Whoever coined the phrase, “You get what you pay for” is not a writer. There are many free tools available on the Internet that can help you sell more books than you ever imagined. Below are some of my favorite free tools for writers.
Google talk is an instant messaging service with several interesting features. As a writer you must have a website. Isn’t it better to communicate with potential customers in real time over the Internet every time they have questions about your book? Now you can, it’s free! Google Talk has a nice feature called Google Chatback. Google Chatback allows visitors to your website to see if you are online and available to chat.
Every time I open the Google Talk program on my computer, my status automatically changes to “available”. Every time I close Google Talk on my computer, my status automatically changes to “not available”. Now, every visitor to my website can click on the box when I’m available and connect with me instantly. I will get a message on my screen through Google Talk notifying me that someone wants to talk to me through Google Chatback.
Almost immediately, I connected with web visitors who asked questions about my book. Often, the question is not about the book, but about the book’s problem. These questions are basically the gateway for future book purchases. At this point, I answer their questions and then offer web visitors a small coupon code – see the coupon code section in this chapter. At this time, they were very impressed that their question was answered by the author and they had a coupon code, so they would order the book. Google Chatback is an amazing way to be instantly available to any web visitor.
Issuu is a free and user-friendly website with several practical applications for writers. First, if you have all kinds of marketing material from brochures to catalogs to presentations, they can be uploaded to Issuu and viewed in full color in flip-book format. This is the best way to save on printing and shipping costs. Instead of printing and sending expensive marketing material, upload your marketing material to Issuu. Now readers can see your document in full color and turn the pages as if they were holding and turning the pages in their hands. Readers can even zoom in or out on certain pieces of marketing material.
After you upload marketing material to Issuu, you can create thumbnail views to put on your website. Visitors to your website can click on a small image of your marketing material and be taken to the full size version. I would recommend adding audio to your marketing material. You can read the text contained in marketing material or give a brief audio introduction about the marketing material they will read. This will give your marketing material a high-tech feel.
You might also want to use Issuu as an option to sell e-books. Issues gives you the ability to upload your publications and set links as private. Setting the link as private means that no one can find the link without knowing the exact web address where the publication is stored. Only you know the web address.
TIP: Making a document private only allows you to keep your web address private. If you use this service as an e-book option, please note that users can still download, and even embed this personal document on their website.
Issuu does offer premium services, but for writers, the free version of Issuu is sufficient.
Screen Recording Software
Your book should be the gateway to more sales. Often one book sale will be converted to 3 more sales through your website. If your book is suitable for this type of follow-up sales, check and. Both offer free programs that allow you to record your every move on the desktop. These recordings can then be transferred to video format, where you can then post them anywhere on the Internet or on your website for free or paid viewing. Cam Tip is a program that is more feature rich but a little more difficult to use than Cam Studio.
adding human experience in online interactions. With OoVoo, you can experience free video conferencing with an easy download and install software program. All you need is OoVoo software and some friends with a webcam and you can all connect directly, via video, on one screen. The free version allows three people to connect at once. If you want more than three, a paid version is available. As a writer, OoVoo can be used to connect directly with customers on your website. Go to and follow the instructions to add the “Call Me button” to your website. You can even add it to your email signature. After the contact sees this Call Me button, they can simply click on the button and it will connect to you directly via streaming video. This software easily puts your face directly in front of customers.