The Top 7 Best Free Sources for Authors

Hey everyone! I’ve decided to put together a list of free resources that I use. Some of these may be helpful for writers or anyone active with a website, blog, or other social media. I hope that some of these sites can help you too. Why only seven and not a nice, whole number like five or ten? Well, because that’s how many I came up with!

Both of these sites do the same job. They take your long URL link and shorten into something that works much better for Tweets, Facebook posts, or anywhere where you’d prefer a shortened link. I just started using this method for my tweets and I love it! I find it makes posting links in Facebook posts much cleaner, too.

URLs shortened

Mailchimp is a great website. They offer a mailing system if you want to send out a newsletter. I mail out a monthly one to fans and Mailchimp makes it easy. Mailchimp allows you to customize your form then either through a link or embedding code, you can have people sign up for your newsletter. You can also design an autoresponder that mails automatically when someone signs up as well which is a useful. When you’re ready to make a newsletter you create a new campaign. All you do is write your newsletter, then at a click of a button Mailchimp sends out your newsletter to everyone who’s signed up. Easy, efficient, and I love it!

Mailchimp sign up example

I use social media icons for my website. I recently integrated media icons and I found an excellent source that offers free icons; however, there are many free icon sets out there for you to use. You can even go directly to places like Twitter and Facebook to create different kinds of shareable buttons. Social Media Icons allow you to offer your web visitors a chance to share your web page.

Social Media Icons

Widgetbox is a nifty little site that lets you create photo slideshows or countdowns to your book’s release, among other things. If you want a shareable widget that has your book cover on it with the countdown to its release day, then this is the widget for you.

Countdown widget for a book

If you are an author and you haven’t utilized Goodreads then I’d consider it. Goodreads is author friendly and offers many perks. Once you create an account and add all of your books to your page, you can customize it by adding social media links, your bio, any videos you have and more. Goodreads offers a place to have paperback giveaways, start discussions on any of your titles, or invite people to events. All of these services are free and it’s a great resource to use.

Goodreads author page

A great tool for an author (or possibly even a cover designer or editor) to use to get anonymous feedback from your “clients”. With Survey Monkey you can create, design, and ask any questions you like. I have had book surveys on my website for a long time now. I’ve noticed that people do use them, though not every day. I only check on it weekly. It’s usually used by avid fans and since they anonymously send the information they are more likely to be honest. I like to ask questions such as: What did you not like about [book name/series name/my work]? I can sometimes get some honest answers that help me to rethink things I do in order to make myself a better writer.

Example of a survey question

Rafflecopter is common among review sites and bloggers. This is the site to use if you want to host a giveaway. You can customize it (though to a greater extent if you purchase it) so that readers/fans/anyone can enter to win what ever you’re giving away. In return you can ask them to leave a comment, tweet, or like something on Facebook. I have used these to give away ebooks before (and erotic cookies!). You can set the start and end date and the program will choose winners for you. It’s very easy to learn and to use. Also, many readers are used to seeing giveaways in this format so it’s nice to use something that people are familiar with.

A rafflecopter giveaway example

Well that’s my list, folks. I hope you learned about a new tool you might want to try. If you have any free resources that you like to use then leave a comment and share.

Happy reading,

T. A. Grey

www.tagrey.com

One Week Celebration of Take Me: The Untouchables #1

Well, folks, Take Me has been out there in the Internet world for a straight week now. I’m very excited with the results and with the feedback people have given me! Thank you so much to everyone who’s bought the book and enjoyed it.  I’ve already been getting emails asking when the next book will be out. For some the date may not be soon enough, for others it shouldn’t feel that far away.

Take Me: The Untouchables #1 by T. A. Grey

The second Untouchables book is set to come out in the summer. You can always check on my website, my newsletter, or Facebook to see the latest news. As soon as I have specific dates I will announce them. For now, the next book in The Untouchables–Grayson’s story–will be out in July or August of this year. Yay! I know you guys are excited for Grayson’s story!

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Why does Take Me have people so excited? It all comes down to two unique individuals: Felicity and Dominic.

                                “I’m a Blackmoore, Felicity. I get what I want.”

Dominic is not someone to mess with and he’s certainly not someone who gives up easily. And so begins the love story of Felicity Shaw and Dominic Blackmoore. If you’d like a taste of the story then I’ve put up the first 5 chapter on my website. Yes, you can read the first five chapters for free! Stop on by, read the first few chapters and see of this erotic novel tickles your fancy. 😉 

As some of you may or may not know Take Me is the story about a love that blooms between two very different people at a very inopportune time. Dominic Blackmoore comes from an illustrious family whose wealth and prestige isn’t anything to sneeze at. While Felicity is a poor girl who will do anything, even lie, to get the dream job that will take her to greater things. That job offer comes from Dominic Blackmoore, and the instant they meet something shifts inside them.  That is after a devastating mistake in identity in one climactic moment! However, he’s supposed to “bond” with another vampire leaving Felicity off limits (in her mind). In his mind he can mate with the “proper” woman while having Felicity on the side. It isn’t his ideal choice but to have Felicity he will do anything.

“Tell me what I have to do to get inside you and I’ll do it. Name it. Anything.”
Her heart constricted. “I-you’re getting bonded to Julianna Greenwich.”
His jaw clenched, eyes turned flat. “And?”
Just like that she felt cold. Awkwardly she pulled her hands out of his hair. “And I don’t mess around with non-single men.”
“I can’t give you that. I need her.”
She winced. Why did those words feel like a blow straight to the heart?
“Yes, well, I’m not going to be a home wrecker. You can’t touch me anymore. We need to keep our distance.”
He turned his head away. Anger bounced off him in waves. Their arousal still saturated the air around them with that mouth-watering scent.
“She means nothing to me. I only met her for the first time the night I met you.”
“Yes, but she’s still going to be the one you’re bonded to a month from now.”

What do you think? Sound like a good story? I think it’s a pretty great romp. (Naturally I’m biased, haha!) Stop by my website to read the first five chapters, check out the reviews on Goodreads, or to purchase the book. The book is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, and soon to be iTunes.

Happy reading everyone!

T. A. GREY

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