Free tools every author should know about
There's a whole lot more to being a writer than writing! Marketing, social media, setting up a website, creating a mailing list etc.! It can be a little overwhelming when starting out, and it's taken a while for me to figure out what I'm doing, and how to create professional looking outputs.
Here's a list of 6 tools / sites that I consider as essential in my author journey, and that can help you to create professional looking outputs.
Canva is a great free website that you can use to create social media graphics. It’s easy to use, there are templates already set up for all popular social media sites, there are loads of free images to use, plus you can upload your own.
Examples of some of my social media graphics created in Canva:
2.DIYBookCovers (3D book cover mockups )
You can use this site to create a 3d mockup of the paperback / hardback / ebook versions of your novel by uploading the cover image. Really useful for social media graphics, and sharing news about your book when you don't have your hard copy yet!
Here's an example of a paperback version of Cupid's Match I made using the site:
Head over to thestocks.im for free public domain images that you can download and use in your graphics. This is basically a library that links to a lot of the popular image sites like Unsplash and Pixaby. There's loads of great photographs and illustrations on there to choose from, and you can easily upload them into Canva (mentioned above)!
Long links aren’t very attractive, and don't always fit in posts due to character limitations. Bit/ly allows you to shorten links, personalize them (to enhance clickability), and get analytics on how many people have clicked.
bit.ly/CupidsMatch takes you straight to Cupid's Match on Amazon!
On Linktree you can create a place for all of your links. Perfect for an Instagram bio (that only allows one link), or when you want to direct people to more than one place to purchase your book (like in a Tweet, or anywhere where characters are limited).
I tend to link to my website nowadays, but here is an example of my old linktree: https://linktr.ee/laurenpalphreyman
As an author you should be collating a mailing list. It’s a great way to directly contact people who are interested in you and your books when you have new releases and news to share. I use mailchimp for my mailing list. It’s easy to use, visually great, and free when you have below 2000 subscribers.
You can sign up to my newsletter here: http://bit.ly/CupidMail
As an author you should have a website that has all your key information, contact details, and buy links on. There are many platforms you can choose to create one. While I think Wordpress probably offers the most flexibility, it has a steep learning curve so personally I use Wix.
Wix is so easy to use, and you can create really visually appealing sites without knowing any code. You can create a Wix site for free, but I’d personally advise paying a little more to get your own domain name (looks more professional), and for the Premium Plan (which means your site will run faster).
You are on my Wix website now! So feel free to look around!
Do you have any tools that you use to make your writer life easier? Let me know in the comments!
LAUREN PALPHREYMAN is a writer based in London. She is best known for her supernatural teen romance series, Cupid's Match, which has accumulated over 50 million hits online and was published by Wattpad Books / Penguin Random House, October 2019. Find her on Instagram @LaurenPalphreyman and on Twitter @LEPalphreyman.
Get hold of her debut, Cupid's Match, here!