Free Online Tools for Writers

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Here are some free online tools from around the internet that I use or want to try out. All of them are free with a few exceptions. There are many other tools, both free and for a fee, that I’m not using, but a quick internet search will find them. In addition to the basic tools for writing such as free Open Office or Google Docs, here are some that I like.

Free Social Media Tools

The basic free social media tools are of course Facebook and Twiter, which you can use to develop and stay in touch with your audience. WordPress is the most recommended site for building your web page, but there are other free sites.

For new writers, the biggest problem is getting attention. No one is going to know who you are so you cannot rely on people coming to your website to discover your writing. Potential readers don’t know to look for you. You have to get off your own site and post you work some place where it can be discovered. Here are some places I have discovered where you can post your work to gain some recognition and start building an audience.

Free Writing and Editing Tools

The following are some free tools to help you improve different aspects of your writing.

Free Cover Design and Conversion Tools

You can do your book covers in Word, Photoshop or InDesign, but they are expensive programs. If you are doing your own book covers, here are some tools that are free or low cost. You don’t have to pay someone a lot of money to make a cover for you. Watch out for sites that offer to design and publish your book for a fee or a cut of your royalties. They are usually not worth the price you pay for the service, and you can do the work yourself for free if you are willing to learn some new skills. Several professional book cover designers give away free e-book templates. A quick google search can find some of them. Here are some free of low-cost tools that I have discovered.

You also don’t have to pay someone to convert your text into an e-book file. Here are some places where you can do it yourself for free (remember to correctly format the text of your book first. There are numerous Youtube tutorials that explain how to format your book before converting them into e-book files.

  • Calibre (is free and allows you to do e-book conversion and e-book editing, among other things).
  • PublishXpress (is a free e-book conversion tool to convert Word documents to epub and mobi file formats).
  • Kindle Direct Publishing (allows you to design a cover and publish your e-book directly to Amazon. If you want to make a hard-copy book you can design and publish with CreateSpace).
  • Pronoun (free-service publishing platform for indie authors)
  • Draft2digital (another publishing platform with free services)

Free Marketing Tools

One of the purposes of having a website it to build a list of faithful followers who you can contact to buy your work, help you to get publicity for your work, readers who can leave you reviews on book buying sites, or even help with the editing process as beta readers and as proofreaders. You web theme should have a built in subscription form you can use. There are also apps you can install on your page, some with free and fee options. They will display signup boxes or popups where visitors can leave their name and email address in order to receive email notifications from you.

For advertising and promotions, you can do free or 99cent campaigns on the following book promotion sites. These are not all free, however, and have different fees they charge. It might be worth paying some to promote your book.

Some other e-book promotion sites include Buck Books and Read Cheaply. And of course, you can do paid advertising on Facebook and Twitter, or hire bknights service on Fiverr.

Free Content Development and Graphics Tools

Here are some free tools you can use to make graphics on your website or to design promotional materials for use on Facebook, Twitter or other places you need a graphic. The book cover design tool listed above can also be used to create graphics.

  • Canva
  • Crello (similar to Canva).
  • WordSwag (for moble devices).
  • Creativindie.com (Here are some free DIY templates for promotional materials using google docs).
  • Cllicktotweet.com (lets you set up tweetable quotes from your content to tweet on Twitter).
  • Slideshare (lets you create a slide deck of your content and publish it).
  • Piktochart (lets you create Infographics from your content).

Free Critique Tools

If you are looking for a place to post your work where it can receive critique on its strengths and weaknesses from other readers and writers, these sites have been highly recommended. Scribophile and Critique Circle allow you to receive critiques from other site members in exchange for your critiques. Betabooks allows you to receive and organize feedback from beta readers you already have. There are other sites that exist for these purposes, but these sites are the ones I thought were the best.

 



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One thought on “Free Online Tools for Writers

  1. Hi C.E.,

    Thanks for listing BetaBooks, I really appreciate it. One minor clarification, BetaBooks isn’t a critique site, but rather a productivity app. Think Google Docs + Survey Monkey, built specifically for authors.

    The typical author who uses the app already has a list of 10-20 beta readers they enjoy working with, but in the past they’ve been coordinating beta reads and feedback over email, sending Word Docs or PDFs back and forth. That’s a big ball of chaos for the author, and can get really nerve-wracking as you try to give tech support to readers who can’t get your file to work, keep track of who has read what and assemble all their feedback into something useful.

    BetaBooks solves that, getting the chaos out of your inbox, collecting all the feedback in one easily searchable database, and making it as easy as iBooks or Kindle for your readers.

    Like Google Docs, everything you do is private unless you specifically invite people. There’s no social network or message board, so it’s not a place to find readers.

    We do occasional sponsor contests or networking events on twitter, but those are totally separate from the web app itself.

    Cheers, and thanks again for sharing!

    – Andrew

    Liked by 1 person

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