Best Indie Writer Tools (Part 2)

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Okay, we’re back! I know, I took longer than I said I would but life happens. Right now I’m nursing a sick wife and son back to health, all while trying not to get sick myself. So, a lot of things got put on the back burner but I’m back! Let’s just jump back into this, here are some great Marketing Tools That I use in my writing business…oh and if you missed the first blog about writing tools, just click here

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Like I said in my previous blog, indie authors are solo publishing houses. When we create something or have an event for our work, it’s all up to us to market said event or book. Having the right tools can make designing and sharing info so much easier. Here are some of my favorite marketing tools:

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Square Space:

OMG, let me just start off by saying I mother fucking love Square Space! I used to use Go Daddy for my website but it cost a few dollars more and was annoying and limited when it came to website building. Square Space on the other hand was so easy to work with and allowed me to do a number of things my Go Daddy couldn’t do, like have this blog. For Go Daddy I had to use a third party blogger account and a ECwid account for products, and some other stuff which I had to convert to HTML to place on my site and it just never looked as good as I wanted it too. I had to jump through so many different hoops to get what I wanted without paying an arm and a leg (I don’t know why people say that, what’s the going rate for an arm and a leg these days? I feel like it might be cheaper than we think.). Well one month I forgot to pay my Go Daddy bill and I decided to make the jump and I honestly haven't looked back.

The Good: Blog, Store, Everything you need to start selling your books are all in one place. The set up is simple and the layouts look so smooth. I was able to drop my Mail Chimp account which was $30 a month for Square Space’s newsletter marketing system which is currently free. So I used to pay $60 or $50 a month for a website and mailing list, from two different companies, now I pay $30 a month for everything from Square Space and my site looks awesome, if I do say so myself.

The Bad: I was unable to set up a forum where my fans can discuss things in somewhat real time. Some of the cooler things were for the higher priced set which I went up too but in all paying 30 bucks to do everything I used to pay 60 bucks for is awesome in my book. It saves me some cash so I can start paying for advertisements for my books.

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Anchor (App & Site):

I wanted to start a podcast to help promote my books and talk about subjects I cared about, but I had no idea how to start and I didn’t have the time to learn. Things like Podcast and YouTube channels can get an extra set of eyes on you. People like Joanna Penn, Jim Kukral, Bryan Cohen and many more have become well known names in the indie writer world, due to their podcast and YouTube channels. So, I thought why can’t I do the same, but for horror and zombies…the answer to the why is because it took too much damn time and I can’t justify a day of editing something that isn’t my book.

I almost gave up and then a friend of mine was doing big things with his podcast (Misunderstood Genius) and I decided to see what he was using, Bam! Anchor an awesome website and app that allows you to record a podcast and publish it to a number of different streaming sites, without any of the headache other programs have. Anchor is crazy simple, I hit a button, I talk, I save and I publish. I can put all my segments together on my phone and if I want I can grab a co-host from a number of other anchor users. Take a quick listen to my latest episode of The Planet Dead Radio Podcast

The Good: Simple to use. Free. Allows your fans to tip you for support. Uploads your podcast to a number of the top sites with the click of on button and now they have a sponsor program. All you have to do is do your podcast, say you want a sponsor and they look for ones that fit, then you get paid a little change for all that talking.

The Bad: Maybe I’m just not that tech smart but editing my files on Anchor seems hard or impossible. If I need to edit I do it in iMovies and then transfer the audio. I haven’t really looked too much into the editing because I normally just hit record and call it a day.

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Canva (Website & App):

There is no app I have used more when it comes to marketing than Canva. Canva is an awesome free app that allows you to make promotional images for any social media platform as well as book covers! They have tons of free stock photos, a large selection of fonts and when combined with other apps can lead to some amazing marketing material.

 Image made with Canva

Image made with Canva

The Good: It’s Free. All your past images you create get saved under your profile. They have great templates that fit for things like Instagram stories and twitter headers, so you don’t have to guess about sizes. Free Stock Images and if you want to pay for it, you can give access to others on your marketing team or street team so they know what promo images they can use.

The Bad: Most of the really good images or clip art has to be paid for, which isn’t too bad because they are normally $1. The app seems to be crashing a lot lately, not sure why, but aside from all that It’s a pretty good app.

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Snapseed (App):

 Image made with the help of Canva & Snapseed. 

Image made with the help of Canva & Snapseed. 

This app can be used for anything but I feel it has really advanced my Instagram page, taking it to another level. My page was just some random post with no theme or thought to it. I was told about Snapseed by an amazing bookstagramer Debra Gillis and it has changed everything. There are amazing filters and editing tools that you can use to really make some eye popping images. For this one I’m not gonna do a Good & Bad because I really haven’t found anything I dislike about the app, I’m just happy I found it.

Anyway, those are the top apps that’s I use to create marketing materials and images. Try the free ones out and look more into Squarespace because I honestly love that company. If you know of any cool tools that I missed then list them in the comments below.