Are you an author like me? You might appreciate some this web page, a collection of free author tools to make you feel like a genius when it comes to the business of writing. I collect different hacks or tools when it comes to writing, agents and other stuff a professional author needs. People have been kind enough to assist me or make helpful suggestions, so I’m happy to pay that forward by offering this quick reference for you.
Want to write, but not sure where to get started? Here are some helpful blog posts I’ve written:
- Story Diagramming – In this blog post, I walk you through the process of diagramming a story end-to-end. Want to write a short story, want to write a novel? At this level, the process is almost the same, and it makes construction your story a breeze.
- Cool Writing / Scene Construction Hack – What I’ve learned about longer projects like novels is this – Chapter Twenty-One is a heck of a time to figure out you have a plot hole in Chapter Two. By enacting some structure and focus to the story, you eliminate a lot of revisions, re-writes, and hassle. This hack helps with that kind of work.
Cool Apps for Writing Your Book
- Hemingwayapp – Quick, simple … best-selling authors love it. You’ll love it, too.
- Grammarly – There’s a free trial version but paying for it is worth it; trust me.
Other Writing-Your-Book Resources
I don’t know about you but sometimes the right word just won’t come to me. For those moments, I’ve compiled a list of handy resources to help keep the prose coming:
- 147 Words to Use Instead of ‘Very’
- Words to use instead of SAID
- Words used to describe facial expressions
- More Words to Describe Facial Expressions
- Words and Phrases To Describe Personality
- Words that describe emotions
Selling Your Book
Forget buying a copy of Writers Marketplace – these two websites will give you everything you need to know about active book agents and how they like to be contacted.
Book Cover Art Resources
Of course you *CAN* buy cover art but if you’re just starting out, you need all the free tools you can get. Here are some resources for free pictures, editing tools, and ideas for creating beautiful book cover art.
- Free photo resources – some sources are 100% free but others have free/paidimages sprinkled in together. If you use an author’s image and they require credit or payment, make sure you do it! Otherwise, you could be in violation of copyright law.
- Free Photo Editing Tools (I use Paint.Net, myself)
- Free Open Source fonts
- DaFont – sells fonts, but they also have free open-source fonts (note, this link may change) that you can use without needing a license. Make sure that if another creative person needs you to pay for their work, you do it! That’s how we all help each other.
General Career Advice
The Business Behind Becoming an Author – If you’re thinking of writing as a career path, you might have some general ‘how to’ questions. Full of good info for aspiring authors. (Thanks Amelia, Barbara, and the SLCCN for the tip!)
Health & Safety
A Writer’s Guide To Healthy Wrists And Hands – This is an *EXCELLENT* resource for information on how to protect your hands and fingers while composing your stories. (Thanks Hailey, Bianca, and Centerline Arts Group for the tip!)
Glass House Life: Survival Guide for Creative People
- Microsoft Flow – I built a free online sample delivery system for readers that lets them pick out a free e-book to try and sends it to them automatically. More details in an upcoming how-to!
- Authors Guide to Audience Building – Part One – If you’re in the writing business, you’re also in the audience building business. Here’s a simple guide to where you should begin.
- Authors Guide to Audience Building – Part Two – Continuing what we’ve learned about audience building, here are some more tips
- Audience Building With @Scalzi – Hey, remember that time I talked ‘audience building’ with John Scalzi on Twitter? Here’s what I learned
- Three Principles for Author Social Media – If you’re gonna be an author on social media, you need these three tips
What Magazines Should I Submit To?
Got a short story? Here is a list of SFWA-recognized short story publishers:
Galaxy’s Edge / Lightspeed / Uncanny / Nature: Futures / Escape Pod / Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF) / Daily Science Fiction / Clarkesworld / Cast of Wonders / Asimov’s Science Fiction / Apex Magazine / Analog Science Fiction & Fact
Also, Here’s a comprehensive list of SF magazines that you can submit to (Updated as of 2/11/2020 – Original list courtesy Phantom-16 on Reddit)
And there you are, now you have free author tools to make you feel like a genius. I hope you find this resource helpful over time. You may consider joining the Mailing List to see what else I come up with.