Self-published authors have a dizzying variety of tasks to complete.
As a self-publisher, you’re responsible not only for writing your book but also promoting it and building a long-term author platform for yourself.
Given that few of us are naturally blessed with all of the skills needed to successfully self-publish, one of the best ways to make your life easier is to choose the right tools.
Tools for authors can be a bit of a minefield. Choose carefully, and you’ll have an enjoyable, efficient way of creating your book. Choose badly, and you end up with a frustrating, inefficient mix that makes you yearn for the era of typewriters.
So which types of tools should you select, and how can you use them efficiently?
Book Creation Tools
If you’ve ever tried to create a book using default apps and software, you know it can be a frustrating experience.
Standard word processor apps aren’t designed with authors in mind, and as a self-publisher, you’ll need to do a lot more than just write!
So what are the most useful tool types for the book creation stage of your self-publishing project?
- Writing Tools. Choose a specialist writing app. Take the time to find one which offers the unique features your book needs, has an achievable learning curve and will remain compatible with your intended hardware.
- Editing Tools. The power of automated editing has come a long way since simple spellcheckers. Check out some modern examples of editing software for catching your errors and improving the style of your work.
Many self-published authors end up developing an intricate stack of book creation tools over time. But, to start with, a specialist writing and editing app will make your life a lot easier than using default options.
Book Marketing Tools
As every self-published author knows, writing a book is only half the battle. Perhaps not even half!
In today’s world of endless book releases, marketing is often the most important thing to focus on.
While tactics may change, the fundamentals don’t. Book marketing comes down to getting your book in front of the people who would love it the most and making it attractive enough for them to take action and buy it.
While book marketing is a pain point for many authors, there are some tools to make it more efficient and effective.
- Social Scheduling. Getting the word out about your book on social media is an effective form of promotion. However, you need to approach this form of book marketing proactively. Using a social scheduling app such as HootSuite can increase both the efficiency and effectiveness of your social media marketing.
- Graphics Tools. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. While that might not quite be the case for self-published authors, there’s no denying that graphics play an important role in your book marketing. Use a free online graphics tool like Canva to make images for social media promotion, your author website, and anywhere else that attractive visual content helps to market your book.
You might end up loving or hating book marketing, but no matter how you feel about it, choosing the right tools will make it a lot smoother.
Author Career Tools
After you’ve released a couple of books, you will want to start thinking about planning out your author career.
As authors, we have to be proactive. To achieve success in this field isn’t easy. We need to have clear objectives, and plans for making them happen.
So what are some tools to assist you in planning out your long term author vision?
- Planning Tools. For defining your author vision, consider a planning tool such as Trello. Trello is an intuitive but powerful planning app. It’s one of the best ways to manage projects and plans. You can fully customize Trello depending upon your particular aims. Plan out future projects or long-term aspects of your author career such as financial milestones.
- Financial Tools. Successful self-publishing is as much business as it is art. To make it work in the long run, you need to have a clear set of financial projections. Calculate aspects such as your book royalty income, and budget your book marketing carefully.
At its simplest, a successful author career plan consists of two things – a schedule of intended books, and a financial plan to make them possible. Choose tools that will help you come up with both.
Why Not Try These Tools For Yourself?
Often, we are creatures of habit. The thought of switching to another type of tool from what we’re familiar with can be unappealing.
However, you’ll never know if they might make your self-publishing life a little easier until you get hands-on and try them for yourself.
What do you have to lose?