Monday, July 29, 2013

My Experience at Grammarly.com, a Useful Tool for the Self-Published Writer


I was recently contacted by the good people of Grammarly.com to review their website. They felt that the self-published writers that visit I Blog, You Read could benefit from their website and what they do, and here’s how.

Grammarly is an online tool that corrects and explains those pesky grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes that are bound to find their way into your first draft. Think of us as that second pair of eyes that can spare you the frustrating cost of hiring a proofreader. Our algorithm catches around ten times more errors than leading word processing software and is trusted by three million users.

As a writer myself, I figured Grammarly was definitely worth trying out. It can be expensive to have your creative work taken through the wringer by a proofreader. Grammarly offers decent pricing options to suit their variety of customers that start out at $29.95 per month. That means that you can use Grammarly to proofread more than one piece of creative work. I suggest taking a tour of Grammarly to see what price is best for your budget.

Now for my experience on Grammarly.com. It is insanely simple to use, you can either copy and paste your work on their review page that looks similar to a word document layout or upload it. I chose to copy and paste because I like to get right to the point. When you click the ‘Start Review’ button you are given six options before hand. You will be able to choose from general, business, academic, technical, creative, or casual. I of course went with creative since I was reviewing a short story I’ve been working on. Then in less than a minute Grammarly had a summary of all my needed corrections such as spelling, grammar and punctuation. My spelling was the highest at 35 errors, 37 grammar issues, and 51 punctuation issues. I chose to use a first draft that had never been proofread to keep my test honest.

What I loved:

I got a very thorough summary of what corrections I needed to make and most importantly the why. When working with typical word processing software, you get a brief explanation and maybe an example, maybe. With Grammarly, I received more than one example and a clear explanation as to why something I wrote may be confusing to a reader. I was able to make my corrections on Grammarly.com and simply copy and paste the corrected version and save in my own file. You also get to print a PDF version of the mark up with all of Grammarly’s suggestions. Sometimes I can’t sit in front of the computer looking over corrections and found it handy that I could check my work and then take it with me to read over later perhaps on a lunch break or while the kids watch T.V.

Grammarly’s layout is simple to use and not intimidating to a new user like me. I was able to use it for a 13-page short story, and email, and a book review. Grammarly even offered me my own personal writing handbook on my dashboard that reports my most relevant rules that applied to my writing.

What I didn’t love:

There were still minor similarities between what Microsoft Word on my Mac finds and what Grammarly found. For example, spelling errors that may have been intended for dialogue or character names. But as a writer I knew my material, and it’s intention and just chose to ignore. It was still helpful for narrative parts though.

Grammarly offers a plug in option for your PC, but not for Mac, unfortunately. But they are working on it. But this does to speak to the fact that I found Grammarly worthy enough to use on my computer directly.

Overall I think Grammarly would benefit any writer wanting to self-publish their work. They have fair pricing options that would fit any budget for the casual writer or the serious night and day kind who may have a lot of books they want to proof read. They can also help the writer who wants to find an agent to get their work to a major publisher by using Grammarly to proofread query letters and cover letters.

My final verdict is that Grammarly is worth taking a look at for any self-published author. 

Want to see how it works, test Grammarly now with their free text option by clicking the link below. Copy and paste and see for yourself.

5 comments:

  1. That sounds interesting. As someone who frequently suffers from homophones I'm interested to "sea" if it can catch what spell check frequently overlooks.

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  2. I am interested to buy subscription fo Grammarly.

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  3. Great text, I will start using grammarly. How can we get first 3 months for free?

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  4. I didn't realize the giveaway option was still up and have corrected the post. This giveaway unfortunately wasn't successful, the reason I'm still not sure of. I will contact the people and Grammarly and see if they will still honor the giveaway. I'll post here with the news when I receive it.

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  5. If anyone who has only commented above are still interested in the Grammarly giveaway please contact me through email and submit your email that you wish to be contacted by Grammarly directly. Grammarly has agreed to honor the giveaway to those who have commented above.

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