Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Indie Life: Business Tools

It's time again for another edition of Indie Life. If you're not familiar with this monthly blog meme, hop on over to The Indelibles for more information. The linky list will be at the bottom of this post if you want to read more blog posts on this theme or join the list yourself.

I've had a tough time trying to figure out what topic I want to discuss this month. I was considering time issues, especially for those of us with full-time jobs and families, but I finally decided to talk about business tools.

What do you consider the most important business tools for self-publishing? Obviously, a computer is vital. I personally prefer a laptop over a desktop so I can write at work or elsewhere. Next in importance are your files. I recently starting using Mozy to automatically backup my files twice a day.  Now I no longer have to worry about losing my files.

Programs are also important. I use Word to write, though I know other writers use other programs. Another important tool is a spreadsheet program like Excel. I use it for things like tracking my expenses and monthly sales for each story and planning blog tours. I currently have a spreadsheet set up to list people I want to contact or have contacted, along with when I contacted them, their e-mail address, the subject matter of the guest post or interview, the date I sent the material, and what sort of thank-you I'm giving the person. (Which reminds me I need to follow up with someone....)

I'm sure there's more tools out there that I can't think of right now. What tools do you use for your writing business, and what do you use them for? Are there any tools you think you need but don't know how to use?

I do have one quick announcement: the paper version of Twinned Universes is now available on Amazon.  The eBook will also be available on Kobo shortly.



10 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Is it in the iBookstore? Need to check...
Very cool how Indie Life has taken off!

Sandra Almazan said...

Alex, I use Smashwords to distribute to Apple. While the book has already shipped there, I haven't checked yet to see if it's in the store.

Laura Pauling said...

So many different authors uses different software. But most all use Word and Excel to some point. I like Scrivener. :)

Cynthia Marcano said...

I'm a Word/Laptop girl.

Cherie Reich said...

I definitely love my laptop and prefer using Word, but I would love to have Adobe InDesign one of these days.

Sandra Almazan said...

Laura, I hear a lot of good things about Scrivener too. One of these days I should try it.

Cynthia, it sounds like we're on the same wavelength.

Cherie, I knew I forgot something--graphic design programs! That's something I'd rather hire someone to do, though.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Sandra,

Good post. I don't do a lot of backing up, but since I've lost a LOT of data thanks to thumbdrives, I I use Dropbox so I can access my files anywhere.

Despite the programmes I buy now and then, I still use Word as my software of choice.

Nick Wilford said...

I can't think of anything to add to that! Don't know if you would count linky list providers - would never have been able to keep track of the people helping out with my book launch otherwise. (OK, I'm totally aware this sounds like I'm bragging.)

lbdiamond said...

I'm dabbling in Scrivener right now. It's quite the organizational tool.

Nice post!

Heidi Garrett said...

Sandra, I use Scrivener, too. A spreadsheet, Numbers. My husband uses Pixelmator to do the covers. I always have a spiral notebook handy to jot down ideas and keep them all in one place. The only other thing I might add is an ereader:) I do like testing my books on them. Since I'm an avid ereader I've been amassing a collection on those:) Great topic! Heidi

Site Meter