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A lot of authors write books to earn a living, and there are a few nifty services out there to help you do just that. I work with CompletelyNovel, a publishing platform that was built with professional authors in mind, and we’ve put together a list of our top business tools that will help you “authorpreneurs” get your book on the road to success.
Have a to-do list the length of your arm all on different bits of paper? We use a nifty tool called Trello, and it works like a clever corkboard. You can add tasks to different columns to keep track of what needs doing and when, and you can assign tasks to other people (particularly useful if you have someone helping you with PR, for example).
Found an amazing article, or a competition that you definitely need to enter, but don’t have time to look at it there and then? Pocket is a useful app that works with your browser and other devices to save things in an orderly way, so you can go back to them later. Much better than having a bunch of bookmarks scattered across your devices.
Email is an amazing marketing tool. If you haven’t used MailChimp before, we’d recommend taking a look. It reduces the amount of time you spend faffing with newsletter creation by enabling you to drag and drop components. It’s easy to put something together that looks really professional. There are also lots of neat tools for attracting new subscribers that are all easy to use.
Pretty much all these great tools require you to create a password. Add that to your existing passwords for your email, social media, and CompletelyNovel account, and remembering them all becomes a bit of a drain. LastPass is a secure system that’ll remember all your passwords for you and also generate new ones for you. Useful.
Want to get your book trending? Ask people to sign up to your Thunderclap campaign, and it will automatically tweet and post your tweet to their profiles – all at once. It’s a good way to flood social media with your book, but it can also be a little tricky to get the hundred sign-ups it needs to run the campaign.
This gmail app was created for sales teams, but works really well for anyone pitching to different people. It works in your inbox and enables you to keep track of your pitches and chases, as well as letting you see which emails have been seen. Great for the times you are pitching to press and book bloggers.
All businesses need a website, and this website-building tool based on customizable templates is definitely worth checking out. SquareSpace is intuitive to use, and we love the professional, image-led websites it helps you create.
Don’t have time to tweet all day every day? Hootsuit has a great tool for scheduling tweets in bulk, meaning that you can reach those 6am commuters whilst still catching up on your Zs. You can also shorten URLs at Ow.ly, which lets you track the number of clicks on those links.
A great free tool for adding a countdown timer to an email. Alert your readers to that limited offer, competition, or book giveaway you are running, and customize the timer to match your brand.
The tool we can’t work without. Saving book drafts to your Dropbox means that you can write anywhere you are – and you don’t have to worry about losing your work when your laptop explodes in a puff of smoke. It’s also a great way of sharing large files with early readers and doing away with those pesky USB sticks at events.
Sarah Juckes is Communications Manager for CompletelyNovel, where this post first appeared. CompletelyNovel is an online publishing platform and author community that aims to make book publishing simple through use of online tools.