Author Resources: a Short List

By Lori Culwell

Every once in awhile I like to share lists of things that are helping me as an author.   Some of them are free, some of them are not, but all of them are useful.   Try them out and see what you think.

1.  Grammarly.   Guess what?   Nothing gets you one-star reviews faster than grammatical errors.  Several of our contributors (including myself) use Grammarly’s grammar corrector to check spelling/ grammar errors along the way.   If you know you’re the type of person that does not know the difference between “their and there” or uses (cringe) the plural apostrophe, go over to Grammarly immediately.  Do not delay.  Do it right now!   Having bad grammar is like having food in your teeth.  Everyone notices, but no one is going to come out and tell you.  Grammarly solves this problem.

2.   Focus @ Will.   I’m not sure how to quantify whether this site has actually improved my productivity, but it is definitely nice to have the music on in the background while I’m working.   You can use the music/ timer functionality without logging in, but once you do create a (free) account, it will customize your playlist to your style of concentration (I think).   At any rate, I love it and I’ve been using it every day.

3.  BufferApp.   This is a useful tool if you are trying to be a market leader or at least establish some kind of authority in your field (so you can sell more books or build your audience, for example), or if you’re trying to keep your social media profiles active without having to be chained to your computer all day long.

4.  Kindle course.  I took this course last weekend and got several useful things out of it.  It’s well-priced, and since I feel you should probably always be learning, I would recommend getting it and watching the videos.  He also gives away a Kindle formatting guide that is really useful if you’re a first-time Kindle publisher, because as we all know, the first time’s the worst!

5.  Rank Checker Ace.   I know, you’re probably not an SEO nerd like me, but it is still cool to see where your website and your books are ranking in the search engines.   Start an account (free), enter your urls/ keywords, and Rank Checker Ace will email you every day to tell you where you are.   Neato!    I don’t find the homepage to be especially user friendly, so I’ve pointed you toward the Help Guide to get you started.

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