Friday, February 7, 2020

(Mostly) FREE Graphics Tools to Make Your Life Easier

Writers - especially indie writers - are busy multi-taskers. There are things we have to do - like write our books - and then things we also we have to do - like social media and advertising. Today I'm here with some tools to make your life easier on the social media/advertising front.

Graphics? Love to hate them, right? Canva's templates makes graphics easy, and if you're a graphics newbie I highly recommend. There are templates for Instagram, Facebook, even book covers. (I'm still all about a professional book cover, but if you want to do a mock up for your designer, this is a great resource.)

But wait...I need images, you say. Got you covered. I love Pexels for free stock images. They even have free stock video. Unsplash is another great one and the categories are very well organized.

Let's say you find the perfect image, but you hate the background. Remove it easy peasy with this tool. 

If you're a romance writer, I highly recommend the Tease Me Images Facebook group for paid images. Michelle, the owner of the group, crops and curates collections of images in both Facebook ad size and Instagram size that are both eye-catching and super reasonably priced.

Need a book cover mock-up? Or maybe your book cover on an iPhone? This is the best free tool I've found.  You can also do a cool composite of two or three styles together - e.g., paperback, iPhone, iPad.

Ok, you've got your graphics. Now you need to post them. I'm a big fan of scheduling my posts with Buffer. The free version works well for me. They do have a paid version, but I'm cheap and have never tried it. The benefit that Buffer has over a lot of the competition is that it posts directly to Instagram without having to go through an app. I don't know about you, but an extra step to me just means another step I can forget.

To liven up a post or two, sometimes I use Text Waves to bring attention to the post. There's also Emojipedia for including emojis in your posts, although did you know that if you're on a Mac, you only need to hit Command + Control + space bar to bring up the emoji menu? 😮 

I bet you're trying that now on your Mac, aren't you? Try out some of the others, too, and let me know what you think. And if you've got any other free graphics resources, share in the comments!

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