As we all try and make sense of the process of writing and publishing our books many of us find particular hosts, sites, programmes and applications which, at least at first, look as if they will aid us, help us reach our goal of producing a great work.
A work which has minimal mistakes if any at all. One that is beta read, proof read, edited and formatted to near perfection as it is possible to achieve.
We are the creatives, the dreamers, the weavers of fantasy and make-believe. It is an often lonely and arduous task. So anything we can find that will allow us, help us accomplish our tasks more efficiently, even in an easier way must be welcomed.
The same is true of marketing, of promotion, of finding ways to put our carefully crafted works of magical wordcraft in the eye line of potential readers, those strangely elusive souls who may be the ones, when suitably tempted, to put their hands into their pockets and withdraw a handful of mysterious tokens called ‘coin’.
However that is not to say that there are a number of sites and services that can actually help, albeit to varying degrees.
I for one am of the super sceptical when it comes to paying for a service, particularly when it is (from my point) untried and untested.
That means putting my faith in promises. That means believing marketing bumf and advertising. Not something I do lightly, particularly if I am to be parted with hard earned cash, even hard-yet-to-be-earned-cash.
So I am ever cautious.
In fact I have been so very careful you can call my a ‘tight-wad’ if you wish; but to date I have Indie published five books; one full length novel, one long-short-story eBook, two books of poetry and a very dirty adult erotic anthology. I have also contributed to four collaborative anthologies and produced two stories for a website/video site. Yet I have not spent a bean, not a single Penny, a loose Dime, an odd Rupee on anything.
I have written, read, re-written. I have had my stories beta read and edited. I have formatted them. I have designed all my own covers, promoted, marketed and sold them all off my own back. I consider myself a truly independent author and publisher.
No, I have not made a fortune (yet!), neither have I, as yet, created an ongoing passive income large enough to see me through retirement until the day I shuffle off this mortal coil….but I am working on it!
I carry this ‘Modus Operandi’ onto the things I do to help others.
My book promotion site ‘Sneak Peek’ offers free listings. I re-blog on ‘Brilliant Blogshare’, ‘Ramblings from a Writers Mind’ & ‘Further Ramblings’ and carry others stories on ‘A Little more Fiction’. Features and Showcases in CQ Magazine are also offered at no cost. I will suggest, coach, aid and do whatever I can to help other authors and artists all without thought of personal gain.
I cannot promise that the way I work would be right or suitable for you. You may well be far more eager for returns and results than I. You may not think you have the skills or the knowledge, or have the time to learn, or the time to commit. So I am not going to get into a ‘how to’ or a ‘how I achieved’ thingy!
Nor have I, or do I, intend to write a book on the subject!
Neither am I asking for you to pay me to tell you what or how I have done what I have. Those of you who know me will know that is not what I am about, it is not how I ‘tick’.
What I do enjoy, what gives the greatest satisfaction is helping others achieve their own dreams, goals, or targets or whatever term you want to use. Put simply I like to help everyone to be happy.
So on that basis I am listing here the websites and services that I use, have used, intend to use, or think could be beneficial at some point.
The overriding fact is that ALL of these are FREE, or have a free basic level with options to upgrade to a paid level(s) at a later stage if you wish. That ‘if you wish’ is all important. It is open-ended, no trail periods, no right to cancel at some future point. IF YOU wish to upgrade to utilise other services that is YOUR choice not theirs.
I guess I have said enough about my principles on this subject so that you get my gist!
So OK. Here is my list and my brief reasons for using and/or liking these sites/hosts. They are not listed in any particular order or categorised in any way, so it is best if you read through them all and choose which you wish to use (or not!).
I do hope that you will find at least one helpful or useful to yourself.
- http://ebookfriendly.com/ Loads of deals, tips, odd bits n pieces and ‘stuff’. Worth browsing.
- http://snip.ly/dashboard/ A great ‘short code’ site. Approachable. Simply to use and iy works!
- http://www.howmanysyllables.com/ Love this site. Syllable dictionary, syllable counter, Poetry workshop, English Grammar & more. No poet should be without this site in their armoury.
- http://www.tryspruce.com/ If you Tweet you need Spruce. Siimples!
- http://authl.it/ If you publish in Kindle format this site is indispensable. Create multi-region Kindle book links.
- http://nibbler.silktide.com/ I use this to safeguard my research. Tests the quality, safety and security of most websites. Don’t browse unsafely, use this as an additional aid to stop malware, phishing etc.
- https://www.canva.com/ Not a bad site for some basic image layouts for social media etc. Not a image editor, but good fun.
- http://nos.twnsnd.co/ Free stock images.
- http://www.morguefile.com/ Free stock images.
- https://www.pexels.com/ Free stock images.
- http://www.gratisography.com/ Free stock images.
- https://pixabay.com/ Free stock images.
- http://www.freeimages.com/ Free stock images.
- http://www.splitshire.com/ Free stock images.
- http://www.stockvault.net/ Free stock images.
- http://lobster.media/ Free & licenced social media images.
- http://www.qrstuff.com/ QR code generation. Download, print, email, even print on ‘tee-shirts’! Use QR codes on back cover of you books, bookmarks & all promo material to lead to your website etc.
- http://www.learner.org/ A teaching/teachers website. But a great resource for professional development.
- http://melanierockett.com/book-reviewers-directory/ Melanie Rockets amazing site. So much content it is impossible to list. This is a MUST HAVE site.
- https://quizlet.com Another scholastic site. Learn & test yourself. I love it.
- http://bookvetter.com/ More than beta readers. More than average reviewers. A MUST HAVE.
- http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/ A mass of in depth professional advice. Far too much to list here. You will have to take a look yourself!
- http://www.bookrix.com/ Author profiles, book listings etc.
- http://www.litrejections.com/ These have an amazing agency database.
- https://www.goodreads.com/ Generally accepted as a place where you must have a presence?
- http://www.authorsden.com/ Author profile & book listings.
- http://authorsdb.com/ Author profiles & book listings….but more…cover competitions, community, promotional stuff, services & more. One of my favourites. Contactable, responsive. Site takes some navigation but the end result is worth it.
- https://www.librarything.com/ Author profiles & book listings. I have never quite got to grips with this one. (But that could just be me!)
- http://www.authorgraph.com/ Get and send your autograph to your eBook readers. Worth checking out & using as an extra marketing tool.
- http://www.wix.com/ I think this is the best free website on the market at present. Lots of additional features like blogs and ‘shoutouts’. Premium available but as a single person author I have not sensed the need to upgrade yet.
- https://wordpress.com I think the best blogging format at present. I also use WordPress for Sneak Peek.
- https://about.me If you do not have an ‘aboutme’ page go get one NOW. This is the webs new ‘calling card’. Honestly get your page now, like today…go on…go do it!
- http://promocave.com/ Love Promocove. Book promo & author profile etc. But much more. Best go take a look. Friendly and responsive team too.
- https://takeasneakpeak.wordpress.com/ OK, so I am biased here this is my book promotion site primarily for indie authors. its FREE, so you have absolutely nothing to loose and only new readers to gain. I’ll say no more!
Ok that will do you for now. I am not giving ALL my secrets away!
Any questions, comments, feedback or if you know of any other sites that are free and good, please leave a comment or email me.