A List of Tools for Freelance and Indie Authors

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By Daren (IMG_1713) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Having trouble staying motivated? Sometimes it helps to use some new tools to keep you organized and ready to work. Here are some new tools and resources I’ve found:

  • Mattermost: An open-source chatting tool, so you can easily connect with clients, editors, publicists, or anyone on your author street team. Compatible with Slack.
  • Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator: To help you figure out what you should charge, taking into account your salary goal for the year, vacation time, and more.
  • Workflowy: A notebook where you can easily keep lists. Good for brainstorming.
  • My Life Organized: A to-do list. For Windows only.
  • Todoist: A to-do list online. Gives you karma points for finishing tasks.
  • Wunderlist: Another to-do list.
  • Hemingway App: Great tool to use as a first pass for copyediting.
  • Hemingwrite Typewriter: A prototype that blends the romance of writing on a typewriter with technology (syncs with Evernote, Google Docs, and Dropbox.)
  • The Self Publishing Checklist: A handy checklist compiled by Jane Friedman to help with the editing, design, and proofing process.

And if that’s not enough, All Indie Writers has a long list of resources for blogging, marketing, tracking, and more.

And Elite Daily has a list of gadgets that can help you with life in general, such as a bulb that dims to help you sleep, a pen that lets you write on any screen, a tool that helps you prioritize your emails, and more.

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Resources and Advice for Writers

Albert Anker [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Albert Anker [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

There are many types of writing: novels, short stories, articles, technical documents, copywriting, business plans, and the list goes on. Looking for some inspiration or help in your writing career? Here are some programs and pieces of advice from fellow writers. Continue reading

Guest Post: Two Interesting Ways to Organize Your Workplace

By Emily Johnson – Omnipapers

Writers who work from home, or anyone who works from home, will find this infographic useful for keeping organized and staying healthy.

Every freelance worker may agree that working from home needs concentration and self-organization. And more often than not, people don’t pay attention to their workplaces. However, a well-organized workplace can not only motivate you but boost your productivity as well.

While you are thinking how to organize your workplace, keep reading this article, as here you can find two insights that might help you.

First things first: start keeping your workplace clean.

Now you are ready to explore two ways to organize your workplace: Continue reading

Working as a Freelance Writer

There’s been a lot of chatter lately about how writers earn a living. The Write Life has an excellent post, “Talking About Money: Why Writers Need to Be More Honest About How We Earn,” which covers Ann Bauer’s Salon essay on being sponsored by her husband, as well as how other writers earn a living and how much they make.

A lot of stories pop up of writers who are able to quit their day jobs and work on their passion full time. But being a full time writer/freelancer is incredibly hard. I did it for a while, but couldn’t handle the feast or famine lifestyle, so I took a full time job and now write on the side.

Below is a list of articles (in no particular order) I’ve bookmarked over the years that pertain to freelancing. I’m happy for those who have found a way to do this full time, but for others who may be struggling, hopefully you find this list helpful. Continue reading

The Ins and Outs of Blogging as a Professional Writer

Blogging is one of the best ways to build a platform, both as a book author and as a freelance writer. I plan on posting more about the specifics of being a freelancer, now having done it for a while, but blogging seems a good place to start, since it applies to both types of writers.

There are a lot of benefits to blogging, especially if you do it regularly. In the past few years that I’ve been blogging I have

  • improved my writing skills
  • learned how to beat writer’s block
  • started an email list
  • earned some income
  • gotten other publishing opportunities/writing jobs
  • met some wonderful people
  • read some amazing books
  • built up a small social media following

It’s taken a while to get to this point, especially since I did not commit to blogging regularly until recently, and I feel like I’m on the verge of being able to turn this into something that earns some steady income (I’ve only just started monetizing).

For other people who may be in the same boat as me, or even those are just starting or thinking of starting a blog, here’s a collection of tips I’ve stumbled across to help take things to the next level. Continue reading

New Opportunities for Children’s Writers: Subscription Services

childrenswriter_subscriptionRead my latest article in Children’s Writer Newsletter. It’s about subscription services for children’s ebooks, and it covers some of the freelance opportunities for children’s writers. Here’s an excerpt:

Ebooks are now mainstream, and as more readers use tablets and e-readers, subscription services have become popular. In the children’s book world, startups and well-established companies alike are offering ebooks to parents and children in new and interesting ways. For the children’s writer, this means more opportunities to publish work or get noticed by a new audience.

Read more in the Children’s Writer Newsletter. First issue is free! Click here.