Thursday, October 13, 2022

Five Helpful Tools for Writers

Posted by: Deborah A Bailey


When it comes to marketing and promoting your books, it might seem totally overwhelming to find the best tools. Creating graphics and other assorted items can be a lot of work. That's why I'm always looking for ways to work more efficiently, if possible!

Here are a few tools that might be helpful. Even if you're already using them, there are additional features that you might not be aware of.

Dropbox – I've been using this for several years for file storage and sharing. One of the things I like about it is you can upload files, then create links so that others can download and/or view the files. If you use multiple devices, you can upload files from one device, then access them from another. I've connected Dropbox to MS Word on my laptop, so I can save my WIP directly to the Dropbox folder. That way, I never have to worry about losing my work.

Unsplash – When this site first came on the scene it was the place to find interesting royalty-free images. It still is, but I also use this platform to create collections of the images I like. For instance, if you want to create a collection of images to use as inspiration for your WIP, you can create a collection. Then you can share that collection with others using the link provided. That way, you don't have to download every image that you want to save.

Canva – This platform is extremely popular, though it's not the only one of its kind (there are others such as PicMonkey and Adobe Express). You probably already know you can create mock-ups, book covers and social media posts. But you can also connect your social media to your Canva account and create calendars for sharing. Another thing I recently learned is that you can make printables. So, if you want to print items like cups, notebooks or t-shirts using your design, Canva has you covered.

Adobe Express – This was originally called Spark (in case you're familiar with that product). Now it looks a lot more like Canva. I've used it to create a video for YouTube and it was very easy. I added my own images and used their music. If you're looking to create a trailer for your book, or other promotional video or image, give it a try. (If you already have Adobe Creative Cloud, this product is included.) It can also be downloaded to your mobile device as an app.

Voice Dream Reader – I use this text-to-voice app on my tablet when I want to hear my WIP being read to me. When you read it's easy to skip things – or fill things in that aren't there. And, to be honest, there are times when I'd rather just listen. The app can be downloaded to your mobile devices and be connected to file storage platforms, like Dropbox. What I like about this reader (as opposed to Word's reader) is that you can choose different voices and accents. It comes with a set of voices, or you can upgrade for more.

If you have any favorite tools from this list – or if you have others that I haven't mentioned – please share!

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