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In this post, I am sharing my Author Toolbox, AKA the tools and resources I use as a writer and author.
As I am an IOS user, most of these are from Apple. But many of these are Free to use or download — a must for struggling, peso-pinching writers like me.
Apple Notes. Yep, this often-neglected app is number 1 in my toolbox! I always try to jot down whatever thought comes my way, dialogue or scene in a WIP, or copy and paste important information. Best of all, it’s synced with all my devices (iPhone, iPad, MacBook).
Microsoft Word. Word is still the most commonly used word processor. But it’s more than that. I also use Word in formatting the interior of my book.
Prowriting Aid. This editing app can be installed in Google Chrome as an extension. Try out their Grammar Checker HERE. There are a lot of difference between a Free and Premium account, though. If you do decide to go Premium, get 20% discount by using THIS LINK.
Grammarly. This one can be added to Safari as an extension for free. Almost as functional as ProWritingAid, but more useful in writing blog posts or essays.
Word’s Text-to-Speech Feature. Listening to my story being spoken aloud makes me aware of repetitive words, long sentences, errors, and if the flow of words are smooth or not. Try it! Don’t know how? Here’s how to use the Microsoft Word Text-to-Speech feature.
Microsoft Word. As I said earlier, I use Word in formatting the interior of my book. I’ve been using it way back when I was still working.
Kindle Create. Amazon’s free formatting tool transforms your Word manuscript or PDF into a kpf file. Downside is, it’ll only work on Amazon. I find this better to use for my Children’s Book.
Calibre. A completely free and easy to use, open source formatting tool. It transforms Word documents into almost all ebook format types: mobi, epub, pdf.
Adobe Photoshop. There will never be an editing software more powerful and versatile like Photoshop. I use it in creating my own book covers and promotional graphics for my books. It is pricey, though. But check these out: Free compact versions are available for iPhone and iPad: Adobe Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Express Photo Editor.
Canva. If you want to put out a graphic design like postcards, Instagram posts, etc. in a jiffy, you can never go wrong with Canva. It has a wide selection of ready to edit templates and designs. Most of all, it’s Free. Well, almost. If you want to unlock more features, you’d have to upgrade to the Premium version.
Creative Market. This is a treasure chest of amazing stock photos, designs and artworks! They offer Free goods for a limited time too.
Pexels, Pixabay. These sites offer free to use, no attribution required images and videos. Together with Cleanpng, which curates transparent or png images, these are where I get most of the images I use in creating my book covers and promotional graphics.
Book Mockup Maker. This Free 3d Book creator is a really handy, easy way to whip up professional-looking Kindle mockups. You can also create Book covers here – for Free!
Be Focused. This timer app helps me carry out the Pomodoro technique of sprint writing for 25 minutes and resting for 5 minutes. True to its name, it makes me focused when writing.
Evernote. This is an app for note-taking, organizing and task management. But I use this mainly for its web clipper function. I do a lot of research for my books, mostly on Google. Evernote lets me clip and save Web Pages which I can open again whenever I need them.
Trello. Another Free organizing tool which is very easy to use when outlining my novel, creating characters, and more.
Binaural Beats. Listening to this type of music, aside from my usual Mozart favorite, really boosted my productivity. I wrote a blog post about this. Try it out and see for yourself!
Booklinker. This Free tool creates one link for each book which works for all Amazon stores worldwide. When someone clicks your book on Amazon.com, they are brought to the US store only, not to the other Amazon stores in other countries. By creating a universal link which brings international customers to the right Amazon store in their country, book sales improve.
Bitly. This is a URL shortener and link management app. Very handy, especially when promoting books.
Starting and maintaining an author website is recommended even though you’re still unpublished if you intend to be a professional writer who wants to be taken seriously. Having a monetized blog can also add to your income as a writer plus you get to hone your writing skills.
WordPress. The most popular website builder. You can create a website for Free using WordPress. Don’t want to do all the hard work? If you want to hire a web developer instead, I can recommend a few. Just CONTACT me.
Elementor. This is a Free WordPress Page Builder with absolutely no coding required. As with most of the apps I mentioned here, there’s also a paid version.
Hostinger. Web-hosting provider and internet domain registrar. So far, their price works for me.
Mailchimp. This email marketing service is free for the first 200o contacts. Its ease of use and range of features enables me to create and send my Newsletters every month.
It Takes Time
I didn’t learn about all these tools at once. It takes time and a lot of learning and experimenting as to what works and what doesn’t. (Actually, I still am.)
It’s all part of the journey of becoming a better, smarter indie author.
4 thoughts on “My Author Toolbox”
Hello, Ms. Yumi. Self-published authors should familiar with digital tools to create and market their books online. This is a great help especially for those who are just planning to have an author website, and/or designing their book cover. Aaand, most of the tools you mentioned are free, yay!
I truly hope this post can help struggling writers like me, Cherrie. Thank you for reading.
Hi there, thank you for sharing such great piece of informative content with us. It is really amazing post it also helps me a lot.
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I’m glad to be of help!