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So, you’re an author. Either that or you’re an aspiring one. And while being an author does involve a lot of writing, it’s also so much more than that. You have to be your own editor, constantly be productive, and be a task management ninja. If you just had the right self-publishing tools, your life would be much easier.
In this article, we want to share some basic self-publishing tools to help with this tough process of balancing your workload. These tools range from improving your writing process to designing creative visuals for your books or social media posts. We’ll cover five specific sections:
To be honest, these self-publishing tools aren’t going to make or break your career, but they can assist you on your journey to being the best. Always work hard, and it also doesn’t hurt to work smart.
The real grunt work of self-publishing is the actual writing—it’s the process of getting your thoughts out of your mind and into readable form. While there aren’t any shortcuts when it comes to writing, these tools can help you stay organized and create a system in which you do your best writing.
Writefull is a word processor (it can be used as a Chrome Extension, as well as downloaded on Windows and Mac) that has many different tools that you can use within the app. One of the most helpful tools within the app allows you to see which words the most within the selection of text as well as give you synonyms as needed as you write.
TextExpander allows you to use pre-set keyboard shortcuts to write full snippets of text (words, phrases, or even sentences or paragraphs). For example, in writing this article, we have had to type “writing tools” quite a few times. To save time we can use TextExpander to create a shortcut “bt” so everything we enter “writing tools” typing “wt” will do the work for us.
Google Drive starts with 15GB of free storage in which you can store photos, documents, and pretty much anything you can imagine that can be kept digitally. Not only are you able to access all these things you can also share files with anyone who has access to the internet. Drive offers features that include everything from Google Docs to endless online apps that it supports.
Our team loves Google Drive. We use Google Docs to edit and share our articles as well as the calendar to sync our schedules as we all work remotely. This program has saved us a lot of time as we can all access and edit the same documents at the same time as well as share our thoughts and ideas in one central place.
Unless you are one of those “special humans” who loves to correct grammar and style, you probably just groaned out loud when you saw the word editing. Thankfully some excellent tools do a lot of the work for you. While none of these tools are perfect and you’ll have to do the final check yourself, they can help with a significant portion of the necessary editing.
Hemingway Editor allows you to edit whenever wherever and helps you cut down on your wordiness. You may be one of those people who has a lot to say and sometimes your wordiness can overwhelm your point. Here is where Hemingway comes in: it takes your text and shows you where you can cut down and become more clear. It can also publish directly to WordPress and export to Microsoft Word as well as other programs.
Grammarly is a lifesaver for those who really hate editing and the time-consuming process that it is. With Grammarly, you can paste your article (or whatever text you are editing) into their online editor, MS Word editor, desktop editor, or install their extension for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
Grammarly is quite intelligent. Not only does the software give you suggestions for a synonym to an overused word, but it will also explain the why behind their every correction and give you the chance to take the advice or ignore it.
CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer helps you generate more shares and community engagement.
Sometimes it is hard to know exactly how to title anything. The Headline Analyzer helps you to create better headlines getting the most results from that amazing content you are generating, whether it’s a book title, blog article, email blast, or social media post.
TitleCap is probably one of the simplest, but beneficial tools you are going use on a regular basis. TitleCap does exactly what its name suggests; it automatically shows you which words should be capitalized and which words shouldn’t be in your headlines.
Part of being a self-published author means you are managing your own time and when you are collaborating you usually are working remotely. Working from wherever is one of the perks of the job, but the downside is you are managing your own time. These tools can help you always be connected to your team, stay focused, and cross off those to-dos on your list.
Asana is an incredible project management tool that allows your team to work seamlessly on collaborating but eliminates the need for email. The program allows you to see the status of any project, but the best part is you don’t need to call a meeting to get a project status update. The virtual workspace that Asana provides creates a space in which each team member can add notes, comments, attachments, and tags.
Trello is also a virtual workspace. Whether you are traveling and need to stay in contact with your partner or you have a virtual assistant that lives three states away, Trello helps you stay connected at all times. You can create lists, projects, and cards. Cards allow you to work on projects (personal or otherwise) in which you can add comments and attachments for other team members to see and respond to.
Coffitivity is a website that allows anyone to have the background noise of a coffee shop while working from wherever. Sometimes, you want your French Press coffee and your coffee shop aesthetic, but your home office (or your bed) is looking prettying comfortable. Coffitivity allows you to have all of that without buying your $4.75 latte or leaving the comfort of your home.
Wunderlist is a personal favorite of ours at BookWorthy. You can create group to-do lists as well as individual ones. Oh, did we mention that it has the most satisfying noise when you have completed a task?
A huge part of self-publishing is becoming a jack-of-all-trades, and that means learning how to create impressive images and visuals, which can either be super-fun or super-daunting. If you’re working on a more daunting task, check out these tools to help you move forward in creating beautiful visuals to accompany that fantastic post you just wrote.
For those of you who are budding designers, colors aren’t hard to pick. Maybe you are working on a site redesign, and you aren’t 100% sure what colors to choose. Pictaculous allows you to upload any image (grab a screenshot of your favorite site) and then does the hard work creating a color pallet with the primary colors from that image.
Canva Photo Editor is many self-published authors’ go-to graphic design site. It’s incredibly easy to use, and you can do any basic photo editing and image creation within their software. Photo Editor allows you to have the basic functions of Photoshop, but without the complicated learning curve.
Have you ever wanted to combine fonts, but aren’t sure whether the fonts you like go together or not? With Canva’s Font Combinations tool, you simply pick a starter font from their (generous) list and see which fonts are best paired with it. This will help you when you want to create images that emphasize a certain word or phrase over the others.
Free stock photography from Unsplash is licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can pretty much do anything you want with the photos without asking for permission. This site is also a BookWorthy favorite and our go-to for finding feature images for our posts!
Social media is perhaps one of the easiest things to start and the hardest to continue consistently. With some of our favorite tools, you can not only conquer the slump of inconsistent posting, but you can also get ahead of the curve.
Buffer takes all your social media platforms and draws from your content scheduling it to be shared at the peak time during the day for your follower’s activity. This cuts out a large part of analytical work that you would normally have to figure out which times are best. Plus, Buffer just does the grunt work of posting for you and will probably become your best non-human friend.
Another excellent tool from CoSchedule is Click to Tweet. Create tweets that are easily shareable for your readers within your post. This allows your readers to connect you with their online friends in a way that is convenient for them.
Ahalogy is built to help you grow your Pinterest account. While there are many tools that will give you data insights on your Pinterest account, including Pinterest’s built-in analytics tool, Ahalogy offers unique tools that sources, curates, and suggests top-performing content for your account.
No more searching through numerous categories and various boards to find the highest quality, top performing pins for your niche. Ahalogy crafts unique, keyword-driven pin descriptions for your everyday Pinterest needs. Lastly, Ahalogy also allows you to schedule Pins at the optimum time of day with their auto-publishing feature, saving you a lot of time.
Tailwind is similar to Buffer in purpose but specializes in Pinterest and Instagram. For Pinterest, you can see the number of pins from your site, the number of followers per board, and more. For Instagram, you can access stats on followers, posts, and more. This once again will allow you to not only save a lot of time but help you start digging in on those analytics that you’ll need to know and make the most of.
There are a plethora of amazing tools, systems, and articles on “the best self-publishing tools.” Many of them are probably be more overwhelming than anything. It’s our hope that in this article, you have found a few simple, easy-to-use, self-publishing tools that will help you succeed.
What about you? Do you have favorite self-publishing tools that everyone should know about?