10 Incredible Free Resources Every Author Should Know About
Most self-published authors don’t have a ton of money stuffed under the mattress, so finding valuable, useful tools that are free is an important part of the book publishing and marketing process. That’s why I’ve put together this list of the ten best free author tools I could find. I hope they help you with your writing!
1. Uberconference.com If you interview people for your books (or for your freelance writing career), it can be difficult to arrange phone calls, and if you need to record what the other person says, it can become almost impossible. That's why I love uberconference. You can sign up for a free account and schedule conferences on this website, and what’s even better is that you’ll have the opportunity to record them as an MP3. Want more? With the click of a button, the site will email or text you the transcript of the entire conversation!
2. Coverssellbooks.com. This site is almost too good to be true. It started out in beta mode and offered a limited free membership to only a few, but recently they have opened it up to anyone who signs up. If you log onto this site and scroll down to the bottom to sign up for a free plan, you’ll have access to over a million free images you can use to make ads for your books, 3D book covers, and other images to use for social media campaigns, email lists, websites, and more. As a free member, you’ll be able to create 3 products a month, but for only $8 a month, you’ll have unlimited access to the site.
3. Book Description Generator. The supremely useful tool created by Dave Chesson at Kindlepreneur is one I can’t live without. Simply log onto the site and paste your book description in the field. You’ll be able to use italics, bolding, indented lists and more all at the push of a button. Then simply copy the code and paste it into the description box on KDP when you’re setting up your book. Oh, did I mention that it’s absolutely free use?
4. Canva. I use this free tool to create most of my book covers, and I can’t believe it’s free. They have a special template for Kindle books that you can use. Use its drag and drop format to choose the background theme, then add text, their stock photos or upload your own, and play around with the colors and fonts. Even if you don’t want to make your own book covers, it’s a great tool to create an example of what you want that you can give to your book cover designer.
5. Book tracker. If you want to check out the history of one of your author competitors, use Kindle Nation Daily’s tracker application. You’ll have to sign up—but it’s free—and then you can look at books on Amazon and study the histories and sales volume of them. It’s a great way to determine if the book you want to write has the potential to sell a lot of books.
6. iPiccy.com. Who says you have to pay someone to transform your Kindle cover to an ACX cover? With this free online software, just choose “edit a photo,” upload your Kindle cover, choose 2400 x 2400 for the size, uncheck the “constrain dimensions” box, and press save. You’ll be able to download the file to your computer where you can then upload it to ACX.
7. Trello.com. If you’re like me and have a bunch of balls in the air at one time, you need an organizational tool. And I happen to use on that’s not only free, but I would have paid a lot of money just to use it. Trello will help keep your writing projects organized in a visual and fun way that looks like an online bulletin board. It sure beats all those random notes and reminders you have laying around the house!
8. Writing timers. Writing in short bursts will dramatically increase your productivity, but it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of the time. Mariana Timer offers three free timers for writers. There’s the Pomodoro Timer, which keeps you writing for 25 minutes, then gives you a 5 minute break, the Custom Timer, which allows you to set your own starting and stopping times, and a standard timer that operates like a countdown timer. If you haven’t tried this method of writing, I highly recommend that you do.
9. Draft. Even if you usually write in Word, Draft may be an alternative for you. This free program allows you to share your document with others, use its copy-editing help feature, transcription help, and the program allows you set a daily word count goal, keeps track of your progress, and if you fall short, it sends you an email reminder!
10. A unique word finder. For all you word nerds out there, consider this free tool my early Christmas present to you. Have you ever had a concept in mind, but couldn’t come up with the right word? A thesaurus doesn’t really help in that circumstance, does it? But Onelook.com, which refers to itself as a reverse dictionary, allows you to type in a word, a phrase, or even a sentence describing what concept you’re thinking of, and it will present you with a list of words to choose from.
What do you think? Will these free tools help you in your writing career? If you know of any that I missed, please leave them for the other readers in the comments below.
Now, go out there and chase your dreams!