Just Sayin’ – Get Your Best Deals When Purchasing Apps and Website Services

Get Your Best Deals When Purchasing Apps and Website Services


Just Sayin'

Today’s episode of Just Sayin’ focuses on how to get your best price when purchasing apps and programs to aid in your writing/editing, security and antivirus programs for your computers, and for website domains and services that apply to your websites.


We see ads all the time for something every time we open a web page it seems. Those are usually targeted ads that follow us after we’ve visited a website and showed interest in a certain product. I find those ads haunting and annoying. But there are plenty of ads for products we may find useful but may not be aware of –  apps or programs that can aid us in our writing, particularly, editing apps.  So today I’m going to share a few ways we can find those deals and cut costs for products we may find useful or may already be using for our websites which require annual renewals.


Let’s start with apps and programs for editing. There are numerous apps available for writers to download for free as well as offered paid versions. Grammarly, Hemmingway and Prowritingaid are just a few of many that all do basically the same thing and are all limited as to what you can do with the free versions. Free versions will do the job just fine for some but paid versions offer many more capabilities. Free versions in these types of programs will offer spell and grammar checks on our writing, but if you’re looking for more such as: style check, fragmented sentences, plagiarism checks, find passive words, adverbs, and many more, you may want to opt for the paid versions.


But I’m not here today to promote apps and programs, merely to share with you where you can get your best deals on such items.




If you’re a writer and like to keep up to date in the self-publishing world, there are many pioneers in our industry who offer email subscriptions to receive news, updates, conferences, podcasts, webinars, as well as promotions on products. Some of my favorites that I’ve been subscribed to for quite a few years now are: The Bookdesigner (Joel Friedman), Jane Friedman, The Publicity Hound (Joan Stewart),  StandoutBooks,    and Sacha Black, just to name a few.


I receive a few emails, some weekly and some monthly from these folks and that’s how I keep abreast of what’ going on, what’s upcoming and many times, what’s being offered free and/or on discount as far as writing and learning tools and courses, apps, plugins, and writers conferences.  Often one of these sites will offer a promotion or sale affiliated with another writer or programmer they are promoting offered at deep discount prices. In the past I’ve purchased author media kit templates from The Bookdesigner and joined in many free webinars to learn about a new product or program for writers. I’ve purchased lifetime licences for photo editing apps, a great savings on Prowritingaid for a 2 year licence when Standoutbooks featured them in one of their newsletters, and more things I can’t even remember.


My point is that by signing up for newsletters with reputable people who have good info to offer, it benefits us in more ways than one. Subscribing to worthy newsletters is like subscribing to an author’s newspaper. Stay up to date and keep in the know of what’s being offered at discount prices.


Auto-Renew Caveats


Many of us use products to maintain our websites and at the very least use antivirus or malware protection products. Once you’ve signed up for and/or downloaded these products there always seems to be a spot where you can click on to auto-renew for when the product expires in case you forget. Often a supplier has auto-renew automatically and conveniently ticked off for you, this is important to have a look at and if you find it’s so, uncheck it. Don’t worry that if you don’t check this option you may forget when it’s time to renew. That’s not going to happen because the supplier won’t let you forget. They don’t want to lose you so you will receive plenty of emails in advance of your expiring product reminding you to renew.


But why not auto-renew? Because several products you may have initially bought at an introductory price, and the renewal rate is going to be higher. Or maybe just popularity, demand or greed sets in and that too raises the price. A great example of this is: Say you went self-hosted and purchased your domain as a first-time customer and paid $5.99 for the year, that a great deal!  But when renewal time comes along that same domain could cost you $30. I know, because I’m self-hosted. So, no thanks! I’m not auto-renewing, I’m doing my homework.


All webhost sites offer promotions on all their products from domain names to security applications to webhosting. Many times you don’t even have to go their site to find them. THEY WILL EMAIL YOU. Every year my website comes up for renewal, about a month or so before I begin receiving many email offers from my webhosting offering discounts on products from 20-40% off! Often those promos don’t apply to ‘existing products you’re already using’. And if that’s the case, I call them direct for my renewals and usually ask them to cut me some slack on the price because I’m an existing, repeat customer, and I may happen to mention,  ‘a struggling author’. Trust me it works! And if you renew for more than one year on your product the savings get bigger.


The same procedures as listed above apply to antivirus and malware products. Don’t auto-renew. Check their website for deals or call the company and ask if they’re running any promotions for that product for you to have incentive to stay with them. Check online at your local Staples, Best Buy or Office Depot store for sales on those products. Every week there’s usually a sale on antivirus products from one company to another and you don’t even have to go out to buy it, you can download it from the comfort of your own home. Do your homework!


I hope I’ve given you some good ideas on how go about getting your best deals on products that are necessary to our writing lives and a few that make our lives easier.

26 thoughts on “Just Sayin’ – Get Your Best Deals When Purchasing Apps and Website Services

  1. Debby, only too true about NOT using auto-renew!! It gets me mad why companies, particularly software security programs, are keen to get us to auto renew yet the prices to register from scratch is often half the automatic renewal price – I always call and complain! Many thanks for the recommendations of where to sign up for advice, I know a couple but will look at the others too – it’s always best to be well-informed from reputable folk!


    1. I’m just trying to pass on what I’ve learned to hopefully inform others about how to get the best deals. I’ve been there and learned the ropes, so if I can help that’s great! 🙂 xx


  2. Thanks for encouraging us to seek out current promotions rather than doing auto-renewal and subscribing to free quality newsletters. Debby, you always have our best interests in mind and I for one appreciate it! Wishing you a great day 🙂 ♥


    1. And thank you once again Christy for reading and leaving your appreciation here. Like you, I like to share what I learn, and hopefully spare others the investigation process, lol. 🙂 ❤


  3. Great point on the auto-renew. I usually do that and never look to see if the price is going up. Thanks for the great info too on blogs to follow. You always have such great info to share, Debby. 🙂


  4. Good tips on the money. Never knew you could find savings from blog subscriptions, but I did get a good discount somewhere on Scrivener. We never auto-renew either. Stll need to check out some of those tools you mentioned. (SIGH).


    1. Thanks John. Yes, I forgot to mention I also bought a life time subscription to Scrivener for unlimited devices for a very cheap price. Although, Scrivener is too mind boggling for me. I took several webinar demos on it, bought Scrivener for dummies book and still, too much going on. I prefer Word with my pen and paper LOL. 🙂


  5. Good comments. I do auto-renew, but it’s because I’ve done my homework and know that’s where I want to be–and that I can cancel any time. Like my online fax program, Ring Central. Other’s I auto-renew because stopping the service would be much more disastrous than the labor of cx. Like my Google account.

    You’ve got me thinking about a few others, though!


    1. That’s my point Jacqui. We get notified by email weeks before the product expires when you’re not auto renewed. That’s the time to sniff around and call and negotiate the best price. Especially anything to do with web hosting, those sites, such as Godaddy who I use, run promos weekly on add on products and services, so I always call before expiry dates. 🙂


  6. I always do a Google search for any discount vouchers before buying any product. If there’s no voucher then I’ll buy the product through a cash back website such as Quidco.
    You’ve been very helpful with your shopping tips, Debby. ?


  7. Thanks for the tips, Debby. As always, doing your homework pays – literally and figuratively. Just like we never do the auto-renewals on anything, we also never do the auto-updates for Skype, Microsoft, Firefox… It is better to have all these actions in your own hands, because you never know whether companies try to trick you, with an unwanted checked box, for example. It happens often enough.

    When I was reading your blog, I was thinking of something. I bought a lifetime license for Scrivener, a writing program and it comes with a very basic, very limited spelling corrector and synonym finder. I wonder whether these programs do that on purpose, so you would buy other apps/programs…

    Good idea to read and sign up for newsletters. There is just so much to learn and stay on top of, though…I just want to write. 🙂


    1. Hi Liesbet. I hear you – we just want to write, but unfortunately, with it comes other responsibilities. Thanks for sharing your take on updates, I’m well aware of that but so worth mentioning. 🙂 I have lifetime licence to Scrivener too but don’t use it, lol. I wasn’t aware of how basic the spell check was because I haven’t used it much, but that wouldn’t bother me because I’m quite happy with Prowritingaid, it has tons of stuff. 🙂


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