Self-publishing can be a tricky and time-consuming business. These tools will save you time and money as well as help you self-publish more efficiently and at the lowest cost.
Not everyone in the self-publishing business has the best interest of writers at heart. Sadly, many of these services have been developed for the main purpose of ripping off and taking advantage of naive writers.
Don’t be naive, do your homework, and be careful who you trust. Best and Worst Self-Publishing Services Reviewed & Rated by the Alliance of Independent Authors is a FREE list of services that will certainly help. Also, do a search on Google and look for any red flags.
2. Keep track of your sales
BookReport is a FREE app (up to a certain point at which you won’t care about the cost any longer) that gives a nice overview of your books’ sales and earnings on Amazon. Unlike a rather rigid and limited Amazon KDP dashboard, BookReport allows you to easily check the sales of your books using different parameters, such as time range and single or several books.
BookReport also creates various charts of your earnings and sales per source (KDP Select, ebook, print book), per book title, and per marketplace. This lets you see and understand where your revenue comes from and what generates most sales at a glance. One of my favorite parts of BookReport is the ka-ching sound the app makes whenever you get a new sale.
3. Create a smart URL for your book
Having to create different ads and campaigns on Facebook just because they have to be linked to Amazon platforms in different countries is a time-consuming pain. Instead, you can use smartURL app and create one link to rule them all.
Simply create a default URL and then add URLs for the rest of the countries. Save and you are done. Use smart URL in your adds or website and it will automatically take the readers to the sales platform in their country. And the best part — the basic plan is FREE.
4. Use animated book covers
Animated book covers are all the rage and that’s no wonder. They are eye-catching and appealing, especially when done the right way. This may come as a surprise but they don’t have to cost a fortune! Morgan Wright creates stunning animated book covers and mockups starting at $10.45. Check it out!
Instead of a rather steep price (starting at $450), you can get your book on NetGalley for $79 or less! I was able to negotiate an additional 40% discount for my readers so click this link and use coupon code netgalleymk at the checkout. This will get you a book listing on NetGallery with BooksGoSocial for less than $50.
I used this option for two of my books (How to Create Your Website and Writing to Heal the Pain) and was happy with results even though the latter book received mixed reviews in part due to the trolling of my account on Goodreads that then started to spill over to NetGalley. Thankfully, that was just before the listing ended but it was enough to damage the overall rating.
If you avoid Goodreads and unreliable book review services (such as Booksprout where the trolls initially found my book), you should be fine. If, however, you have already been trolled and fear that the trolls might be on the lookout for your new books, the BooksGoSocial option doesn’t allow you to vet the reviewers and can thus be risky.
One of my favorite tools is Kindle Ranker. This amazing tool helps you find the best categories and keywords for your book and much more. It’s available for FREE for up to two searches per day. Paid plans are reasonable too and much more affordable than the competitors. A 24-hour pass is $0.99 and monthly plans start at $5.99.