Saturday, 4 March 2017

Free Writer Resources Roundup

Writing and publishing books has changed so much by 2017 as to be nearly incomprehensible from the old model of finding a publisher who will take your hard work and bring it successfully to the public.

Today, authors and especially indie authors by necessity have to do most if not all of the work themselves of not only writing their book but seeing to creation of book covers, publication in various formats, and advertising and media work to get the word out on their special creation they want to share with the world.

As an indie I’ve discovered several amazing free resources out there to help me with the various aspects of putting together my books including the interior design, book covers, social media advertising, and so much more.  So here’s an early 2017 round up of some wonderful free resources that I’ve found and use.  I hope they may be of use to you in your efforts to become a successful published author today.
Fabulous website of hundreds of free use fonts for commercial use listed under themed categories.  These are great to use for your promo Twitter cards, blog posts, and even dramatic text design within your book or on your book covers. 

Free Images and Attribution-Free Images from Pixabay
Pixabay is one of the greatest sites for free images not only for the quality of their images but because they are also attribution free (though I try to give credit to the author of an image I use as often as possible).  All images are Creative Commons CC0 so you are free to use them commercially, on your blogs, on items that you sell, for your book covers, business cards, etc.  They are my total go-to image source now.  You can ‘donate’ coffee money to any of the individuals whose images you use though I believe all the monies that go into a central pot to be paid to contributors.
So now you need a utility where to use those great images!

Free Online Photo Editing with iPiccy
Truly there are dozens of really good free online photo editors.  I found iPiccy when I first started and since I’ve learned a lot about their features, I’ve stuck with using them to create many composite images that I use for ads as well as for creating book covers.  But they can be used for so many more applications.
Here’s where I create my Twitter promo cards as I can upload a book cover image or other image that I want to combine with text to create an ‘ad’ which can be saved to a scaled MB size of your choice.
Here’s a sneak preview of my cover for Immortelle, book 2 in my Iron Web series!

Calibre – Free Book Converter
Take your MS Word ebook file and convert it to a variety of different formats, including Mobi for kindle, and ePub.
Of course, when uploading to Amazon, they have their own program.  Smashwords too has their own ‘grinder’ that authors use when uploading there.

Free Music
Incompetech provides free music selections in my categories, very easy to download.  They do ask for attribution but this is easy enough to add at the end of your video trailers, etc.
There are several categories of types of music to choose from so go check them out to see if they have something for your next project.

Free Movie Maker App/MS Word
Included in the MS Word suite is Movie Maker.  This is a very easy to use program that enables you to load images, other videos, and music to put together your own video.  I use this to create book trailers (have to get onto my next one for that!) but there are many different applications limited only by your own imagination.

The program comes with a variety of features that allow you to put various movie type effects onto your images such as fade in, pixelate in, etc.  There are loads of effects that you can apply to your images.  You can also easily upload a music file to your creation.  You can apply overlay captions, and there’s even a specific Credits slide.

There are lots of features in Movie Maker so you have to get in there and play around to get a good idea of what can be achieved!  This is one of my very early endeavours:

More Freebies
Internet’s largest free database of literary agents for those looking:
Free service to find out if anyone has plagiarised your work
Character Development Tool (a personality test that then gives personality traits!)

Hopefully some of these free resources will help you on your quest to becoming a successful self-published or agent/book house published author. Happy spring everyone!

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