or what they need to change.

    I like Jennifer’s idea as it can be hard to find someone’s edit or spot they were talking about it they just comment. Have a specific spot they could outline and their put their notes…best idea ever!

    Reply
  3. Clare says:

    We had a great suggestion via email from Zoe…

    “I was added to the beta of Dropbox Paper a few days ago and it great for comments next to text, perfect for people who are supposed to read your stuff, but not necessarily make changes.
    You can choose, if people can make changes or just comment.
    It works with a link (you are a guest then) or by invite.”

    Reply
  4. Serasynth says:

    The ability to share a work in progress with my alpha/beta reader teams is part of the reason I like Gdocs so much. They can leave notes on my work via comment-bubbles, they can watch me type if we’re present at the same time, and there’s a built-in chat for when they’re there at the same time as me as well. Those are my absolute FAVORITE features, and the lack of it here is the main reason I’m hesitant to pay to use this program. Why should I pay for this, when I’ll need to transfer it to Gdocs in order to have my teams look at it? I can’t publish until my teams have gone over it, which makes that a crucial step for me.

    It’s a huge deal-breaking drawback for me, actually, and I doubt I’m the only one. Something to consider, anyway.

    Reply
    • Sarah says:

      The fact that Novlr doesn’t have sharing is my biggest issue with it. Right now, I keep copy-pasting into Google Drive to show others. The integration with Drive is a PDF, and at max it’s only updated daily, so it doesn’t work well for sharing. Drive’s collaboration tools are one of the only things it does better than Novlr. It’d be really great if we could get commenting as well, but honestly, I’d just be happy with allowing other people to read without sharing my account details. And please, don’t make it so that the other people have to have a paid Novlr account. Maybe a good way to do it would be that anyone, with or without an account, can read the story, but only those with accounts can comment? Please make this a reality, though. It really is what I most want from this program.

      Reply
      • Clare says:

        Hi Sarah. Thanks for your comment. Collaboration is one of the features we will be looking into with the money we have managed to get from the lifetime offer so is on our list for the next few months. Thanks for your suggestions of how it could work also. We’ll make sure we take all these into consideration when developing it 🙂 Clare

        Reply
  5. Diane says:

    This would be excellent for writers working with a co-author or an editor. If both can work inside together, it would be perfect. Although Google docs has this feature the more writing that gets done the more one worries about security risks. I also agree over the pricing statement above, when I buy a program I want to own it outright. I would not want to be locked out of my novel over a ten dollar fee that will likely go up over time.

    Reply
  6. Clare says:

    Email comment from Tabitha: I also am looking for something that allows me to co-write with a fellow author. If you ever have any features that allow for that, I would be ecstatic

    Reply
  7. Storny says:

    So far, I like what I see. Being able to work with a co-author would be ideal. My partner and I use GDocs more or less effectively right now. Given the proposed ebook features, and a guarantee of collaboration tools, I’d sign up as a lifer today. The specific tools that would be helpful:allowing novel-level access (to allow a co-author to write or readers to view a particular work in progress); enabling of comments/notes; possibly an editor mode.

    Reply
  8. Jennifer Rehnay says:

    I would LOVE collaboration tools. The ability to co-write/share with a fellow author would be fun but the collab tools I would most desperately want would be something along the line of Microsoft’s “Track Changes”, where another user (given permission, of course) could access my story and edit it, leave notes, and so forth such that I can see where they “crossed things out” and what they changed. A corresponding area for notes so the editor/beta reader could tell me what they’re thinking or why they changed what they changed would be perfect.

    You could even prompt each invited editor/beta reader to choose a color and all of that person’s comments and edits are done in that color, so the author can see who suggested what (rather than just everything being marked up in red or something).

    Reply
  9. Laura says:

    I’d be looking for a few distinct features here:
    – ability to let someone else read the novel
    – ability to let someone else add comments or corrections to the novel
    – ability to write with other person/s collaboratively (as opposed to having an editor or beta reader look over the work)

    Reply
  10. Lori Choman says:

    I work hand in hand with my editor on stand alone books and a co-writer on others. This feature makes or breaks the project for me. If they can’t be logged in working on a different project at the same time I’m working on a project then, it was money wasted for me. I thought this feature was already included when I saw that you could work on multiple projects. My mistake in not reading further. 🙁 It would make things so much faster to be able to actually work together on something instead of sending work documents back and forth. Sadly I can’t figure out a way to “vote” for this feature as I every time I log in it takes me to my books and when I come back here it logs me out.

    Reply
  11. Clare says:

    Email suggestion from Lauren: So I noticed that during NaNoWriMo or other random times, people like to share lines or passages from their current WIP. What if Novlr had some sharing feature where you could select what you wanted to share, and it did, kind of like sharing an article on any news site. You could also automatically tag or mention Novlr in the posts

    Reply
  12. Cecili says:

    My writing partner and I are true co-authors. We both make passed through chapters, add to and line edit as we go until a chapter is completed to our satisfaction. We have yet to find a tool that lets us collaborate in that manner. You either have to be out of the software or cannot edit/add to any documents at the same time.
    We need something that will allow us to:
    – be in the account and use the tool at the same time.
    – track edits and comments
    – allow for version control.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment Cecili. This tool has been requested a lot for people to share their work with others and allow people to be using the account at the same time so it’s definitely something we will be looking into in the near future. We are also going to be looking at the best way of versioning for you to track previous work. Thanks so much for the suggestions and keep them coming!

      Reply
  13. Caleb Powers says:

    I would love this feature! It’s one of the things I use Google Docs for the most, but it would be awesome if I could do all of that straight from Novlr. My main request for this feature would be the ability for readers/collaboraters to leave comments like in Google Docs or Microsoft Word on a highlighted passage.

    Reply
  14. Andrew says:

    I think this is a fantastic idea. I do feel that if this feature is implemented we should be able to have someone view or edit our work without them needing an account, so long as they are only editing. Microsoft OneDrive has a feature where I can create a link and decide what permissions the person holding the link has. One last thing, when it comes to the edit the owner should be able to finalize what stays and what goes.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Nice ideas Andrew – kind of like Google drive with the permission link but maybe something more specific with limitations on what the person can do with the link?

      Reply
  15. Kimber says:

    I collaborate with other writers regularly, it would be excellently useful to have this feature. My personal suggestions would be: Of course, the share option for specific novels, and with the ability to share them with specific people – or multiple people. Also a ‘show/track edits’ function, too, with color/initial/icon indicators for which user made which edit. Just common-sense kind of stuff.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment Kimber and your suggestions. Show/track edits would definitely be useful for this feature. Let us know of any further suggestions you have to make this feature the best it can be 🙂

      Reply
  16. Clare says:

    Email suggestions from Lora: I’d like to be able to share a chapter with someone, either so they can read it or so they can edit it. So I guess that’s 2 features. Because the editing would only be useful if it contained tracked changes. But the reading would be nice so I wouldn’t have to export a PDF and then put the text up somewhere for someone to take a look at.

    Reply
  17. Clare says:

    Support for collaboration from Brandon via email specifically for sharing between Novlr users: “Online sharing with other Novlr users. “

    Reply
  18. Clare says:

    Suggestion from Anna via email: Many writers send chapters and things to their peers. And when you have a final draft, some people like to have test readers who can review the content and provide suggestions and comments. One feature I would love to steal from my day job is the in-software review feature. It’s similar but not identical to MS Word track changes. You click a button to turn it on. People can then make edits (such as suggesting changes to dialog) or people can make comments that appear in the columns. For each “change” you can click that change individually or the document as a whole to accept or reject changes.

    Reply
  19. Clare says:

    Request from Kaylie via Facebook: Can there be free or guest logins if I have a membership and want someone without membership to read and make comments on my draft?

    Reply
  20. Clare says:

    suggestion via Email from Kristen: I write with two other writers. Some sort of multiple-login would be nice. The ability to share a novel like we can share a folder or document on Gdocs would be good

    Reply
  21. Clare says:

    Great suggestion via email from Laura – I share my work with editors, they tend to want it in Microsoft Word so they can edit/track changes as they go. Once they do that, I make changes and want to send them back, but I’d have to go back and forth manually between versions in order to continue to work in Novlr. I also like to send them back versions with track changes so they can know what hasn’t changed and they don’t waste their time. It feels like once I reach this step, I can’t efficiently work in Novlr anymore. I feel like some sort of feature that allowed me to track changes and share my document within Novlr would solve this problem

    Reply
  22. Amanda says:

    Commenting, whether solo or shared, is the one thing I’m sorely missing in Novlr right now. I hate having to leave my future-self yucky [NOTE: ] notes for myself in the text as I’m working on a draft.

    Also collaborating or sharing a novel would be a HUGE feature! Right now I’m reduced to copying and pasting things into a Google Doc when I want my editor or co-writing partner to take a pass at something.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment Amanda. Collaboration will be a big feature which could take a while to get right in the developing world but we are excited about it. We’ll probably be looking at adding multiple notes first so you can have notes for each chapter/scene 🙂

      Reply
  23. Clare says:

    suggestions from Natalia via email: It’s so beneficial for writers to hear what other writers have to say about their work. Maybe a critique section, with the ability to give feedback/comments on each other’s work? And users can verify how serious of a critique they want, or a specific type of critique (like language, word choice, theme, plot, characters, etc.) and how harshly to judge it?

    Reply
  24. Noah Nichols says:

    I really think it’s vital that this is enforced SOON. One of the main reasons is that if you do have someone else on your account editing and/or writing in another novel it’ll get confused (the program) and you’ll lose words. It’s happened to me twice now. Very frustrating. And when it has happened, we weren’t even working on the same novel. Right now you can be anywhere on your account with someone and it’ll jack things up possibly. I used Google Docs to write and collaborate with my editor previously and there was never an issue with the real-time utilization. Please fast track this feature. Just allow one other person per account to have full access. This is probably the only glaring flaw in Novlr at the moment. So fix it. Pretty please?

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks Noah. Collaboration is one of the features we will be looking into with the money we have managed to get for the lifetimes so is definitely on our list. Sorry again you had to go through it to realise it wasn’t possible, but I’m glad we could get them back for you 🙂

      Reply
      • Kimber says:

        Suggestion on this: (if it’s not already been suggested) The collaboration permissions could maybe be per document, even if it’s multiple docs, but you’d designate User Alpha can read Doc xyz, User Beta can read/edit Doc abc, etc. With the ability for one user to be permitted to view/edit/? more than one doc at a time. Example: User Alpha can read doc xyz, but can edit abc, def, and uvw.

        Reply
  25. Chris says:

    I’d like to offer my support for this idea. Some of these ideas have been mentioned above but I’ll just offer my take on it.

    I have someone who is editing my novel for me and my current process involves putting each chapter into individual Word documents and uploading them to Box for him to take a look at. This does have a few issues, particularly when it comes to redrafting documents based on his changes if I’m keeping my “master” in the novlr cloud.

    My preferred way for this to be implemented would be to allow him access in some way – perhaps an editor’s account or some such. Then be able to flag novels as “editable” so that when he logs in he can easily access the novel(s) he’s to be editing but wouldn’t be able to see anything I didn’t want him to work on (I may start writing something else, for example, but don’t want him accidentally working on the wrong thing). It would then be a benefit if a second copy of whatever he edits is made available so I can do a side-by-side comparison to see what changes he’s made.

    Possibly I could mark individual chapters as “Ready for Editing” so when my editor logs in, he could see the whole novel and everything I’ve done but also he would also be directed quite clearly to what I want him to look at next. Similarly, editor should be able to mark a chapter as ready for review.

    This may be far too complex, but obviously in Word, as mentioned above, you can track changes. He tends to flag each change he makes up – indicating what I had written, and what he has changed it too. A really neat feature which would put novlr head and shoulders above anything else I’ve used would be a simple way to tick the changes I wanted incorporated into the master. So if he’s changed a sentence and marks that sentence as changed (as he currently does in Word), if I like the change (we don’t always agree!) I can just click a tick or similar and it makes the change in the master.

    And it would be vital he could be working on his edits while I’m working on the rest of the novel. It might even be useful to have a “Logged in” status notifcation which has something like “Author – Currently Working In Chapter 26”, “Editor – Currently Working in Chapter 14” – that way we would know that we’re not working on the same thing at the same time and confusing each other.

    The next step, for me, would be that I could get a notification on the desktop along the lines of “Editor has Worked On Chapter 14 and it’s Ready for Review”

    I’ve not made much use of “Notes” so far but collaborative notes seems a good step. That way he could leave me notes to flag up things such as “Bit confused over who was speaking in Chapter 14” or similar.

    Sorry for the babble!

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks so much for your detailed comment Chris – this is incredibly useful and really gives us a good idea of exactly what you want/need for when we develop this feature. It will possibly be one that we develop the ability to collaborate and then gradually develop some of the examples you have given on top of that – it would be great! Thanks again, Clare 🙂

      Reply
  26. Natasha says:

    Love this idea, I love using Google docs because I can work in it with a friend. My favorite feature is being able to separate conversation from the actual document, so we can discuss what goes into the document before we do it. I would love to have a version of this work on my mobile phone, because it would make my life so much easier. I have so many ideas when away from my computer.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Hi Natasha. Thanks so much for your comment. Having a conversation feature would be a great addition to the collaboration feature – thanks for the suggestion. We’re really keen to develop the mobile app, but it is going to take a lot of time and money which we are gradually building up so it won’t be for a little while just yet 🙂 Thanks again!

      Reply
  27. Kaitlyn E Anderson says:

    I feel it would be a great idea to be able to write with another person at the same time. You can both be logged in and as they type, the document changes and you can be reading what they are writing and vice versa. It would work for cases where you are writing your book via sort of a role playing style, and you each have a specific set of characters you are in charge of. I would love to see that in action.

    Reply
    • Clare says:

      Thanks for your comment Kaitlyn. It will be a great feature when we are able to develop it. It will be really exciting to be able to collaborate with your editor/friends and share your novel on Novlr 🙂

      Reply
  28. Teresa says:

    I am collaborating on a series with a friend. It is the Zodiac Charm series and we love to plan it out, set up scenes and help each other. It is hard when we can’t see what is going on or have to send it back in forth through email. It would be easier if both of us could be on it, write notes, move things onto a timeline, help break down characters and see where edits had been made when they were made. We use Google Drive for that because it tells us when another person has made an edit and where it was made. We just make sure to use our designated color when we do it because it is hard to tell the difference if we don’t.

    Reply

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