If you’re an indie author, chances are that you’re a part-timer. You have a full time job, a family, and little time to write. You may also find some areas of writing, publishing, and marketing a challenge.
I received some questions about the apps I use, and covered some of them.
Indie author: apps to help you
In this post on writing when you have no time, I discussed apps like Evernote, Ulysses, and Day One, which save time, and help you to write.
The theme of this post was “write faster,” and we discussed Scrivener and Vellum. Both apps are a huge help for self-publishing authors.
Indie author tools to help your self-publishing journey
Now let’s look at some indie author tools; some are free.
A disclaimer: the commercial links in this post are affiliate-code-free. I have no relationship, financial or otherwise, to anyone connected with these tools — I just use them, and find them useful.
Save time: calculate sales and track books
Amazon Book Sales Calculator is useful for your own books, as well as for research: it estimates how many sales a book is making per day and month.
Sales Rank Express shows you a book’s sales ranks, and more, in ten countries.
eBookTracker saves lots of time. You can track your books’ sales, to see what’s happening with them. Very useful if you’ve published several titles.
Toggle: track your own time — you may be surprised
When I started using Toggl, I was SHOCKED. I couldn’t believe it. I’m rigorous in tracking my time, both at home and at work. It turns out that I was spending way too much time on some quite trivial tasks. How could this be? I’ve no idea, but it was an eye-opener.
Make more sales: marketing, and marketing research
Amazon is its own world, and that world changes rapidly. The following tools are invaluable; they make self-publishing and promotion much easier, for me and maybe for you.
KDSpy (commercial) is a Chrome extension which is an excellent tool for market research. You’d need a week to do all the work that this little tool does for you in mere seconds.
I’ve been using KDPRocket (commercial) to find keywords for Amazon Marketing Services (AMS) ads over the past few weeks. Without this tool, I’d have given up. If the tool just found keywords, it would be amazing, but it does much more.
One of the challenges of advertising with AMS is amassing keyword lists. If you’re advertising on Amazon, you feel the pain when Amazon tells you that your wonderful keyword list is polluted with unrecognized (and invisible to you) characters. AMS Keyword Cleaner (free) to the rescue.
Sadly, Amazon book Description Generator (free) won’t craft your blurbs for you, but it will format your blurb in Amazon-permitted HTML code so that your blurb looks more professional, and is easier to read.
Tip: make your own lists of tools and keep them safe
Unlike Scrivener which you can’t forget because you use it every day, you may only use a tool a few times a month.
Therefore, you’ll save time and hassle if you save a tool’s URL, with a dated note explaining how and why you’re using it. This saves time when you can’t remember the tool’s name (don’t ask me how I know this. :-))