As a self-published author, there are so many hats you need to wear in order to become successful. In my quest to make things easier, I’ve come across a few gems. Here are the author tools I’ve found that have helped me. I hope they’ll be helpful for you, too.
This tool lets you easily keep track of your books and other’s books so you can check on price points and statistics. Your book’s information is never more than a click away. I love this program!
Running a free promo on Amazon and want to get the word out? This tool takes just a few clicks to spread the word (for free) to 22 sites. Boom! They’re still working on the program, and will likely update to include bargains and perma-free books, but as it stands, it’s still a very useful tool.
**FYI – I’m currently having issues with the plugin, but I’ve talked to others that are using it just fine.**
Goodreads used to be a bit of a mystery to me. I kept reading that I should get more involved, which I tried, but honestly, my time is short. This tutorial can maximize your use of Goodreads for just 15 minutes a day. There’s a little setup at first (especially if you don’t have an account, but don’t skip those videos if you do, because they hold some fantastic nuggets), but it really is simple. Not only will you connect with incredible readers and help garner great reviews, you will build your email list! I think Alinka is pretty much a genius, but you can decide for yourself.
*Note: Goodreads has a 24 hour trailing limit for friending and messaging, so if you end at 4 pm one day, you’ll have to start at 4:01 pm the next so you don’t reach that limit.
**Note: Goodreads does not appear to provide links to the people who enter a giveaway anymore, but you can still find potential readers through the to-read list on the book’s page. Additions are sorted by date, oldest to newest, so skip to the end to find the newer entries.
This tool is totally free and completely life-changing. If you write in Microsoft Word, you need to learn about macros. Editing can be time-consuming. I’ve found several articles that show you what words to search for, but if you’ve ever used the Word search feature, you are aware that it has certain limitations
This site has a “Needless Words” Macro that will highlight words that tend to slow down and distract the narrative: Click here for the Needless Words macro code. It also has a link that will show you how to install and run the macro.
If you like that, you’ll love this free Proofreading Pack. There’s a guide that tells you what every macro does, as well as a very powerful Find and Replace Macro that allows you to get rid of those pesky mistakes with the press of a button (like my favorite, adding a space at the end of a paragraph). That macro requires a little more learning, but it is an amazing tool if you take the time to check it out.
Good advertising is hard to come by, and free advertising is almost unheard of, which is why I was surprised when I came across Readers Gazette. This site is amazing, and they will post your short stories (Excerpt, anyone?), and tweet your books, plus you can create puzzles, advertise your bargains, and link to your blog. It’s an amazing service, and it’s all free, though you can pay to make your account an author account more quickly. In my opinion, for all the guy does for its members, $5 is a small price to pay.
Why is it called Adazing? I’m guessing because Amazing is gone. This site is such an incredible resource for authors! And did I mention it’s FREE? Editable files for promoting your book, programs to help you keep track of your book, calculators and tools to help you create your book. Seriously, just go check it out. You won’t be disappointed.
Go a step farther and purchase access to The Author Academy, a one stop shop for almost everything an author needs – marketing advice, checklists, book layouts, etc., etc., etc.! It’s packed, and they only charge you once for all the incredible tools. I’ve only begun to sift through all the great content.
If you’ve ever dreamed of making a living off your writing, Derek is one to follow. He’s doing it, and he’s telling everyone how. Besides his blog, and the newsletter (which gives you access to 4 free strategy books – sign up is on the side bar), he also has a YouTube channel, and several Facebook groups (An Alliance of Young Adult Authors, Guerrilla Publishing), so there’s a medium for nearly every learning style. And he always keeps it real – no hype, no impossible promises.
When I grow up, I want to be like Derek. 😉
Do you know of any great programs for authors? Leave a comment below and I’ll check it out.