Tools that helped me keep my cool in 2015

Near the end of the year, I put together a list of tweets of some of my favorite tools for keeping mu cool. They ranged across tricks & websites for tracking/analyzing your sales, places to get stock photos and make promo pics, and ways to format & convert your ebooks. It was a tangle of all my favorite bookmarks and programs, presented in 140 chars or less.

You can follow the tweet above back to the thread, or just browse the list below. (Keep in mind, brevity and abbreviations because, you know. Twitter!)

Bree’s Favorite Tricks

Book Report – a nifty way to watch & analyze your Amazon sales. Free if you make < $1k/mo on Amazon, $10/mo if more. https://www.getbookreport.com/

Google Keep – simple, easy to organize/tag virtual To Do list. Browser, Android or iOS. Free. http://keep.google.com

Kindle Sales Total Bookmarklet: Tired of adding up your MTD sales or page reads in KDP? Enjoy. It’s magic. http://www.ericjamesstone.com/blog/2012/05/21/bookmarklet-to-add-totals-to-kindle-sales-stats/

Spreadsheets – I made my own so they’d be as nitpicky & precise as I like them. Have one! Or two!  http://www.breebridges.com/downloads/

Sigil – Free epub editing software. Super useful if you need to fix small things in an ePub. http://sigil-ebook.com/

Trackerbox: When you need to track ALL the vendors, and multiple pennames. Free trial, $59.99 to buy: http://www.storyboxsoftware.com/tdownload.htm

Kindle Previewer: When you need a quick preview of your book, or to quickly convert epub to mobi: http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1000765261

PicMonkey – $4.99/month photo editing software. Make super pretty promotional pics without photoshop skills. https://www.picmonkey.com/

Dreamstime: Save up promo images & grab a monthly subscription to get ALL THE STOCK PHOTOS you could ever want. http://www.dreamstime.com/

The Windows Snipping Tool: Seriously, I screenshot everything and his makes my life beautiful. Just saying.  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/use-snipping-tool-capture-screen-shots#1TC=windows-8

Redirects. Still. Always. http://www.breebridges.com/formatting-tricks-2-linking-with-redirects/

InstaFreebie: Give away books & let the winner decide their own format. Plus optional newsletter subscriptions! http://www.instafreebie.com

RescueTime: No one wants to know how much time they’re actually spending on twitter. But you probably need to know. http://rescuetime.com/

Send to Kindle: A shocking % of people don’t know how easy it is to review your MS on your phone and/or kindle: http://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle

Help, my FB ads have too much text!

It’s been a while since I had time to post, but a few people have needed this lately, and I decided it would be smartest to just upload it for easy future linking. (That is how I make all my important decisions about blogging: being lazy.)

A lot of people are trying to maneuver around facebook’s 20% text rule for when you can boost a post or use an image for advertising. It’s especially frustrating because the exact same amount of text on an image might be denied one week and approved the next if the text isn’t in the exact same place.

There’s a reason for that.  As of now (which could change tomorrow) facebook’s automated system is using a grid method to decide when an image has too much text. They put a grid of five rectangles by five rectangles over your image and look to see if the text shows up in more than five of them. (20%)

Computers are not always terribly reliable though.

2boxes

4boxes

Yeah, I know. Computers. SIGH.

Anyway, it’s pretty easy to get around this once you know it’s a thing. I have two templates I share–one is a PSD file with the grid on its own layer, one is a transparent PNG file you can download and put over your image.  If you can keep your text in five of those boxes, you SHOULD be okay. (Should in that computers are still silly and will sometimes think things like tattoos or squiggles are also text, because oh, COMPUTERS.)

 

Facebook Ad Template (PNG)

A transparent PNG with the grid that helps identify how much text is too much for a facebook ad.

Facebook Ad Template (PSD)

A photoshop template with the grid that helps identify how much text is too much for a facebook ad.