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Best (non-writing) tools for authorpreneurs

From freelance photographers for author photos to the perfect thank-you gift for those who provided endorsements, these low-cost tools can make your authorpreneur journey a snap.

Best (non-writing) tools for authorpreneurs
[LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe Stock]

While there are an array of tools out there to improve writing, authorpreneurs also need assistance putting the elements of their books together, updating their books, and thanking the people who helped along the way.

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From freelance photographers for author photos to the perfect thank-you gift for those who provided endorsements, these low-cost tools can make your authorpreneur journey a snap.

FOR HELP WITH YOUR AUTHOR PHOTO

Given how much social media posting is being done these days, most of us need more than just a headshot or two. But collecting photographer recommendations and reaching out for quotes can be time-consuming.

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Snappr to the rescue.

On Snappr, simply input your address and receive an estimate for a professional photographer to come photograph you. I put in my home address in LA and was given a quote of $349 for a three-hour portrait session with all high-res photos included, or $209 for a three-hour portrait session with nine high-res photos provided. Both options include image enhancement.

Bonus: Snappr also has a free LinkedIn photo-analysis tool. (For the record, mine got a 61 out of 100 with the note, “It’s not awful but given this is people’s first impression of your professional profile, it’s not great either.” Ah, well.)

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You can also book photoshoots using Airbnb experiences (see this example for Venice, Italy), though these often include a group of other people.

FOR A SWEET WAY TO THANK THOSE WHO ENDORSED YOUR BOOK

Many of us have received blurbs from leaders in our field. Thanking them for their generosity by sending along a signed copy of your book is a lovely gesture, but if you want to do something slightly more original, add an extra thank you without going over the top, or you don’t have their physical mailing address, then Sugarwish has you covered.

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With packages ranging from $23 to $56, Sugarwish is as simple as clicking a button and providing an email address. Your recipient then receives an email asking them to choose from an array of candy, cookies, and other goodies—including dog treats! No more sending macaroons to people who hate coconut!

Bonus: Upload a custom e-card and choose a printed box to make your delivery even more personalized.

FOR A SIMPLE WAY TO CREATE ASSETS APLENTY

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Authorpreneurs need assets—think: social media posts, bookmarks, author logos, media kits, postcards, and even book trailers. Adazing offers all of these and more!

My personal favorite Adazing offering is the book mockup creator, which allows you to upload your e-book cover and instantly get hundreds of mockup templates ranging from the holiday-themed (your book tied to a pair of heart balloons!) to the basic (your book in a bookstore, library, or park) to the truly eclectic (Spider-Man holding your book!).

Bonus: Adazing allows you to create one mock-up for free, surely knowing that you’ll be instantly hooked and want to sign up for an account.

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FOR A QUICK METHOD FOR DISCOVERING DIFFERENT KEYWORDS

Since Amazon is the third largest search engine in the world, using the right keywords can help many more potential readers discover your book.

That’s why I recommend giving your book a little boost every few months after its launch by switching up the keywords. While some authors will sift through their competitors’ books to find out which keywords they’re using—a laborious process and an inexact science—there’s a much easier way to ensure your book is seen.

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For a lifetime access fee of under $100, Publisher Rocket provides you with the most popular keywords in your genre, the number of searches there are for that keyword every month, and each keyword’s average monthly earnings.

Bonus: Publisher Rocket does the same thing for categories, which are also worth switching up from time to time.

FOR THE EASIEST WAY TO FIX TYPOS OR MAKE UPDATES

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Even a book launched by a professional could incude errors, but one of the most amazing aspects of publishing today is that print-on-demand allows us to fix and re-upload any layout at any time.

To make your post-publication life easy, I recommend purchasing Vellum or Atticus software, then asking your publisher to provide you with a Vellum or Atticus file so you can make changes and updates without having to hire anyone to do it. While Vellum is Mac-only, Atticus works for both Mac and PC.

With these tools, your career as an authorpreneur just got a lot easier.

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NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of eight books, founder of Legacy Launch Pad Publishing, TEDx speaker, TV book critic

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