We did something we don't normally do--we decorated for Christmas early. What can I say?…
I’m always looking for a better, faster and cheaper way to do things. The last four years have seen huge improvements in tools authors use to promote their books.
4 Promotion Tool Improvements for Writers
1. Templates for business cards
Three years ago I ordered my first business cards. First, I browsed Vistaprint’s site. None of their templates could be customized the way I wanted, so I designed my own using free software, and then uploaded it to the print site. Let’s just say it took a while!
The other night I decided to order new business cards, and I was pleasantly surprised to see all of the customizable templates Vistaprint now offers.
What took me hours in the past took minutes this time around.
2. Graphic design software
When I designed my first website seven years ago, I wanted a pretty header that reflected my brand. I quickly learned it would be time consuming and difficult to do it myself. I didn’t own Photoshop, and the free software I found had a steep learning curve.
Now just about anyone can create free or inexpensive graphics for their blogs and websites with graphic design software such as PicMonkey or Canva. With the popularity of Instagram and Pinterest, it’s vital to have visually appealing graphics.
3. Giveaway Tools/Generators
Sites such as Rafflecopter, Giveaway Tools and PromoSimple make hosting a giveaway easy, AND they do the hard work for the author. In less than ten minutes, you can create a giveaway and set the guidelines for entries. If you’re trying to get more Facebook likes on your page, make it an entry option. Same for Twitter, Pinterest, subscribing to your blog, and more. These sites will collect your entries and randomly pick a winner when the contest ends. Perfect!
**Go to my Home page to see an example of Giveaway Tools, scroll down and enter my giveaway for a gift package!**
4. Visual Social Media Widgets
Social media sharing has been around for a long time, but many of the top sites offer improved visual widgets to include on your site. I love that!
Goodreads allows authors to share a variety of widgets, from giveaways (see mine in the sidebar–I’m giving away four copies of Small-Town Bachelor this month!) to your available books.
I’m VERY grateful for all the free, simple software out there. It saves me time and money, and I don’t have a nagging worry that my online presence isn’t professional.
What online tools are you loving right now?
**Don’t forget to enter my March giveaway! Go to my HOME page and scroll down for the easy entry options!!**