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Tools and Resources Recommended by Expert Author 411

The number of tools, apps and other resources for writers is enormous. On this page, I've collected all of the ones I use in my business. If you've found others and would like to share them with the Expert Author 411 community, simply send me an email with the specifics (Linda at Expertauthor411.com) in order to be considered for our Reader Recommended Section.

Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you purchase through them, I might earn a small commission. Please note that these are resources and tools, that I’ve either used in the past, or continue to use personally in my business. LGG

  • Writing your Book

    Scrivener – This is what I use to write my books. The tool was built for writers and makes it easy to outline, write, and compile your book for print. It’s available for Windows and MAC machines and recently added an IOS version which can be synced with your desktop. They offer a free 30 day trial. At $40, it’s well worth the investment. Click the image below to be taken to the Scrivener page.

     

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  • Speaker One Sheet Templates

    Every professional speaker needs a ‘one-sheet’ that can be posted on their website or mailed to prospective event planners. I love these templates because you don’t have to be  graphics expert to use them. Pick the one you like, personalize with your specific information, and you’re ready to print.

  • Building your Author Platform

    Host Monster – A web hosting company to house your Author Platform.  You will enjoy one-click WordPress installation. Your annual fee includes a free domain name and excellent customer support in the form of videos, live chat, and phone support.

  • Wordpress Blog

    As the WordPress website says, this tool is both free and priceless at the same time. It is the industry standard for blogging and is used by solo-preneurs as well as large companies. If you purchase web hosting from Hostmonster, you will have the ability to do a 1-click install to put WordPress on your site. WordPress comes with free templates but I recommend using a ‘premium theme’ because they give you more options and the ability to tailor the look and feel of your site. Click here to read my article about the things you as a business owner need to know to prevent your website from disappearing.

  • Premium Wordpress Themes

    There are an endless number of companies and freelancers who produce professional themes. Theme prices usually range from $35 -$100 one time fee. The Expert Author 411 website uses OptimizePress. While OptimizePress is very powerful, it does require a bit more technical knowledge to implement. If you choose to use it, I recommend you hire a freelancer to get you set up initially. When I build web sites for clients, I usually go to ThemeForest.  It’s a marketplace for web designers to offer pre-made web themes and other resources. When you visit the site, click on WordPress in the top menu and browse through the selections or type in a keyword such as ‘landscaper’ to see themes built specifically for that type of business.

  • Email Marketing and List Building

  • Freelance Services

    Fiverr – With prices starting at just $5.00, what’s not to like about this freelance marketplace? I’ve used the service to find everything from graphic artists to proofreaders.

    Upwork – A freelance marketplace where you can browse profiles, client reviews, and submit requirements. I use Upwork for more complicated projects that require several milestones and project management.

  • Expert Author Productivity Tools

    Evernote – The best web clipper and all around organizer I’ve found. Excellent to capture all of your research, marketing activities and more in convenient notebooks that are automatically synced between the web, desktop, and mobile versions of the tool.

    Dropbox – Like Evernote, this tool will sync between your desktop, web, and mobile devices. I use it to house photos and other files related to my business such as letters, and spreadsheets. You can also share individual folders with others which is great for working with a virtual assistant

  • Social Media Marketing Tools

    • PromoRepublic –  This tool has over 6000 pre-designed posts with images suitable for all of your social media channels. It’s easy to connect your various accounts and schedule your posts. I particularly like the easy editor and ability to view your posts in a calendar format.
  • Royalty Free Photos

    It’s dangerous and unlawful to use photos you randomly find on the web. Some are subject to copyright infringement and others may contain viruses that will corrupt your devices. For those reasons I only use photos from legitimate royalty-free sites. This means that you don’t have to pay a separate licensing fee to use the photo. In some cases they as for attribution, meaning identify the photographer. In other cases you can use as is without attribution. The site guidelines are clearly stated so you know the rules. There are many royalty free sites available to you. Below I’ve listed the one’s I use most frequently because they’re either free of very low cost compared to others.

    • Free Images – As the name says, all of the images on the site are free to use. You will have to open an account to download the images. This site has more basic elements and you may have to search  for the one you want. It’s good for blog images when you need something basic to illustrate the post.
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    • 123RFHigh quality images are available on this site. There are several subscription plans but I use the on demand credits. These average about $1 per credit or less depending on the number of credits you purchase. After purchasing the credits you spend them to download the images. An image suitable for web posting averages 3 credits. Those suitable for print media require more credits.
    • Graphic Stock – This site is the one I use most frequently. They have a high quality of images, a large variety, and the subscription price for unlimited downloads is only $99 per year when they’re running a special offer which they do quite frequently.